Recipe for White Chicken Korma Curry

Updated on February 17, 2020
tonymead60 profile image

Tony is a curry addict. Ask him what he wants—the answer will always be a curry. He has travelled to India many times in search of recipes.

Deliciously Fragrant

Fragrant and Bursting with Exotic Flavours
Fragrant and Bursting with Exotic Flavours | Source

A Very Special Exotic Meal

This is a slightly more complicated curry or korma, but it is well worth the effort, especially if you are trying to impress friends and visitors. Some of the ingredients may be a little more difficult to get hold of unless you have Asian shops or an excellent deli nearby.

History of White Kormas

The Moghul Emperor Shahjehan, the builder of the beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra, India, used to have all-white banquets on full-moon nights at his Agra Fort in India. The terrace of the fort would be decorated with white carpets and cushions and white flowers, the guests dressed in white, and all the dishes served were white in colour.

The white korma was later perfected at the tables of the gourmet Nawabs of Oudh in Lucknow. They also had all-white banquets on the night of Sharad Poornima, the September full moon, as late as the 1960s. Originally this dish was made with almonds only, but modern cooks prefer a combination of cashews and almonds.


Serves 4

  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 clove
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 11/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 5oz (150g) full-fat yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup ghee or clarified butter
  • 2oz (50g) blanched almonds
  • 8 chicken thighs on the bone.
  • 2oz (50g) unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 2 cinnamon leaves or bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon mace powder
  • Two or three onions, chopped
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tin of coconut milk

5 stars from 2 ratings of White Korma

Chef's Tip:

Marinating the chicken in yoghurt beforehand will help tenderize it.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 2 hours 30 min
Ready in: 3 hours 30 min
Yields: serves four people

How to Make White Chicken Curry

  1. Soak the poppy seeds in ½ cup water for 1 hour. Then drain off the water and grind into a fine paste with a pestle and mortar.
  2. Hang the yoghurt in a cheese-cloth for 1 hour to drain off the whey. Then put yoghurt into a bowl and whisk.
  3. Add the chicken to the yogurt and coconut milk, leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Whenever you use chicken it really does tenderise it if you marinate it in yogurt, either full- or half-fat will do the job.
  5. Heat most of the ghee or clarified butter in a cooking pot, add the almonds, cashews and cinnamon or bay leaf and fry for about 7–8 minutes over a moderate heat.
  6. Add the onions and fry for about 10 minutes or until lightly coloured. Add the chilli, cardamoms and ground poppy seeds and fry for about 3–4 minutes. Add 1 cup water and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat, discard the cinnamon or bay leaf and leave to cool. Put the mixture into a blender and purée to a smooth paste.
  8. Add 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter to the cooking pot, then add the garlic, ginger, clove.
  9. After 1 minute, remove the chicken from the yogurt and add, fry until firm. The remaining yogurt can be added, stir it in to stop it curdling.
  10. Add the ground spice mixture with the nutmeg and mace powders and salt to taste.
  11. Stir well and add 1½ cups hot water. Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Build Your Flavours

Leave the chicken in the coconut milk and yogurt for at least 30 minutes.
Leave the chicken in the coconut milk and yogurt for at least 30 minutes. | Source

Serving Suggestions

  1. Serve on a bed of white basmati rice. When I last served this I added white rose petals dipped in white chocolate to the plates.
  2. You can serve with chapatis if you prefer.
  3. Sprinkle Flaked Almonds and Cashew Nuts just before you serve.

Cucumber Yogurt Raita

A very nice side dish for all curries is cucumber raita. Usually this raita ends up looking quite green, which we don't want with this dish. So just squeeze in the juice of the cucumber add a little sugar.

Or you can make it like this:

  • Chop half a cucumber and squeeze out as much juice as you can
  • Mix together sugar about 1 teaspoon and fresh mint leaves, or bottled if you prefer
  • One coffee mug of yogurt, Greek styles is okay and mix with the other ingredients
  • Finely chop some tomatoes and mix it all together for a delicious addition to your meal

A Useful Tip

If curry is too hot for you or afterward your mouth tingles a bit too much, don't drink water it will make it worse. The best thing to drink is yogurt or even milk, they will cool it down and bring relief.

The more spicy food you eat the more you become accustomed to and enjoy the sensation.

Drink Suggestions for This Dish

What to drink with a meal such as this is difficult, because it is so highly aromatic.
I like a wine made from the gerwertztraminer grape, either from the Alsace, or new world if you can find it.

As an aperitif, you could try a Ginger wine, or cream sherry, I know they are not in fashion these days, but I like 'em.

It needs a slightly sweeter wine than you might normally drink with a meal. May I suggest something from the Muscat range of wines.

