Chicken Kurma

Chicken Kurma
Chicken Kurma is yet another one of my mom’s recipes. I’ve finally gotten around to getting the recipe after comparing notes with her and today marks the day it is officially passed down to me with a few minor personal tweaks.

Chicken Kurma

Kurma, which is also known as korma, is a dish which can be made with yogurt, cream or coconut milk and various things like lamb, chicken or even vegetables. Today I’ll be making chicken kurma with a yogurt base. The chicken and potatoes are braised until the chicken is tender and the potatoes melt in your mouth with a creamy but slightly textured gravy.

Chicken Kurma

Besides yogurt, white poppy seeds are used to add creaminess to the rich kurma as well as to add texture and thickness to the gravy. The poppy seeds are roasted or dry-fried and then pounded before it is added towards the end of the braising. While I usually use crumbled potatoes as a thickener in most of my dishes, in this recipe the potatoes should be left proudly intact, the way my mother does it. The tomatoes are added towards the very end to preserve their fullness, allowing them to burst in your mouth on the first bite.

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Chicken Kurma

Chicken Kurma

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces or chicken drumsticks
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 medium tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ghee


  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 green cardamom pods


  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander


  1. Over medium heat, melt the ghee and saute the shallot, garlic and ginger until fragrant
  2. Add in cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and cardamom and saute until aromatic
  3. Toss in the chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink
  4. Add in nutmeg, cumin, fennel and coriander and stir to coat
  5. Pour in the water, stirring to mix and season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Add in the potatoes and simmer covered, on low heat for 1 hour
  7. Remove cover and cook until the gravy has boiled down
  8. Add in the tomatoes and simmer uncovered for a few minutes until they are cooked but still firm
  9. Remove from heat and whip the yogurt before pouring it in, stirring gently to mix and being careful not to crumble the potatoes
  10. Dry-fry the white poppy seeds in another pan over medium high heat then pound it with a mortar and pestle
  11. Add them to the kurma and stir to combine
  12. Dish and serve hot


Yogurt can be substituted with evaporated milk and similarly added towards the end, over low heat. If used, a dash of lime juice should be incorporated as the sourness in yogurt is no longer present.

A no fuss recipe for slow cooker BBQ pulled chicken. It's literally set and forget until it's time to eat. Serve with coleslaw, pickles and chips!





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