Instant Pot Chicken Shahi Korma


Chicken Korma in under an hour? Yes, please! You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make this royal dish – thanks to the instant pot, you can make it whenever you want with minimal effort!

instant pot chicken korma

This instant pot chicken korma is rich, creamy, and flavorful. It’s the real deal y’all. This chicken korma is much tastier than what you’ll find in restaurants, and thanks to the instant pot, you can make it at home in like half an hour – definitely under an hour! The hardest part of this recipe is gathering all of the ingredients (which really takes only like 5 minutes). After that, it’s cake. Well, korma.

This dish is also known as Shahi Chicken korma, and it’s a royal dish… literally. It’s from Mughlai cuisine, meaning that it was developed in imperial kitchens and served to royalty during the Mughal era in India (to kings, queens, jesters like me… just kidding).

Mughlai dishes are a treat because they are so decadent. They’re creamy and rich and call for dried fruit and nuts, which add awesome texture. Pre-Instant Pot, I really only made korma when we were having guests over – it was a “special occasion” dish. While it’s still an excellent dish to make for guests, it’s also easy enough to make whenever I want a delicious and comforting meal.

instant pot chicken korma

I know those of you following my onion masala series will ask if you can use that instead — yes, you can; however, I have yet to determine the right quantity. My guess is half a cup – so if you figure it out, please leave a comment letting us know! I recently used onion masala and cashew butter to make this more of a “short-cut korma,” and while it was good, it wasn’t quite as good. I plan on trying it again using onion masala with the blended cashew sauce – I think blending the cashews really makes a difference. Basically, make my recipe as written below if you want excellent korma – but if you do decide to experiment, tell me how it goes!

Enjoy this creamy dreamy mild korma over a bowl of basmati rice or matar pulao or brown basmati and as you eat it, just remember you are a queen… or a king… or a jester lol (you’re only going to get that joke if you read above…). Anyway, enjoy!

instant pot chicken korma

Chicken Korma Instant Pot Recipe

instant pot chicken korma

Chicken Korma Instant Pot Recipe

This dish, also known as Shahi Chicken Korma, is a royal entree typically served on special occasions. A korma is a mildly spiced curry that calls for dried fruit (raisins) and nuts. For this recipe, the creaminess comes from well-blended cashews. This gives the sauce a thick, rich feel and flavor.
4.96 from 41 reviews
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Servings 4 servings
Cuisine Indian


Onion Tomato Mixture

  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1- inch ginger roughly chopped
  • ½ Serrano pepper or green chili roughly chopped
  • 1 tomato roughly chopped

Creamy Cashew Sauce

  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½ cup water

  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds


  • 1 ½ pounds skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into quarters
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves kasoori methi
  • Cilantro garnish


  • To make the onion tomato mixture, add the onion, garlic, ginger, Serrano pepper and tomato to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  • Prepare the cashew sauce by adding the cashews and ½ cup water to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Press the sauté button and add ghee, ¼ cup of cashews and golden raisins. Stir-fry until the cashews begin to turn golden. Remove the cashews and raisins and set aside to use as a garnish.
  • Add cumin seeds and once they begin to brown, add the blended onion and tomato mixture. Stir-fry for 8-10 minutes, or until the onion and tomato mixture has thickened.
  • Add the spices, stir, then add the chicken and mix well.
  • Pour 1 cup of water into the pot.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  • Open the valve to quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Press the sauté button, add the blended cashew sauce and fenugreek leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro, ghee-coated cashews and raisins.



  • I always suggest gathering the ingredients before you begin cooking. Putting all of the ground spices together in a bowl will make the cooking process go much faster/smoother.
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instant pot chicken korma

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Lisa says

    5 stars
    This is such a delicious recipe! They whole family loved it! Thanks so much for sharing! I did use onion masala as I didn’t have any tomatoes. I can’t compare as it was my first time making it, but it was really nice .

  2. Jordan says

    5 stars
    My four-year-old daughter asked if we can have this for dinner every night. Even more amazingly, my father-in-law, who is pickier than many four-year-olds 😂, also devoured it. Thanks for a great and easy-to-make recipe!!

