Quick and easy Chicken Korma made in the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked with lots of onions and finished with cashew paste for a creamy, rich texture. Creamy, full of flavor and spices, this Chicken Korma is a must-try!

Instant Pot Chicken Korma
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This is a restaurant-style chicken curry. What better than enjoying it in the comfort of your home on a weeknight?  It takes 30 minutes to make this Chicken Korma in the Instant Pot (with a bit of marination prep).

What is Korma?

Korma is a dish rooted in the Mughlai cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. It is a mildly spiced Indian curry dish of meat, fish, or vegetables marinated in yogurt or cream and spices, then finished with almonds, cashews, or other nuts to make a thick, creamy sauce.

I wanted to share a recipe featuring chicken drumsticks, and this Chicken Korma was perfect with drumsticks. It can also be made with boneless chicken by adjusting the cooking time.

If you are looking for a meat-free version, here is my Vegan Vegetable Korma recipe.

Another amazing mild chicken curry is this Coconut Chicken Curry if you want to try a completely different flavor of curry.

How is Chicken Korma different than other Chicken Curries?

I have shared my Mom’s Chicken Curry, which is a must-try if you have not done it yet. However, I wanted to share the main differences between this korma and the chicken curry:

  • Chicken is marinated in yogurt for the korma.
  • In this korma, chicken is cooked only with onions, similar to malai chicken curry. No tomatoes are added. However, chicken marinated in yogurt gives a delicious tangy taste.
  • Korma is creamy, so we add nut paste. I use cashews. However, you can also use almonds or even finish with coconut milk to make it nut-free.

Easy Step-by-Step Recipe

Let’s start with marinating the chicken. You will find lots of recipes where this step is skipped. However, I feel that it really adds to the taste and makes the chicken so tender and flavorful. We don’t have to keep it for long; just about 30 minutes is perfect. If you want to prep, refrigerate the marinated chicken for up to 8 hours.

Chicken Korma - Marinate Chicken

Soak cashews in warm water before you start cooking the curry.

In the instant pot, start with tempering the whole spices in ghee or oil. Then sauté onions along with ginger and garlic. After sautéing for a few minutes, add in the marinated chicken.

We want to saute the chicken with the onions for a few minutes. This helps to seal in the flavors and cook the yogurt before pressure cooking. Then, pressure cook the chicken curry. We will quick release the pressure so that the chicken does not get overcooked.

While the chicken is cooking, blend the cashews to a paste. Stir in the paste to the cooked chicken. This will make a curry creamy.

I used chicken drumsticks in this recipe, but any chicken with bones can be used. If using boneless chicken thighs or breasts, adjust the cooking time.

steps to cook chicken korma in the instant pot

This curry is to be cooked for 6 minutes at high pressure. This is perfect cooking time if you want to cook rice pot-in-pot along with the chicken. See this Dal Fry recipe where I cook basmati rice with the lentils.

Chicken Korma - 4. Garnish with Cilantro

Enjoy this Chicken Korma with naan or basmati rice.

More chicken recipes you might enjoy:

4.80 from 58 votes

Instant Pot Chicken Korma

Chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked with lots of onions and finished with cashew paste for a creamy rich texture. This restaurant style chicken curry is quick and easy to make in the Instant Pot.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


For marination


  • Marinate chicken with yogurt, turmeric, red chili and salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Soak cashews in warm water while the chicken is marinating. Blend cashews with water to a smooth paste. 
  • Start the instant pot in sauté mode. Add oil and whole spices. Saute for 30 seconds. 
  • Add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. 
  • Stir in the spices. Add marinated chicken and sauté for 3-4 mins. We want the yogurt to cook before pressure cooking the chicken.
  • Add water for cooking. Stir well and deglaze the pot. Press Cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Start on Manual/Pressure Cook mode at high pressure for 6 minutes. When the pressure cooker beeps, press cancel and quick release the pressure manually.
  • Add cashew paste to the chicken and mix well. 
  • Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy over rice or with naan. 



  • For boneless chicken thigh or breast pieces, pressure cook for only 4 minutes. 
  • If you don’t like whole spices in the curry, you can use a spice pouch. 
  • Top with roasted sliced almonds and raisins, to make it like Shahi Chicken Korma. 
  • This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.


Calories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 20gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 685mgPotassium: 480mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 205IUVitamin C: 7.9mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 2.9mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This chicken is delicious! I didn’t have the kashmiri red chili powder so I substituted hot smoked paprika and seemed to work well. I will have to buy some of the kashmiri red chili powder though, as this recipe is going to be in my regular rotation! Can’t wait to try more of the Instant Pot curry recipes!

  2. Delicious! Did it on the stovetop. We can’t eat cashews so added coconut milk as suggested. Will certainly make again. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Hi Laura – You can surely make this chicken korma on the stovetop. In place of the pressure cooking step, cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken cook for about 15 minutes. Then uncover and cook. Once the chicken is cooked through (you can check internal temperature has reached 165ºF), then follow the remaining steps.

    1. Hi Manny – I have not tried, but it could be a good substitute in this curry. Would love to hear how it turns out if you try it.

      1. My daughter has a cashew allergy ( but not peanut )— what can I substitute to get a good texture and flavor
        Thank you

      2. Hi Diana – You can add almond paste (or almond butter) to the curry to make it thicker.