Instant Pot Chicken Korma: Quick & Creamy Mughlai Recipe with Coconut Milk

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Craving a taste of India but short on time? Instant Pot Chicken Korma is your answer. This creamy, aromatic dish combines tender chicken with a blend of spices and coconut milk, creating a rich and comforting meal that’s ready in under an hour. Perfect for busy weeknights or when you want to impress guests without spending all day in the kitchen.

Chicken Korma has its roots in Mughlai cuisine, known for its luxurious flavors and textures. Traditionally simmered slowly to develop depth, this Instant Pot version speeds up the process without sacrificing any of that authentic taste. You’ll love how effortlessly it comes together while still delivering the complex flavors you’d expect from a classic korma.

Ready to transform your dinner routine? With just one pot and simple ingredients, you’ll have a deliciously fragrant dish that’ll make you feel like you’re dining at your favorite Indian restaurant.


Gather these essential ingredients to create a flavorful and creamy Instant Pot Chicken Korma with ease.

Chicken And Marinade

  • 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Spices And Seasonings

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions (finely sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger (minced)
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste

Additional Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves (chopped for garnish)
  • Cooked basmati rice or naan bread for serving

Equipment Needed

Instant Pot

You will need an Instant Pot to prepare this Chicken Korma. The pressure cooking function significantly reduces the cooking time while preserving the flavors and textures.

Measuring Cups And Spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial for achieving the perfect balance of spices and ingredients. Use a set of measuring cups and spoons.

Cutting Board And Knife

A cutting board and a sharp knife are essential for chopping onions, garlic, ginger, and chicken thighs efficiently.

Mixing Bowls

Use mixing bowls to combine ingredients like Greek yogurt with spices before adding them to the Instant Pot.

Wooden Spoon Or Spatula

A wooden spoon or spatula is ideal for stirring ingredients in the Instant Pot without scratching its surface.

Blender Or Food Processor (Optional)

If you prefer a smoother korma sauce, use a blender or food processor to blend the almonds and coconut milk mixture until smooth.

Serving Utensils

Have serving utensils ready for dishing out your delicious Chicken Korma onto plates or into bowls.

Ensure you have all these tools at hand before starting your recipe to ensure a smooth cooking process.


To achieve the rich, complex flavors of Instant Pot Chicken Korma, you need to prepare your ingredients carefully. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth cooking process.

Marinating the Chicken

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, and 1 teaspoon cumin powder.
  2. Add Chicken: Cut 1.5 pounds of boneless chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and add them to the marinade mixture.
  3. Mix Well: Ensure that each piece of chicken is fully coated with the marinade by mixing thoroughly.
  4. Marinate: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight for deeper flavor infusion.

Preparing Ingredients for Chicken Korma Sauce

  1. Chop Onions: Finely chop 2 large onions—these will form the base of your korma sauce.
  2. Mince Garlic and Ginger: Mince 4 cloves of garlic and grate a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger (about 1 tablespoon).
  3. Prepare Spices: Gather whole spices like cardamom pods (3), cloves (4), bay leaves (2), and a cinnamon stick (1) in one small bowl for easy access during cooking.
  4. Blend Almonds (Optional): If using almonds for thickening the sauce, soak about 10 almonds in hot water for 15 minutes, then blend into a smooth paste.

Marinating your chicken thoroughly and preparing your vegetables ahead of time, you set yourself up for an efficient cooking experience with your Instant Pot Chicken Korma.

Cooking Steps

Follow these steps to create a delicious Instant Pot Chicken Korma that captures the essence of traditional Mughlai flavors.

Sautéing Spices

  1. Set your Instant Pot to the ‘Sauté’ mode and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Stir in one finely chopped onion and sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced ginger. Cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  5. Mix in the spices: 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon garam masala, and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Stir well to combine with the onions.

