Chicken in a coconut and cashew nut sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

Unlike its north Indian counterpart, this chicken korma recipe, Hyderabadi Murgh Korma, calls for creamy coconut milk counterbalanced by spicy chilli, and subtle flavour notes are added with a sprinkling of nutmeg and mace. Ghee is traditionally used for making this dish, as it lends an extra depth of flavour, but unsalted butter or oil can be substituted if you prefer a healthier option.


  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup raw cashew nuts
  • 200 g/7 oz/¾ cup thick set natural (plain) yogurt
  • 10 ml/2 tsp gram flour (besan)
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ginger purée
  • 10 ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5–5 ml/½–1 tsp chilli powder
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 675 g/ lb skinned chicken breast fillets, cut into 5cm/2in cubes
  • 75 g/3 oz/6 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp sesame seeds, finely ground
  • 200 ml/7fl oz/¾ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1.5 ml/¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1.5 ml/¼ tsp ground mace
  • Plain Boiled Rice and Cumin and Saffron Wholemeal Flat Bread


  1. Soak the cashew nuts in a small bowl containing 150 ml/5fl oz/ cup boiling water for 20 minutes.

  2. Whisk the yogurt and gram flour together until smooth (do this thoroughly, otherwise the yogurt will curdle). Stir in the ginger, garlic, turmeric, chilli powder and salt.

  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Stir to coat. Cover and leave for 30–35 minutes.

  4. Reserve 5 ml/1 tsp of ghee or butter and melt the remainder in a pan over a low heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Let these sizzle until the cardamom pods have puffed up.

  5. Add the onion and increase the heat slightly. Sauté for 5 minutes until translucent, then stir in the ground sesame seeds.

  6. Add the marinated chicken, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken changes colour. Pour in the coconut milk and 150 ml/5fl oz/ cup warm water. Bring this to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

  7. Meanwhile, purée the cashews with the water in which they were soaked and add to the chicken. Simmer, uncovered, for 5–6 minntes, until the sauce thickens.

  8. Melt the reserved ghee or butter in a small pan. Add the grated nutmeg and ground mace, then cook gently for about 30 seconds. Pour the spiced butter over the chicken and stir to mix wel1. Serve with Plain Boiled Rice and Cumin and Saffron-scented Wholemeal Flat Bread.

Per portion Energy 398kcal/1671kJ; Protein 46.4g; Carbohydrate 19.1g, of which sugars 12.5g; Fat 16g, of which saturates 3.8g; Cholesterol 76mg; Calcium 195mg; Fibre 2.1g; Sodium 265mg.