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

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:

4.79 from 56 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. 


YouTube video


  • 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. going to take print of the recipe. seems so attractive and delicious. gonna try it when i got free.cant wait to try it .best for chicken lovers

  2. If you were subbing ground spices for the whole, how much of each would you use? Particularly the cardamom, that’s not something I usually have on hand whole. Thanks, can’t wait to try this!

    1. Hi Maggie – If you have any of the whole spices, I would suggest to add the whole spices. For cardamom, you can skip it or add just 1/4 tsp ground cardamom. The whole spices add the flavor, but are not direct substitutes with the ground spices in this recipe. Hope you enjoy the chicken korma!

  3. I just made this with lamb (15 mins high pressure, 15 mins pressure release) over rice cooked with golden raisins and it is delicious! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Hey Nausheen – I feel the onions do cook well and mix in after pressure cooking. However you can definitely puree and add them too in this recipe. Hope you enjoy the Korma!

  4. This looks delicious! I am eager to try, but wondered about substituting coconut milk for the cashew paste? Will that still give the flavor and consistency of korma? If so, how much and when is it best to add when cooking? Thank you!

    1. Hey Sumita – Coconut milk will work and will be delicious. It might not make the korma as thick, but still a good consistency. I would add the coconut milk after pressure cooking. After adding just give a quick boil on sauté mode. Hope you enjoy the korma!

      1. Hey Sumita – Start with 1/3 cup and then add more to taste. I hope you enjoy the Korma 🙂

  5. It looks so delicious ? my mouth is totally watering right now at night xo Btw, I do not think no tomato is added into chicken korma is right, maybe you are talking about the original korma, aren’t you?
    – natalie ellis

    1. Thank you Natalie. This the version that I prefer. I am sure there are many many ways of making chicken korma 🙂

  6. I am a vegetarian and had several Japanese eggplant that I used instead of the chicken. It was delicious! You could use carrots and cauliflower and I think that parsnips would be yummy too. I love that it is tomato free. Thanks so much for creating this fab recipe!

    1. Hey Guru – So glad to hear you were able to customize this recipe to vegetarian with all the wonderful veggies. Thank you for sharing back your review!

    1. Hey Kiara – Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the Chicken Korma. Thank you for the encouragement, definitely helps to keep me going 🙂

  7. I just made this and was totally blown away. It really tasted like the korma thats served at parties or weddings. Good job. Please provide Nihari recipe for IP If you don’t have this already.

    1. Hey Bob – So happy to hear you enjoyed the Chicken Korma. I don’t have a Nihari recipe yet, but will definitely add it to my list. Thank you for sharing back your review!

  8. Can a mild version be made for children without marinating in chilli powder? If so can chilli powder be added at the end?

    1. Hey Risha – Sure, you can always skip or reduce chili powder for kids. The only change might be that the color will be lighter, but the taste should still be as good. Hope you all enjoy it!