Saffron Chicken Korma


Layers of spices including cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, saffron and more flavor this yogurt-braised chicken, a spin on the Mughlai Indian dish. Serve with basmati rice or naan.

Saffron Chicken Korma
Photo: Jacob Fox
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins


  • 5 tablespoons canola, avocado or grapeseed oil, divided

  • 5 cups thinly sliced onions

  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 ½ cups low-fat plain yogurt

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed saffron threads

  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized and slightly crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add cashews and water. Blend until smooth.

  2. Combine yogurt, garam masala, cardamom, cayenne, coriander, turmeric and saffron in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  3. Place the pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppercorns, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and toast until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Add chicken, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken starts to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Stir in the pureed onion mixture, the yogurt mixture, broth and salt. Adjust heat to maintain a low simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

373 Calories
21g Fat
12g Carbs
34g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size generous 1 cup
Calories 373
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 34g 68%
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 514mg 22%
Potassium 510mg 11%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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