Chicken White Korma is one of the many popular South Asian curries on restaurant menus. The legend goes that Mughal emperor Shah Jahan used to order all white cuisine during full moon nights and white Korma used to be part of those regal banquets.

The name obviously comes from it’s colour which is different from the usual golden brown, saffron and red colour of other curries. The onions are not fried golden brown in this curry and no turmeric or red chillies are added to taint the colour.

Though the ingredients list seems long but most of them are pantry staples in many homes.

Once you have all the ingredients at hand, making this creamy and aromatic curry is a matter of minutes. Though it sounds very formal and but it’s equally convenient to make on a weeknight for a quick but delicious dinner.

Originally it was made creamy by using cashew or almond paste but as the recipe evolved with time, different chefs started using milk and cream as well for a short cut. Also people with nut allergies can substitute milk, cream or coconut milk instead of ground nuts.

For Chicken White Korma :

1/2 kg boneless, skinless chicken
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger
2 tablespoons poppy seeds, soaked
1 stick cinnamon
2-3 cloves
6-7 whole pepper corns
2 black cardamoms
4 green cardamoms
2 cups plain yogurt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 cup whole milk or 1/2 cup cream or 1/2 almond paste
1/4 cup ghee or vegetable oil
Green chillies for garnishing

This Is What You Do :

Heat oil in a deep pan on medium heat. Add the whole spices and sauté for 2-3 minutes or till aromatic.

Add chicken and continue to fry another 5 minutes or till it turns golden on outside.

Purée onions, ginger, garlic and poppy seeds in a blender. Add this to chicken and keep frying till oil separates from masala.

Add all the ground spices and salt to yogurt and beat together. Add this mix to the chicken.

Reduce heat, cover the pan and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or till the chicken is cooked through. Keep checking every 5 minutes, don’t let the masala catch at the bottom of the pan.

Remove the lid, add milk or cream or almond paste. Allow to simmer another 5 minutes. If you want more gravy then you can add a little water according to desired consistency at this point.

Garnish with green chilli peppers and serve hot with roti, naan or Pulao.

Serves 2-3

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