Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma
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Serves: 4 (294 calories/portion)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes


  • 4 fairly small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 600g)
  • 25g low-fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped (400g prepared weight)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 20g chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 12 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ heaped tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • small pinch of saffron
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt, plus extra to season
  • 300ml cold water
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh coriander, roughly torn, to garnish (optional)

Cooking Method

  1. Cut each chicken breast into 8 or 9 bite-sized pieces, season with black pepper and put them in a non-metallic bowl. Stir in the yoghurt, cover with cling film and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes but ideally 2–6 hours.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick saucepan and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes until very soft and lightly coloured. Stir the onions occasionally so they don’t start to stick.
  3. Once the onions are softened, stir in the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and bay leaf. Pinch off the ends of the cloves into the pan and throw away the stalks. Cook the spices with the onions for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and ½ a teaspoon of salt, then slowly pour the water into the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat, take out the bay leaf and blitz the onion mixture with a stick blender until it is as smooth as possible. You can do this in a food processor if you prefer, but let the mixture cool slightly first. Te sauce can now be used right away or cooled, covered and chilled until 10 minutes before serving.
  5. Drain the chicken in a colander over the sink, shaking it a few times – you want the meat to have just a light coating of yoghurt. Place a non-stick frying pan on the heat, add the sauce and bring it to a simmer. Add the chicken pieces and cream and cook for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, stirring regularly. Exactly how long the chicken takes will depend on the size of your pieces, so check a piece after 8 minutes – there should be no pink remaining.
  6. Adjust the seasoning to taste, spoon into a warmed serving dish and serve garnished with fresh coriander if you like.
  7. For more great low calorie recipes hit Diet Club in the top right corner!

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  • Fab! Wondering if single cream would work instead of double? It was my first real home made curry made by me and it was great! I was well chuffed with it. Smelled and tasted like a 'real' curry!

    • tried 1/2 fat creme fraiche as substitute for the cream and it was lovely !

      • I substituted coconut cream for the double cream. Its about 10g+ less saturated fat and tastes even nicer. This is one of my fave recipes from the book, and the best Chicken Korma I've tasted!

      • I've made this curry 7 times now, and I only used cream twice. Every other time I've completely missed it out and it's been every bit as nice as it is with the cream! So you could maybe try just leaving it out completely if you wanted to :D

      • Try the kicky fitzy recipe if is well nice

    • This was easy to make and tasted lovely. I substituted coconut cream for the double cream as I found the mix a little hot and the coconut calmed it down. I will be making this again and tone down the chilli.

      • tracey that doesnt make sense!

      • I agree. i also tried it with half fat coconut yogurt. it was lovely. cooked it on a low heat to stop it from seperating.

      • Can't imagine that coconut cream would calm down too much chili, as opposed to double cream, but I always understood that a korma had coconut in it, so in a sense yes why not change the double cream for coconut cream!

      • This sounds like a really good recipe. I'm gonna use it for my catering challenge at school :D

    • I love curries this is a fantastic recipe, the kitchen smells yummy while its cooking and it tastes as good, the thing i like about it is you can change the recipe to suit your taste buds, give it a go,a big thankyou to you lads xx

    • I dont think that single creme will work becuase that double creme is thicker but singlk creme is thiner so if you want a runny curry that would be okay i work at a ruestruant x

    • That's because it is real curry!

  • Spot on, Hairy Bikers! Tastes amazing and is the real Indian thing (minus the raisins), not the curry house version with almonds and coconut milk. I'm going to try this with boiled veg and paneer now.

  • Made this twice now, loved it both times! Even better is that I can cook it for my boyfriend who is allergic to nuts including coconut, so it was his first korma in a long time!! Thank you!

  • I found the amount of Cardamom used too overpowering, so next time I will reduce it. Otherwise, very nice.

    • Yeah the same thing happened to me and I also hadn't crushed them enough. The curry was lovely but there is an aftertaste of something. So I'm going to watch how much of spices I add next time.

      • My local shop offers both green and black cardamom pods. I picked the green ones, crushed them slightly, and used about 75% of the amount mentioned in the recipe. Didn't taste too overpowering to me.

        Next time i'll try the black cardamom pods. I'm curious what the difference in taste will be.

  • I used low fat cream instead of double and it was delicious. All the family enjoyed it.

  • Amazing!! Given that I very rarely go near the kitchen, I found the recipe very easy to follow and was amazed when it actually looked like a Korma. Thanks guys

  • I am going to the shops to buy the spices and cook for a friend will then post comments. :) have been impressed with their low fat recipes even more interesting if you watch the old reruns of hairy bikers-wow what a difference food with your butter?

  • My whole family loved this dish. It's the first time I've followed a Hairy Biker recipe. It was very easy and tasted great. I'm going to cook it again tonight but I'm going to double it so that I can keep some in the freezer.

