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Do most of your homemade curries tend to be based on a sauce from a jar? After you make this, I guarantee they won’t anymore! All you need are a few standard ingredients, in addition to a handful of mainstream spices and you’ve got yourself a beautifully creamy slow cooker chicken korma!
If you’re looking for a lighter curry, you can also check out this healthy chicken korma recipe, although this recipe is pretty healthy itself.
What is korma?
Korma is a traditional Indian curry, in which meat or vegetables are cooked over low heat. The name in Urdu translates to ‘to braise’, which is the technique of first cooking over a dry heat (such as frying) and then adding liquid and slowly simmering. When making a korma, low heat is essential to stop the yogurt from splitting or curdling.
In the UK Korma reigns supreme as a firm favourite, with research showing it’s the second most eaten curry, after tikka masala. Coconut milk is often used and almonds are often added to the dish. This recipe uses natural yogurt and a little cream, to give a beautifully creamy consistency.
Is it spicy?
Korma is typically a mild curry. The spices in this recipe are ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and turmeric. No curry or chilli powder in sight! All of these are fairly mild and while they will give a warming effect, the curry isn’t hot.
If you are particularly sensitive to spice then you could substitute the turmeric with sweet paprika. Although bear in mind that turmeric adds a lot of colour to the dish, so if you do remove it you might want to consider a little saffron as an alternative to obtain that distinctive orange hue.
Do I need to brown the chicken first?
If you are really short on time then you can skip the step of browning the chicken and onion first. The chicken will cook perfectly fine in the slow cooker providing you follow the recommended times. Contrary to popular belief, it won’t make it less juicy either.
However, browning the chicken and onion adds flavour to the dish so I strongly suggest you do this. It also gives you the opportunity to ‘bloom’ the spices, which means lightly cook them so they release their aromatics. This also packs even more flavour.
How can I stop the yogurt curdling?
Heat is the key thing that makes yogurt curdle when added to a dish. As this recipe uses the slow cooker this really helps to reduce the risk of the yogurt splitting.
There are also a few key things you can do to reduce the chances of that ick bumpy texture occurring:
- Use full-fat yogurt (although it’s not impossible to successfully use low fat if that’s your prerogative, you’ll just need to be more careful)
- Bring the yogurt to room temperature before using it. This will stop the yogurt from heating as quickly which can cause it to curdle.
- Whisk the yogurt with a little cornflour. Whisk it really well until everything is fully combined and the texture of the yogurt is a little fluffier. (I don’t find this necessary if I temper the yogurt first, as per the next step).
- Temper the yogurt with the curry before fully adding. To do this take a little of the sauce into a large mug and then slowly add the yogurt a little at a time and whisk it in until fully combined. Then add the whole mugful back into the slow cooker.
Can I make it in advance?
You can keep the cooked chicken korma in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat on the hob/stove or in the microwave until steaming hot.
You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. However, the texture may not be as appealing as freshly cooked, as the yogurt may split a little, although the flavour won’t be affected.
What can I serve it with?
Rice, chapati or naan bread are great options for accompaniments. You can try this saffron basmati rice for an extra pop of colour.
A dollop of chutney can also add even more flavour. Just make sure to go for a mild one if you aren’t a spice fan (mango chutney is a good option).
If you are looking for starters or sides then try this chicken pakora recipe for a super-tasty addition.
For a full list of ingredients with measurements jump to the printable recipe card.
- Chicken breast, skinless and boneless – cut into small chunks
- Onion, brown or white – diced
- Chicken stock – from a cube works fine. Alternatively use vegetable stock
- Garlic – minced or crushed
- Ginger paste
- Tomato puree
- Full-fat natural yogurt – you can switch for low fat if preferred, although the end result will be a little more watery
- Double cream – adds an extra creaminess to the dish but can be omitted if preferred
- Flaked almonds
- Ground coriander
- Ground cumin
- Ground turmeric
- Garam masala
How to make it
As explained above, sautéing the onion and browning the chicken first adds a great deal of flavour to the final dish. However, if you are really short on time you can skip steps 1 and 2 and add everything straight to the slow cooker.
For a more detailed step-by-step jump to the printable recipe card.
- Fry the chicken until browned all over, then add the onion and cook for a further few minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further minute before adding the spices and allowing them to ‘bloom’ for a few seconds.
- Tip the chicken mixture into the slow cooker and then pour over the stock and tomato puree. Stir everything together and then cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
- Take a little of the sauce in a mug and then stir in the yogurt until combined. Tip back into the slow cooker with the cream and almonds and stir everything together.
- Serve with chopped coriander sprinkled over the top.
Looking for more great Indian recipes? Try:
- Chicken rogan josh
- Chicken tikka biryani
- King prawn biryani
- Aubergine and chickpea curry
- Chicken and red lentil curry
- Simple egg curry
- Slow cooker chicken curry
Products that work well for this recipe:
Souper Cubes – freeze soups or sauces easily!
Sear and Stew Slow Cooker
Indian Karahi Curry Bowls
Unbelievably creamy and fragrant, this chicken korma is super simple and easy to make. You’ll never reach for a pre-made curry sauce again!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts (around 125g / 4.5oz each), skinless and boneless and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 125ml / 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 60ml / 1/4 cup full-fat natural yogurt
- 2 tbsp heavy/double cream
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped – to garnish (optional)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for around 4-5 minutes until lightly browned on all sides.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and the ginger and cook for a further minute.
- Tip the spices into the pan and cook until aromatic – around 30 seconds – constantly stirring.
- Add the chicken and onion mixture to the slow cooker and then add the tomato puree and stock. Season well and stir everything together.
- Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.
- Spoon a little of the curry sauce into a large mug. Stir the yogurt into the curry until fully combined and then tip into the slow cooker. Add the cream and almonds and then stir everything together.
- Serve with a scattering of chopped coriander and a side of rice or naan bread.
- Korma is a mild curry, which is beautifully creamy, but a lot blander than many of the ‘stronger’ curries you may be used to. If you want to add more kick to this recipe then try adding a little chilli powder.
- If you switch to low-fat yogurt then be particularly careful when you add it to the curry as it is more likely to split. See more tips to avoid the yogurt curdling in the recipe post.
- You can skip the steps of pre-frying the chicken and onion, although this adds a lot of extra flavour to the dish
- Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the korma, although the texture may suffer a little (but the flavour will remain unaffected).
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 375
- Fat: 20g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Protein: 35g
Keywords: curry, indian, korma, healthy, yogurt, chicken, slow cooker, dinner