Best Of Bengali- Homestyle Chicken Korma

Growing up, I believed chicken korma was supposed to be creamy white but as I scoured Google images, I realised that not all korma is created equal. It's important to differentiate between the spicy korma and the mild one that Bengalis favour. Nobody in my family likes korma for the reason that it does not blow your head off and the only person who shares my fervour for it is my gran. Usually she makes it on special occasions, Eid or an even more rare occasion- when I visit! This version of korma is creamy and only flavoured with a few spices. Some people like to add flaked almonds or crispy fried onions but this one is plain, simple and fuss free.

Servings: 8-10 people
Prep+cooking time: 45 mins


  • 500g chicken breast, cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 cup coconut milk (double cream, Greek or natural yogurt can be used. Yogurt tends to add a more tangy flavour)
  • pinch of salt, or to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • pinch of peppercorns
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 heaped tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 green chilli, sliced in half
  • fresh coriander to garnish

1) In a deep pan, gently fry the spices, ginger and garlic with ghee for a minute or so before adding the onions. Continue frying for 5 minutes and once the onions start to soften, add a pinch of salt half a cup of water to create a masala. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.

2) Add the chicken cubes to the masala and cook with the lid on for 15 minutes. As the chicken cooks the water will increase. Once the chicken has cooked, keep simmering with the lid off until the water reduces to half of what you put in initially. 

3) Finally, add coconut milk, stir the korma and cook with the lid on for another 10 minutes. Add a fresh green chilli towards the end as you don't want it to be too spicy. 

4) Once your korma has gone from watery to creamy, remove the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and garnish with coriander. The best way to serve this is with a balti full of plain white rice