Chicken Shahi Korma
Originally posted May 8, 2012. Updated 12/6/2020
Back when I first posted this - eight and a half years ago - I was just at the end of an incredibly busy few weeks, preparing for the release of “Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir”.
Things had calmed down a little, so I had decided to finally blog my Chicken Shahi Korma recipe!
This had been a favourite for a while before posting.
Now that we’ve moved home to Canada - far away from the favourite restaurant that inspired it! - it’s become a VERY handy recipe to have on hand!
What is Chicken Korma?
Korma is a fairly common item when ordering Indian food, but can be vary wildly in terms of what it is.
Most commonly, I’ve seen it as a creamy curry, where the rich sauce contains pureed cashews. Aside from the pureed nuts, they tend to contain onions and other aromatics, spices, and either yogurt or coconut milk.
Chicken Korma vs Chicken Shahi Korma
While Korma is a pretty commonly available offering on Indian restaurant menus, Shahi Korma tends to be much more rare.
“Shahi” refers to the dish being “royal”, and it’s a dressed up version of a basic korma. In this case, the addition of cashews, raisins, and chunks of paneer is what makes it “royal”.
How This Recipe Came Into Existence
Chicken Shahi Korma was my absolute favorite thing to order at our favorite Indian restaurant back in Minneapolis - Taste of India. I mean, to the point where I’d never actually ordered a different entree there - I fell in love with it, and don’t tend to stray!
While we were always in the mood for some Shahi Korma, we were usually far less likely to be in the mood to deal with traffic, noise, and... well, people.
At the time, I’d been meaning to unleash one of my only useful “Autistic Superpowers” - recipe replication - on this for a while.
If I taste something, I can usually replicate it pretty easily - in terms of end product.
I’ve mentioned before that my particular flavour of autism has meant things like... looking at those “Bob is 3 years older than Susan, who is twice the age of David” kind of problems, and just knowing the answer.
I can’t tell you how I know it, it’s just sort of there.
With my recipe replication, it’s the same sort of thing. I can taste something, and just sort of spit out an ingredients list, proportions/measurements and all. It’s just... there.
Yeah, I don’t know. Brains are weird.
As a Caveat
Bit of a disclaimer: 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 techniques- and maybe even my ingredients - could be way off ... and that’s ok. I just find that “flying blind” tends to facilitate a more accurate final result, with however it’s coming together in my head.
In the case of ethnic cooking, I have no idea which regions have different takes on a dish, and how authentic whatever I’m try"ing to replicate is in the first place.
I just know that this tastes exactly like the source material... without making any claims about that source material.
Well, you know, aside from the fact that the source material - Taste of India’s Chicken Shahi Korma - is AMAZING, and you should totally order it if you’re ever in Minneapolis!
Also, if you're interested in gluten-free cooking and baking, you should definitely check out my gluten-free cookbooks: Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten Free Cooking & Baking, and the sequel... Beyond Flour 2. You can order them right here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.
More Indian Food Recipes....
Love this Chicken Shahi Korma recipe? Be sure to check out these other fabulous Indian - and Indian inspired - recipes!
Anyway, on to that Chicken Shahi Korma Recipe!
Chicken Shahi Korma
- 4 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs and or/breast meat
- 2 tablespoon Finely Chopped Ginger
- 8 Garlic cloves Peeled & pressed/minced
- 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 Whole Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
- 5 Cardamom Pods
- 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
- ½ cup Unsalted Cashews
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 3 teaspoon Crushed Dried Chilies
- 2 teaspoon Garam Masala
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cardamom
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Onions Finely chopped
- 3 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 2 cups Coconut Milk* Or heavy cream
- 1 cup Plain Yogurt
- 12 oz Paneer Cubed
- ¾ cup Golden Raisins
- ½-3/4 cup Cashews
- ¼ cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
- ¼ 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 tablespoon 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.