February 23, 2024

Whole30 Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma is a classic dish from the Indian subcontinent. This dish is a crowd favorite, and for good reason. While there are many variations of Korma based on region, the one thing they all have in common is that they are delicious! The style of Chicken Korma we are making today has a mild creamy gravy that is savory but slightly sweet to balance. If you fear Indian food because of the spice level, this dish is definitely for you! Korma is beautifully aromatic but with little to no heat. If you have never made Indian food at home before, this is a wonderful starter recipe. The flavors are beautifully complex, but my simplified version of this traditional dish is easy to follow! To speed things up when I am ready to cook, I like to prep my chicken the night before or in the morning, as it needs at least two hours to marinate.

Chicken Korma is usually made with yogurt, which gives it a mild tangy flavor, but it works well without it. We use cashews and coconut milk to make the gravy delectably creamy. If you still want a little bit of a tangy flavor, simply add a squeeze of lemon at the end of your cooking. For our spices, we are using six powdered spices—curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, garam masala, and coriander. If you don’t have cardamom powder, you can use two cardamom pods slightly crushed or omit it. Most curry powder blends have cardamom in the mix.

If you feel like adding some vegetables to this dish, you can! You can also make it completely plant-based. Simply replace the chicken with mixed vegetables of choice. Frozen mixed vegetables work beautifully for this dish!

I love Whole30 Chicken Korma served over simple cauliflower rice to soak up all the luscious gravy. Some great sides to this dish are:

Baked Spiced Okra
Masala Sweet Potato Fries
Roasted Pumpkin with Toasted Cumin and Coriander

– Riyana Rupani, Healthish & Happy

Whole30 Chicken Korma
Made By Whole30Made By Whole30

Whole30 Chicken Korma

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes


Chicken Marinade

  • 2.25 lbs (or 1 KG) chicken breasts or thighs cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste

Korma Gravy

  • 1 medium onion peeled & halved
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 in piece ginger peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 green chili chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews or sub 2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-14 oz (or 400 g) can of coconut milk
  • chopped fresh coriander/cilantro for garnish


  • ADD your chicken and marinade ingredients to a bowl or ziplock bag. Mix well to combine, cover, and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  • HEAT a cast iron or grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side or until an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl, cover, and allow to rest while you make the Korma gravy.
  • PUT the onion, garlic, ginger, chili, and cashews (or cashew butter) in a blender with 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth.
  • HEAT the coconut oil in a large pot or deep pan. Once hot, pour the blended sauce base mixture into the pot.
  • ADD all your spices, from the curry powder to the salt & pepper. Mix and allow the gravy to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
  • STIR in the coconut milk, then bring to a simmer.
  • ADD the chicken back and allow to simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. If your gravy is too thick, you may need to add a bit of water to loosen it up.
  • GARNISH with fresh chopped coriander and serve.
Ryani Rupani wearing a white shirt, sitting in a chair with a coffee mug, smiling at the camera.

Riyana Rupani

Riyana is a Holistic Nutritionist (NTP), focused on helping others create lasting changes through real food & lifestyle. A Mom of 3 who worked in the corporate world for 15+ years, she understands the pressures of work and home. A real Foodie, Riyana is also a recipe developer and founder of Healthy-ish & Happy, a blog where she shares delicious recipes and useful tips to help you live life in balance, and Everiday Foods, a line of flavor-forward sauces and pantry staples created to elevate your everyday. Riyana's philosophy: “Nourishing yourself doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s all about finding what works for you.” Riyana found her passion for nutrition after suffering from health issues herself. After years of medication & doctor visits, she was able to turn her health around with the power of real food & lifestyle and is now passionate about helping others do the same.