Madhur Jaffrey's Easy Chicken Korma

June 30, 2011

Madhur Jaffrey is the foremost authority on Indian cooking.  She has released several cookbooks on the subject.  I have recently been cooking from her book, Quick and Easy Indian Cooking.  We are all so busy, myself included, and sometimes I just don't have the time to make my favorite elaborate Indian dishes.  This book has allowed me to streamline the cooking process and get a flavorful meal on the table quickly.  This recipe for quick chicken korma is one of my go-to dishes.

Quick Chicken Korma (excerpt from Quick and Easy Indian Cooking)


  • 1 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 inch cinnamon stick

  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed in a pestle and mortar

  • 4 cloves

  • ¼ tsp black cumin seeds (or regular cumin seeds)

  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 3 canned plum tomatoes, chopped

  • 3lb chicken pieces, skinned and cut into serving portions

  • ¼ - 1 tsp chilli powder

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream

  • I cup water


1. Put the ginger, garlic and 3 tbsp water in the container of an electric blender. Blend until you have a smooth paste.

2. Put the oil in a wide frying pan or saute pan and set over high heat.

3. When very hot, put in the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom pods, cloves and cumin seeds. Stir once or twice and put in the onions.

4. Stir and fry for about three minutes or until the onions turn brownish.

5. Put in the paste from the blender, and the ground coriander and ground cumin and fry for a minute.

6. Put in the chopped tomatoes and fry for another minute.

7. Add in the chicken, chilli powder, salt and water.

8. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over now and then.

9. Remove the cover, add the cream and cook on high heat for another 7-8 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Stir gently as you do this.

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Barnaby's picture

After reading Madhur's cookbooks, I learned that the minced ginger/garlic combo really is one of the keys to making great Indian food.