Chicken Shahi Korma Recipe

Whew! It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks, preparing for the release of “Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir”. With things calmed down a little, I finally have time to get back to recipe developing, cooking, and blogging. I promise, today’s recipe is worth the wait!

Chicken Shahi Korma is my absolute favorite thing to order at our favorite Indian restaurant locally – Taste of India. I mean, to the point where I’ve never actually ordered a different entree there – I fell in love with it, and don’t tend to stray!

While we’re always in the mood for some Shahi Korma, we’re usually far less likely to be in the mood to deal with traffic, noise, and… well, people.

I’ve been meaning to unleash my only useful “Aspie Superpower” – recipe replication – on this for a while.

First, a bit of a disclaimer: If I taste something, I can usually replicate it pretty easily – in terms of end product. In doing this, I don’t tend to research the history, techniques, etc – I like to figure most of it out on my own. As a result, there’s a good chance that something in my technique and/or ingredients are way off – and that’s ok.

I just find that “flying blind” tends to facilitate a more accurate final result. In the case of ethnic cooking, I have no idea which regions have different takes on a dish, and how authentic whatever I’m trying to replicate is in the first place. Much better to just replicate what I want to replicate, tradition be damned!

Anyway… figured I’d address that, after a conversation last night. I posted that our dinner was awesome, and was asked what makes it “Shahi” Korma, from someone who had only ever had Korma.

I had no idea. Google revealed that the “Shahi” means “royal”. I looked up non-Shahi Korma, and I’m going to go ahead and guess that the addition of raisins, cashews, and paneer is what makes this particular Korma “royal”.

I may not know the language or traditions, but I do know that this meal is insanely delicious. I was going off memory from a week or so ago, so it may be slightly off – but it’s *damn* close. While I may eventually tweak it slightly – with source material nearby – I had to share this. SO good!

Chicken Shahi Korma

4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (thighs and or/breast)
2 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
8 cloves garlic, peeled & pressed/minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Olive oil
4 whole cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
5 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp hot pepper flakes
2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups coconut milk* (Or heavy cream)
1 cup plain yogurt
~12 oz paneer, cubed
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2-3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Cut chicken into large cubes, place in a large bowl.

Put ginger, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil into a blender or food processor – process till it’s a thick paste. Pour over chicken, toss to coat, and marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Grind cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, and fennel seedswith a spice mill or mortar/pestle.

In a blender, combine freshly ground spices with cashews, chicken broth, and olive oil, process until fairly smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon, cumin, tumeric, coriander, pepper flakes Garama masala, and ground caradmom, process till combined. Set aside.

In a large pan, cook chopped onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil until tender and translucent. Add chicken and tomato paste, cook until tomato paste starts to brown and/or gets very aromatic. Add chicken broth/spice mixture, along with coconut milk/heavy cream and yogurt. Stir well, reduce heat to low, simmer for about 1 hour.

When sauce has thickened, add paneer, raisins, cashews, parsely and cilantro. Stir well, continue to cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve over rice.

* By “coconut milk”, I am referring to the thick, creamy type – NOT the watery juice type, and not “coconut creme”. This is readily available in the Asian section of major grocers, or in many ethnic grocery shops.

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Author:Marie Porter

Marie is an award winning cake artist based in Minnesota's Twin Cities. Known as much for her delicious and diverse flavor menu as for her sugar artistry, Marie's work has graced magazines and blogs around the world. Having baked and designed for brides, celebrities, and even Klingons, Marie was proud to share her wealth of baking knowledge in her two cookbooks: "The Spirited Baker" and “Evil Cake Overlord”. Marie has also authored a book about her experiences surrounding the 2011 Minneapolis tornado: "Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir"

16 Responses to “Chicken Shahi Korma Recipe”

  1. Pam
    July 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Ok I am so glad I found this I eat this every other friday at work. I love Taste of India my office is just down the street and this is what I order every time I go. I have gotten my co-workers hooked on it as well. So thank you know I can make it at home when I am craving it abd bring it to work to share.

  2. Amanda
    January 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I do not usually post my thoughts about recipes…so let this be my first. I have tried about five different shahi korma recipes I have found on-line, and your recipe is my absolute favorite. I am posting this while my onions are cooking tonight…about the 5th time I have made this recipe and it has never disappointed! Thank you for sharing!

    • January 6, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you so much for your feedback! It’s definitely a favorite of ours, and it’s always great to hear that other people enjoy my recipes as much as we do!

      – Marie

  3. April 14, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    Amazing Post/ Blog Marie keep up the great work!

  4. Mary
    July 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    This is my go-to Indian recipe. This is by far the best recipe I have found outside my favorite restaurant! I was surprised how many of these spices I already had in my pantry, thanks for sharing it 🙂

    • July 30, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      Thank you for the kind words, Mary! I’m honoured!

  5. Mike
    September 16, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    This recipe is spot on. It was so good. Now that I don’t live in the Twin Cities, I can save the money on gas and make my favorite meal and eat it for days. Yummmm!!!! Thanks again.

  6. Karis
    October 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Wish I had your superpower. I can’t wait to try this – everything I love in food.

  7. Don
    April 27, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    I just found it interesting that I was looking for a recipe for Chicken shahi korma and after looking at 5 other sites come to this one and notice that (1) you are the person I read about in the Star and Tribune article a few days ago publishing a book (2) you have been to Taste of India ,one of my favorite restaurants and (3) Shahi korma is your favorite dish there and apparently the only one you have ordered , the same as me . I look forward to trying your recipe , hopefully tonight. THanks

    • April 28, 2014 at 7:53 am #

      Hi Don,

      Welcome to my blog! What a funny set of circumstances, I love it. I didn’t even know I was in the Strib recently, I’ll have to look it up!

      Enjoy the recipe

  8. Jamie
    February 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    I have been looking for a shahi korma recipe to make. It is my favorite dish from a nearby Indian restaurant. Your recipe looks delicious and is the one I want to try. However, I have never had paneer in shahi korma before so I am hesitant to try it. Also, I am having a very hard time finding paneer in my local grocery stores. And I don’t want to make it myself, even if it is fairly easy to make. After some research, I’ve found that I can substitute halloumi cheese for the paneer, as it has a similar texture and consistency. I am wondering if the paneer is a necessary ingredient in this recipe. If it is, would halloumi be an appropriate substitute? If I don’t need to use the paneer, should I add anything else to complete the recipe. Thanks for your response. I can’t wait to try it either way!

    • May 20, 2015 at 6:19 am #

      I think you can easily skip it. I love it in there, but many kormas have no paneer.

  9. Torre Wolf
    February 13, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    Just wondering where you can find all the ingredients. Im dying to try to make this and didnt see everything at the grocery store.

    • February 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

      Have you tried Indian grocery stores for anything you can’t find in a normal grocery store?

  10. Patty
    February 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    Can’t wait to try this! I love Indian food and start to crave it after a few weeks.

    Penzey’s spice might be an online site to try for spices. https://www.penzeys.com/search/#?q=Indian

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