  • Fantastic
    Love my curry and this was bang full of flavour.
    No wishy washy diet curry, it was rich, filling and superb taste.

  • Amazing! Also my first time making a curry from scratch. Tasted better than a takeaway Korma because they are usually very sweet with all the almonds and coconut milk. Well done Hairy Dieters. I've lost 4lbs in my first week of calorie counting after watching your show and using several of your recipes. Thanks!

  • This was the third Hairy Dieter's recipe I tried and we were very pleased with it. Although it took a while to make (in comparison to some of the other recipes; it's more of a Saturday night meal than a quick week day supper) it was worth it - the smells were exactly like a Korma, it looked like a Korma, and above all it tasted just like a Korma. Only slight thing was that the sauce seemed a little thinner than many Kormas but that's to be expected as you're saving on cream etc - plus hubby admitted he may have slighty overdone the water! We saved some for the next night too and it was fine after 24hrs in the fridge. I'm delighted with the Hairy Dieter's book - and in 3 weeks I've lost 8lb and hubby has lost 6lb. I genuinely think we could make life changing habits using their recipes!

  • Fantastic recipe lads, I normally like my curries HOT but this was amazing! full of flavor. Even our boy who is a fussy eater finished his platefull! We didn't have the cream so replaced it with vanilla ice cream worked a treat. Ride Safe, Ride Free,

  • Made this and loved it, but used Turkey.

  • Yummy curry! Will swap the cream for creme fraiche and maybe a bit more water just so there is more of the sauce!

  • cooked this tonight, absolutly delish. Used half fat creme fraiche instead of cream, lovely flavoursome food. Its made me buy the book!

  • We really enjoyed this curry. Simple to make and lots of flavour.

  • WOW - it smelled great as soon as it was taken from the fridge, before cooking and tasted so good (once cooked), that I was nearly inviting the neighbours around to try (nearly).

  • Mmmm...the slightest of tweaks (my family would think I was sickening for something, otherwise) with slightly more chilli, and a substitution of reduced fat creme fraiche for the (hard to resist) double cream. Fabulous and the result was a fresher tasting, more healthy and satisfying "takeaway"...Thanks Fellas :)

  • usually only like hot curries but have to say this was great tasting curry.

  • i have a family of four with very different tastes and everyone loved this curry ,and no one had a clue it was low fat , tasted FANTASTIC well done

  • I've made this twice now & everyone who has tasted it thinks it's absolutley superb! Thanks a million gents!! :0)
    Just a personal preference but I left the cloves out & preferred it 2nd time. I also crushed the cardamon pods prior to putting them in & then removed the pods prior to blending. It's easy to do as they rise to the top anyway.

    Also, I used about double the chilli powder amount so that it was a bit hotter. The sause is so authentic tasting & versatile it was still just as great.
    I'll try the tip about substituting the double cream next time that others suggest too.

  • FAB is the only word to describe this dish.

    Made it twice last week, going to make it twice again next week :)

    Thanks Bikers!

  • Loved it. Tried it with the 1/2 fat creme fraich and it was just as nice. Have lost a stone so far without really trying, so thanks guys. Keep the recipes coming please as it doesnt feel like I'm counting the calories and we need more food like this.


  • Made this for a girl's night in with mum sisters and cousins, went down a storm. Really delicious - wasn't as creamy as I expected but that's probably because I used a stick blender (not cooking in my own kitchen) to blend the sauce. Was slightly grainy in texture. Making it again tomorrow night and will blend in jug blender so it's velvety smooth. Also used Elmlea double and it was fine instead of the double cream. I like my kormas nutty so have bought coconut milk powder and will substitute that tomorrow with a bit more water for the cream.

  • Wow! This is fab, 4 empty plates and everyone said how tasty and light it was. I too used 1/2 fat creme fraiche. I will certainly make it again.

  • I made this with my 5 year old daughter, used less cardomon pods & used mild curry powder instead of hot & used fat free fromage frais instead of double cream it was gorgeous and 5 year old wolfed the lot - a big hit thanks

  • I'm off to USA soon and have saved this on my iPad looking forward to trying it

  • This is the nuts! we are all trying to lose some weight and I purchased their new book Hairy Dieters and I was not disappointed this taste so authentic and I will never purchase an Indian take away again. Please try the sweet and sour chicken - its literally the best I have ever tasted. Well done lads, you rock.

  • this is amazing guys thank you. My daughter can not eat tomatoes so its very hard to find a curry she can eat.
    I used the coconut milk instead of cream and it was delicious.

