Yellow Chicken Coconut Curry (Chicken Korma) — An EASY Indian recipe you can make at home in 25 minutes that tastes like it’s from a restaurant!! Chicken, cashews, and spices are simmered in coconut milk for the WIN!!

overhead view of chicken korma in a metal skillet

25-Minute Chicken Korma Recipe

Let’s first establish that I am neither Indian nor Thai, and my expertise for making curries only comes through practice, trial and error, dining out and sampling dishes, and then coming home and trying to recreate them with the help of Google and lots of taste testing and experimenting. Point being, if you’re looking for totally ‘authentic’ curries, I am not your gal. 

However, since the day I posted it, my Thai Chicken Coconut Curry is one of my top 5 all-time most popular recipes, has been viewed millions of times, and has hundreds of glowing reviews. So have some faith that even though this may not be the ‘traditional way’ to make chicken korma, it’s still tastes awesomely delicious.

It’s also easy, ready in 25 minutes, made in one skillet, and if you want to look like a rock star Indian chef but have no idea what you’re doing with Indian cuisine (most of us), make this curry and impress everyone who tries it.

I gave half the curry to my neighbor and she told me it was better than from a restaurant.

The chicken is perfectly tender and juicy, the sautéed onion and cashews add texture and crunch, and the coconut milk broth with a variety of spices is the ultimate in comfort food. 

I could slurp this golden broth all day long. I used full-fat coconut milk for the richness it adds and highly recommend it.

Serve the dish with jasmine or basmati rice, or with naan. You will be full and satisfied for hours and basking in your Indian food glory.

close up of indian yellow curry in a skillet with a spoon

What is Chicken Korma?

It’s what I would refer to as yellow chicken coconut curry with cashews. That’s much more descriptive than ‘chicken korma’ but we’ll go with both names.

Chicken korma traditionally involves grinding cashews in a blender with a variety of spices and you then use that paste to marinate the chicken. However, I omitted this aspect of the recipe because why dirty a blender canister if you don’t absolutely have to? And secondly, why plan ahead for marinating if you don’t have to?

In my recipe, neither are necessary so we’re skipping those steps. If you’re looking for absolutely perfectly ‘traditional’ chicken korma, look elsewhere.

In my recipe, onions and chicken are sautéed in coconut oil before adding an array of spices, garlic, coconut milk, cashews, and letting them simmer together for about 10 minutes. 

Finish the dish with an optional pinch of sugar, cilantro, and I even threw some lime juice in, which is not traditional at all and is more of a Thai trick than an Indian one, but almost all dishes benefit from a touch of acid to balance the flavors.

yellow chicken curry in a skillet. fresh cilantro rests in background.

What’s in Chicken Korma? 

This naturally gluten-free curry comes together really quickly and you’ll be eating in 20 minutes. It’s comfort food indeed and although there is fat from the coconut oil and milk, and cashews, I consider these healthy fats that are good for us every now and then. 

For this yellow chicken curry recipe, you’ll need:

  • Onion
  • Chicken
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Garam masala
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Coconut Milk
  • Cashews
  • Optional sugar
  • Optional lime juice
  • Cilantro

Indian chicken korma in a metal skillet.

How to Make Chicken Korma 

Add the coconut oil and onion to a skillet and cook just until the onion begins to soften. Add the diced chicken and cook until done. 

Add the garlic and spices, followed by the coconut milk and cashews. Simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened. 

Taste and add in a little sugar, lime juice, and cilantro, if desired. 

How Long Does Yellow Chicken Curry Last? 

This Indian yellow curry will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I Make This Curry Vegetarian? 

Very easily! To make this a vegetarian korma curry, you could use chickpeas or tofu in place of the chicken. If using tofu, I would use firm or extra firm tofu and add it towards the end of the recipe. 

Yellow Chicken Coconut Curry (Chicken Korma) - An EASY Indian recipe you can make at home in 25 minutes that tastes like it's from a restaurant!! Chicken, cashews, and spices are simmered in coconut milk for the WIN!!

Tips for Making Yellow Coconut Curry

Although there are a few spices in this Indian yellow curry recipe that you may not have in your pantry, they all do serve a purpose and I recommend all of them, with ground turmeric being absolutely non-negotiable. It’s what gives this dish its signature golden color.

All spices were added to my taste preferences and I find the dish to be very well-spiced, but not overpowering. If you prefer more subdued flavors, you may wish to start with less spices to being with and add more later, if needed.

Do NOT get the broth/sauce from the curry on anything you care deeply about because turmeric stains like crazy and you will have a hard time getting it out. However, as a huge benefit and a feather in turmeric’s cap, it’s a powerful antioxidant and is really good for you.

Yellow Chicken Coconut Curry (Chicken Korma) - An EASY Indian recipe you can make at home in 25 minutes that tastes like it's from a restaurant!! Chicken, cashews, and spices are simmered in coconut milk for the WIN!!
Yield: 4

Yellow Chicken Coconut Curry (Chicken Korma)

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

An EASY Indian recipe you can make at home in 25 minutes that tastes like it's from a restaurant!! Chicken, cashews, and spices are simmered in coconut milk for the WIN!!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (olive oil may be substituted)
  • 1 large sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1 to 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1+ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • one 14.5-ounce can coconut milk (I used and recommend full-fat)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cashews (I used 50% reduced sodium)
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons white or brown sugar, optional and to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice, optional and to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper and/or red chile flakes, optional and to taste
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced for garnishing

Instructions

  1. To a large skillet, add the coconut oil, onion, and saute over medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion is just beginning to soften.
  2. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, or until cooked through; stir and flip intermittently to ensure even cooking.
  3. Add the garlic, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, stir to combine, and saute for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir nearly continuously.
  4. Add the coconut milk, cashews, and allow mixture to simmer for about 7 minutes, or until liquid volume has reduced and thickened slightly.
  5. Taste and optionally if desired add sugar, lime juice, cayenne or red chile flakes for heat, more salt, pepper, turmeric, etc.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

All spices were added to my taste preferences and I find the dish to be very well-spiced, but not overpowering. If you prefer more subdued flavors, you may wish to start with less spices to being with and add more later, if needed.

I definitely recommend the sugar (balances the spices), the lime juice (acidity really brightens the dish and helps it pop), and the cayenne and chile flakes (I added both because Indian food is boring for me if there's not a teeny tiny hint of heat), but of course add based on your palate.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 787Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 827mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 52g

The nutrition stats may be a bit artificially inflated because you may not consume every last drop of sauce, in which case you could figure about 20% less overall is my guess but I am not a nutritionist nor dietician.

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