Cashew Chicken Curry (Chicken Korma)

If you’re a fan of Indian food, Chicken Korma or Mughlai Chicken is probably on your list of dishes you like to order. Best described as succulent chicken cooked in a silky sauce of onions, cashews and spices…this dish is  nutty and flavorfully spicy without being fiery hot. The cashew paste and yogurt contribute to make the nutty, creamy texture of this gravy.
Cashew Chicken Curry- PictureTheRecipe Although my recipe may seem complicated because of the longer list of ingredients, I’ve tried to keep in mind the availability of spices here in the States. Cardamom pods and garam masala (a ground mix of whole spices) may be the only two ingredients not easily available at regular grocery stores depending on where you are. The process of making it and the flavors you can achieve making it at home however is a lot easier than it seems…well worth your time over ordering take out :-)
Cashew Chicken Curry by PictureTheRecipe Best served with Naan (see recipe here) or rice, this dish can easily be adapted for an equally exotic vegetarian version if you substitute the chicken for cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, peppers and peas.
Cashew Chicken Curry PictureTheRecipe
Here’s how you can make it…
Cashew Chicken Curry Recipe - Part 1 Cashew Chicken Curry Recipe - Part 2 Cashew Chicken Curry Recipe by PictureTheRecipe

Cashew Chicken Curry (Chicken Korma)
Serves 4
Succulent chicken cooked in a silky sauce of onions, cashews and spices. Your taste buds will thank you!!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. * 2-3 boneless chicken breasts
  2. * 4 cloves of garlic
  3. * 1" ginger
  4. * 1/2 tsp turmeric
  5. * Juice of 1/2 lemon
  6. * 11/2 medium onions
  7. * 1 hot chilli pepper
  8. * 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  9. * 1/2 cup cashews, plus extra for garnish
  10. * 3 tbsp plain yogurt
  11. * 2 tbsp butter + dash of oil
  12. * 1 cinnamon stick
  13. * 3 cardamom pods
  14. * 1/2 paprika (optional)
  15. * 1 tsp garam masala
  16. * 1 tsp coriander powder
  17. * 2 tbsp tomato paste
  18. * 2 tbsp cream (optional)
  19. * Salt to taste
  20. * Water
  21. * Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes or bite sized pieces.
  2. Peel and grate the garlic cloves and ginger into the chicken.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, a teaspoon of salt and the juice of half a lemon to the chicken and mix well to coat all the chicken with the marinade. Refrigerate and let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 30 mins or more.
  4. While the chicken is marinating, peel and roughly chop the onions, de-stem and chop (for less heat de-seed) a hot chili pepper and add it along with the fennel seeds to a blender/food processor. Process the onion and chili pepper for a minute or 2 until it forms a smooth puree. Avoid using water to assist it, if possible. Set the puree aside in a bowl.
  5. In the same food processor (don't worry about washing it) process the cashew nuts with 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt. You may use a little water in this case to assist it to blend into a smooth paste.
  6. In a large pan melt some butter with a dash of oil to keep it from burning.
  7. Add the onion-chili paste and fry it for 6-7 minutes on medium until the onion has completely dried out and slowly starts releasing the oil. Be patient at this step as its crucial to get the rawness of the onion flavor out to form the base of this curry.
  8. Next add the whole spices (cinnamon stick and cardamom pods), paprika (optional) garam masala, coriander powder and tomato paste to the pad and fry the mixture for a minute or two.
  9. Add the cubed chicken breasts to the pan and sauté them with the spice mixture until the chicken is partially cooked.
  10. Add some water to form a sauce (depending on the consistency you'd like). Season with salt and about a tablespoon or 2 of sugar and simmer the chicken on medium-low heat until it is fully cooked.
  11. Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, reduce the heat to a low simmer and stir in the cashew-yogurt paste. This will thicken the sauce quite a bit. So to loosen the sauce, rinse the processor jar with a little bit of water and add it to the pan.
  12. Lastly stir in a couple spoons of heavy cream (optional) and a handful of freshly chopped cilantro.
  13. Garnish the dish with roasted cashews, cilantro and slivers of fresh ginger and serve hot with Naan or rice.
Picture the Recipe


  1. Alicia says

    I love your recipes! So easy to follow. I usually prepare your caramel pork and you chicken tortilla soup ( among a few)
    I’ll definitely try the chicken korma.
    Thank you Noreen!

  2. Charlie Geyh says

    I had a spectacular cashew-based Korma in a restaurant several years ago, and since then have made at least five attempts with five different recipes to recreate it (or something comparably good). All failures–until now. This is truly superb–and the directions are spot on. I included the cream and would argue against it being optional. Thank you!

    • Noreen says

      Well cream and butter does make everything better in my books too! I just try to appease the health conscious with the optional bit ;-) . I’m very glad you found and liked the recipe!

  3. Grishma says

    Looks lovely. Planning to prepare this for dinner for my husband. I didn’t see when you put the cashew mixture to the dish. I guess we can add it after the chicken?

    Looking forward to do it, which is now :)

    Thanks for the recipe

    • Noreen says

      OMG I can’t believe I left that out!! I will have to rectify it soon. Thanks for pointing it out. Yes…you add the cashew paste at the end there after you cook the chicken in the spices as you don’t want it sticking to the pan or burning.

  4. Charlie Geyh says

    As to adding the cashews, you do spell it out in the written instructions at the base of the recipe–just not earlier with the illustrations.

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