  • Made this tonight for me and my son and it was amazing. Used low fat creme Fraiche and granulated sweetener a little less cardamom and it was simply heaven. Can't wait to try the rest of the recipes

  • Made this the other week - loved it - my husband doesn't like korma because of the coconut so great. Only problem - he got carried away with the blending and burn't out the blender.
    Making it again this weekend for vegetarian friends so trying prawns.

  • Made this tonight for all the family. It tasted really good (though we didn't have any Saffron). We were impressed that it was low fat and intend to give some of the other recipes a go.

  • The best tasting korma i have made. I substituted hals spoon sugar and used single low fat cream to further reduce calories. Just about to make the lemon cupcakes.

  • Absolutely gorgeous...
    I left the onions whole and let the sauce thicken by its self, and I used a tablespoon of single cream and a spoon of lowfat creme fraiche... SIMPLY DIVINE. Thanks a mill for the (th)inspiration lads

  • Made this for the first time tonight and it was DELICIOUS - it felt so sinful but was totally guilt free - AWESOME FAKEAWAY. You guys have been so inspirational - THANK YOU.

  • Made this curry last night, after seeing the relevant episode on Friday. It is simply delicious! Really want to lose some weight before the summer and by pure chance, I saw the Hairy Bikers on TV and thought I'd give this a go. Stuck to recipe completely and the flavours were amazing, will most definitely be making this again!

    Have also ordered the cookbook now so fingers crossed I can find lots more things to love and lost weight with.

    Highly recommended.

  • Just made this tonight....husband gave it 11/10!

  • can you make the korma with leftover cooked chicken

  • Thank you for making my diet seem so easy!! Absolutely delicious! I added chopped fresh red chilli with the coriander to give more heat - really lovely!

  • made curry with 1tsp cumin 1tsp coriander by accident and it was superb, just like our local indian's curry

  • Made this with less cardomon and used crime fraiche instead of cream, super dooper.

  • We found this tasted really "soapy" anyone know how to combat this? thanks

    • Some people tend to describe fresh coriander as 'soapy', so you could try and leave that out. And you could try cutting down on cardamom pods and whole cloves. The cardamom has a particular taste that not everyone seems to like, and the recipe uses quite a lot of it.

  • I have made this a few times now and instead of using cream, I have simply used more of the lowfat yoghurt the chicken is marinaded in. Seriously good recipes, all of them - this is fast becoming a very easy diet!! :o)

  • This was my first ever curry and it was fantastic even the kids loved it, I used low fat greek yogurt instead of the double cream.

  • Way too much cardamom for our taste, other than that a good korma. I added some almond also.

  • Just had to post...made this was supper tonight and it was SUPERB!
    Anyone tried freezing this?

    • Yes, this freezes very well, my freezer is bursting at the seems with the hairy bykers recipes, i have cooking days and cook double the amount and store them in the foil takeaway cartons, i always have slimming food at hand so not tempted to eat anything fattening, i have lost nearly 3 stone best diet ever

  • I make low carb cauliflower rice to go with it, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on my usual Friday night takeaway. All the taste but no fat on my waist.

  • hey guys, I'm an experienced curry chef, it's not cardamom that's overpowering it's way too much cumin... i think there may be a typo in the recipe and it should be tsp not tbsp !!

  • Gotta say guys, I love all your shows!
    Got the e book on my ipad from amazon. Lots of great recipe. For the korma, I used low fat cream. Tasted superb. My wife thought it was a tad spicy. We had broccoli with it instead of rice though. I loved the spices though.

  • I loved this, used a little more yoghurt and less cream (I used reduced fat single cream), and I added a couple of cashew nuts and loads of fresh coriander. Very satisfying, and froze well for those that are asking.

  • Fantastic easy recipe which the whole family thoroughly enjoyed, made some onions bahjis to go with it so got authentic restaurant treat.

  • Made this last night it was lovely. All my guests enjoyed it ( all clean plates). 5 out of 5. A must do recipe. Thanks.

  • Could not believe so much flavour in a korma- better than the local take away

  • It's the first time I have made a korma,my sister bought the book and said how good it was.So I bought it ,made it and it was lovely,I added some almond,my son said it would be better with a little coconut milk,so next time I will try it.

  • Gents

    Am I missing something. Do you need to pre-cook the chicken? as the recipe which I have read over and over again in your book says only for 10 minutes....I am a little bit confused....should I sear the chicken earlier in the recipe?

    • I was surprised too at first, but 10 minutes is more than enough time to cook the chicken. In my case it took 8 minutes to cook the pieces (3x3x3 cm.) in slowly simmering sauce.

  • I made this for dinner tonight it was gorgeous! Will be making this again very soon!

  • Excellent!! I've made korma's the long hard way before (cooking down hundreds of onions and garlic and cooking single servings) and this is just as good if not better. Been struggling to get that sweet curry house taste and this is spot on. Cheers lads

  • I made this tonight, used part coconut milk and part double cream, no saffron and was fab. Definitely will make again.