Cooking Chicken

  1. Add marinated boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds) into the pot, ensuring they are coated evenly with the spice mixture.
  2. Cook the chicken pieces for about 5 minutes until they start to brown slightly on all sides.
  3. Pour in one can (14 ounces) of coconut milk and stir thoroughly to blend everything together.
  4. Securely place the lid on your Instant Pot, set it to ‘Pressure Cook’ on high for 10 minutes.

Finishing Touches and Adjusting Consistency

  1. Once cooking time is complete, perform a quick release by carefully turning the valve to venting position.
  2. Open the lid and stir in half a cup of Greek yogurt slowly, ensuring it blends smoothly without curdling.
  3. If you prefer a thicker consistency, add ground almonds (¼ cup) at this stage while stirring continuously.
  4. Simmer on ‘Sauté’ mode for another few minutes if needed until desired thickness is achieved.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt as necessary before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Once your Instant Pot Chicken Korma is perfectly cooked and seasoned, the next step is to elevate the dining experience with complementary sides and garnishes.

Rice Options

  1. Basmati Rice: Serve your chicken korma over fluffy basmati rice. The long grains of basmati will soak up the creamy sauce beautifully.
  2. Jeera (Cumin) Rice: Add an extra layer of flavor by pairing it with jeera rice. Cook your basmati rice with a teaspoon of cumin seeds for a subtly aromatic companion.
  3. Brown Rice: For a healthier alternative, opt for brown rice which adds a slightly nutty taste that complements the rich korma flavors.


  1. Naan Bread: Soft, warm naan bread is perfect for scooping up every bit of that luscious sauce.
  2. Roti or Chapati: These whole wheat flatbreads are lighter options that still pair wonderfully with chicken korma.


  1. Raita:
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber grated
  • A pinch of salt
  • Fresh mint leaves chopped
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl to create a cooling raita that balances the spices in your korma.
  1. Pickled Onions:
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • A pinch of salt
  • Toss onions in lemon juice and salt then let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  1. Salad:
  • Simple Cucumber-Tomato Salad:
    Combine diced cucumbers and tomatoes with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice for a refreshing side dish.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro on top just before serving to add color and freshness.
  • Sliced Almonds: Toasted almond slices provide an extra crunch and enhance presentation.
  • Lemon Wedges: Offer lemon wedges on the side; a squeeze can brighten up each bite.

Combining these thoughtful sides and garnishes, you turn your Instant Pot Chicken Korma into an unforgettable meal that’s both visually appealing and incredibly satisfying to eat.

Make-Ahead and Storage

Preparing Instant Pot Chicken Korma ahead of time can save you valuable minutes on busy days. Here’s how you can efficiently make-ahead and store your dish to retain its rich flavors and creamy texture.

Making Ahead

  1. Marinate the Chicken: You can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare Ingredients: Chop onions, mince garlic, grate ginger, and measure out all spices beforehand. Keep them stored in separate containers or small bowls for easy access.
  3. Cook Ahead: Complete the cooking process as outlined in the recipe, then allow it to cool completely before storing.

Storing Leftovers

  1. Refrigeration: Transfer cooled chicken korma into airtight containers. It will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  2. Freezing: For longer storage, place portions of cooled korma into freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving some space at the top for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months.


  1. From Refrigerator: Place your refrigerated korma into a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly warmed through (about 10-15 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  2. From Freezer: Thaw frozen korma overnight in the refrigerator before reheating using the stovetop method above.


Instant Pot Chicken Korma is a fantastic way to bring delicious Mughlai flavors to your table without spending hours in the kitchen. With its blend of aromatic spices and creamy texture, this dish is sure to impress. The convenience of using an Instant Pot makes it easier for you to prepare, whether you’re cooking on a busy weeknight or hosting a special dinner.

Don’t forget the tips for marinating and ingredient prep that can save you time and enhance the flavor. Proper storage ensures you can enjoy leftovers just as much as the first serving. Reheat your korma carefully to maintain its rich taste and creamy consistency.

Ready to indulge in a delightful meal? Get your ingredients ready and let your Instant Pot do the magic!

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