A very strong latte with a Turkish delight would be the perfect end. At one time I might have suggested a nice cigar too, cough, hic.

White Cheese Cake

White Cheese Cake a Perfect Pudding
White Cheese Cake a Perfect Pudding | Source
The taj Mahal through the early morning mist.
The taj Mahal through the early morning mist. | Source

© 2011 Tony Mead


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    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire


      A well made Korma is a spectacular meal, these white Kormas are amazing meals full of flavior which has a real 'feel good' effect.

      Try making one, it is well worth the effort.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      7 years ago from USA

      This recipe seems so appetizing. When I go to an Indian restaurant, chicken korma is one of my favorite dishes to get. Thanks for sharing.

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire


      This is a great dish to serve to friends it will certainly impress them as it is one of the tastiest curries I have ever made.



    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      7 years ago from South of France

      Looks delicious, must give it a try some time, thanks!

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire


      I hope you enjoy this recipe, it really is one of the finest I know. I have a vivid mental picture of your white cloth and white silk blouse in the moonlight, how romantic that would be.

      I have visited India on several occasions and it is a wonderful place, a little bit crowded, and quite bonkers at times but still very alluring.



    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am looking forward to trying this recipe, as the moon is almost full. I'll cover the table with a white linen cloth and don my best white silk blouse. The Lucknow connection is intriguing - my great-grandfather, trained at Kew, was stationed there as Superintendent of Government parks and gardens from 1875 - 1904. I have always wanted to visit his former home in India, haven't been there yet, but perhaps this curry will bring me a little closer to that destination.

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      8 years ago from Yorkshire


      you asked for drink ideas, and as you would expect from a Yorkshire person, I have obliged.



    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      8 years ago from Yorkshire


      this is a fabulous taste, one of the best curries I have ever cooked and tasted. None of our many Indian or Pakistani eating places serve it.

      Milk would be an ideal drink or the Indian lassi, which is the most refreshing drink in the world. I shall add the recipe for that to this hub as soon as I can.

      Try this one, you will be knocked out with the taste.

      all the big thanks as usual for comments, interest, and votes.

      regards Tony

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Tony, What an appealing, appetizing, attractive treat can be found in this delectable white banquet of white chicken and white curry! In particular, I love the combination of almonds, cashews and nutmeg. Additionally, I really like the serving suggestions. But what white drink goes with this: buttermilk, milk, milkshake, white Russian, white tea, etc.?

      Thank you for sharing, voted + all.

      Respectfully, Derdriu

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      8 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Cloverleaf,

      hello to Canada. I wonder why it tastes different, perhaps your spices are different. This is a very easy recipe and I'm sure you will do it justice. The secret of Indian cooking is to do it with love for the food and the recipients.

      good luck


    • Cloverleaf profile image


      8 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi Tony,

      You've done it again - made me hungry and I only just ate!!! Chicken Korma is one of my favourite indian dishes, but indian cuisine is "different" in Canada than it is in the UK (I'm not sure why, but it just isn't as good). I have never thought about making a Korma for myself because I thought it would be too difficult, but I think your recipe is easy enough for me to follow. I might give this one a try!

      Thanks so much,


    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      9 years ago from Yorkshire

      hi sweetie1

      I hope you enjoy it when you try.

      let me know.

    • sweetie1 profile image


      9 years ago from India

      Hi tony, i have never heard of white korma., though i have had chicken Korma many a times, i am going ot try it soon.

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      9 years ago from Yorkshire

      Hi Genna

      I'v have never met a calory yet that i did not like

      thanks for the comment; I hope you enjoy this


    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I looooove curry, Tony. I printed this recipe out in a nanosecond. :-) I thank you, but I fear my waistlne will not. Delicious hub.

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      9 years ago from Yorkshire

      HI saddlerider1

      yes Indian food certainly takes some beating. I am currently writing a butter chicken recipe. I'm pleased you can get the ingredients, the authentic flavours are only produced with the right spices.

      thank you for your comment and following

      cheers Tony

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      9 years ago

      I love Indian food, do you have a famous curry chicken or buttered chicken recipes? This dish sounds wonderful, I can purchase the ingredients here, as there are many specialty shops in my are of town. Thank you for following me as well. peace

    • tonymead60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Mead 

      9 years ago from Yorkshire

      HI Gordon

      many thanks for the comment.

      try it, you will love the blend of tastes, it is unlike any other curry.

      cheers Tony

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Tony

      Sounds amazing. I need to get to my nearest Asian supermarket soon and pick up some of this stuff. That is a few of your curries I have bookmarked to try, so I need to catch up!



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