  • Have been looking for a tame but flavour full curry for my little boy for ages. This was great to eat for the whole family. My little boy is only 2 and this curry served with a few veg is now one of his favourite meals, thank you!

  • Good curry. Tasted like it needed a bit of extra depth at the end (but might not have done the onions, garlic and ginger for quite long enough at the beginning) so scattered a dessertspoon of ground almonds in the sauce before the end and served with sliced banana and flaked almonds. Satisfied our need for a curry and our need to keep an eye on the calories. Ran it through the cook book on Fat Secret and even managed to corroborate the calorie count so very happy :-)

  • Cooked this tonight for myself and my parents, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really quick and easy to make, and I intend on making it again for friends in the future. Mum and I couldn't stop picking at the sauce while we were waiting for the rice to boil because it was so yummy! I stuck to the recipe and I don't plan on substituting the double cream like other people seem to want to do (it is only 3 tbsp and hardly worth worrying about in my opinion). Thanks for the excellent book boys - have already used it three times this week - looking forward to the next one!

  • I have made this quite a few times now. Great recipe!

  • what are the 4 whole cloves?

  • Great flavours for something as low on calories. Will be recommending!

  • I made this tonight. Easy to make. It is very nice but next time I will put in less cardamom. I also put in a small sprinkling of ground almonds and a pinch of garam masala. Lovely

  • I made this today. Chucked in a few chunks creamed coconut and instead of water I used semi skimmed milk and left out the cream. Really gorgeous. I had a korma at the weekend from a takeaway and mine is a zillion times better! NOM!

  • leave the chicken on the bone and cut up into pieces marinate and cook adds great flavour to an already great korma

  • Fantastic curry, spices just right, although hotter than the Tikka Masala. Have made this time and time again and love it!

  • Another delicious recipe from the Diet book. An absolute treat!

  • Great recipe. Instead of cream or creme fraiche, try the coconut and vanilla flavour, fat free, greek style, muller yoghurt. Works a treat!

  • Don't have the cumin, cardamom pod and saffron would it still be ok?

  • This is just such a tasty Korma...added a chilli reduced water to 100ml but added 200ml coconut milk and kept the double cream.. and maybe a few more calories aswell!!! oh and a decent amount of Almonds the blend was scrumptious... .. will do again for sure...

  • The Best Chicken Korma i have ever tasted.
    Amazing !!

  • hy all just made this curry and wow its really nice i was wondering next time i make it would it ruin it if i put in 1 tbsp ground almonds cheers ste

  • I was looking forward to this, but it has way too much ginger and not much else. Disappointing result.

  • Has anyone made this recipe using the ginger in the spice pots rather than fresh ginger?

  • Made this With only a couple of changes. Only had ground cardamom so used about 1tsp of that instead of the freshly ground seeds and had no saffron so left that out.

    It is AMAZING! Had rave reviews from the family. Served with some boiled rice and green beans. 10/10

  • this is my favourite recipe and 1 of my favourite foods i is brilliant and there is so much flavor in there.

  • This recipe is fantastic, it's easy to make, even for a not so confident cook, it tastes great without being too sweet and has just enough heat! Will be cooking this again and again!

  • Could I pop this in the slow cooker? Or cook it on the stove on a low heat for longer than the recipe states?? Don't want to curdle the cream/yogurt etc. Anyone tried this? :-)

  • made this 2 time before, best korma I've ever eaten!

  • I made a vegan version of this with mango tofu and a tub of soya yogurt - very nice too!

  • I tried this product was definitely good for the price of a pound very tasty and definitely will buy again

  • Saffron tends to be rather pricey. I gather it's just for the colouring (its flavour too subtle to compete with the others). Is it really an optional ingredient?

    • I put in a 1/4 tsp of turmeric instead of saffron to give it the colour...its a lot cheaper and lasts forever.

  • I use Alpro Soya Cream to lower the cholesterol and its lower in works really well...delicious!!

  • I don't have a stick blender how can I get around this?

  • delicious,,, without the guilt,,, highly recommend x

  • What can i say fantastic, And i love the fact that this home made curry looks more like a curry that you would buy in a restaurant, Brilliant

  • We had this tonight and it was delicious, even my 3 year old grand-daughter loved it!!! I marinaded the chicken as the recipe says then threw everything in my slow cooker, would highly recommend this recipe!!

    • Hi, I've just purchased a slow cooker did you just throw all the things in at once and left it on low through out the day?

      Many thanks :)

  • Fab receipe but what ideas have you got to accompany it instead of rice - thanks :)

  • very yummy recipe to eat with your family and friends and the way you explained the cooking method was fab. Thanks for sharing.

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