  3. Neeta says

    If I want to double any of the recipes on Instapot, do I double the amount of water? Specifically asking about the biryani recipes. I have a large Instapot and want to make biryani for 10-12 persons. So I would double the amount of rice and chicken.

    Let me know.

  4. Tiffany says

    5 stars
    I make this recipe often. I’ve probably made it 20 times! I’ve served it at parties, brought it to people recovering from an injury or after having a baby, brought it to potlucks, and just made it for my family. It’s just that good! Everyone loves it! It’s comforting, warmly spicy, and so healthy, while also satisfying, unique, and delicious. It also is compatible with quite a few special diets (Whole30, Bright Line, Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free). There are a couple things I modify because it’s easier and still comes out awesome.
    1) I don’t sauté the chicken first. Just throw it in the instant pot after sautéing the veg mixture.
    2) I sauté whole coriander seeds with the cumin seeds
    3) I sauté the whole cashews and raisins in coconut oil
    4) I always TRIPLE it! Triple the veg, triple the spices, triple the chicken. Cashew cream – not sure as I don’t measure that part. It’s prob double the cashew cream. I don’t triple the water (maybe about 1.5 cups). And I don’t triple the pressure cook time – about 13 mins is enough.
    PS- it freezes really well!

    Great recipe. So glad I found it! Thank you!

  5. Pugette says

    5 stars
    This was the first korma I’ve ever made, and I was pleasantly surprised at how I was able to pull off such well rounded flavors! Full disclosure, I cheated and used the spicy curry powder from Whole Foods + the recommended teaspoon of paprika, but it was super tasty. Also did this with a bone-in turkey breast and increased the cooking time, but I definitely plan on making this again and doubling/tripling the sauce. Thanks for a keeper, Ashley!

  6. Julie says

    Just made this using 1 cup of the pre-made onion masala and it was delicious! I haven’t made it the regular way yet so I can’t compare the two, but I will do so and report back.

  7. Cassandra says

    Can this be made using the frozen onion masala (I’m thinking perhaps 2 domes) instead of making the fresh onion tomato mixture?

  8. Preeti says

    5 stars
    My friend made this for me and it was delicious! I want to make it again but don’t have an InstaPot. Do you have instructions/tips for making stovetop or in a slow cooker?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Preeti, I’ve only tested this recipe in an Instant Pot – I’m not sure if it’ll turn out the same using the stovetop or slow cooker – if you experiment, please let us know! The Instant Pot well worth getting to make Indian food in my opinion – I would consider it, especially if you cook chicken or lentils often!

    • Emunah says

      Did you try making it in a slow cooker or stove top? I am on vacation and don’t have my instant pot and I want to make this.

  9. Jayram says

    5 stars
    This recipe turned out so good. I have made it a few times.
    Question: can walnuts be used instead of cashews to create the sauce?

  10. Alisha says

    5 stars
    This was soooooooooo good!!! The only change I made was to sub a jalapeño for the spicier chili. I sent it to everyone I know, telling them to make it!! For people without a good blender, would coconut milk or heavy cream work for the cashew sauce?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Alisha, I’m so glad you liked it!! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out for you 🙂 I haven’t tried subbing heavy cream/coconut milk for the water in the cashew sauce, but I’d think it’d taste good – though you may need to up spices if you use that.

  11. Lisa says

    Hi Ashley,
    I am reading your Chicken Korma recipe and it lists 1/2 cup and 1/4 of a cup of cashews in the cashew sauce ingredients. Can you clarify what it is please? I look forward to trying it.
    Thank you!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Lisa, sorry for the confusion – the cashew sauce is made with 1/2 cup cashews and water. There should be a large space between the water and the next ingredient – the 1/4 cup of cashews is for the garnish (step 3). I hope that helps!

  12. CG says

    5 stars
    Hey Ashley! How many servings would you say this recipe is? Trying to figure out if I can stretch this for the week with me + hubs, thanks!

  13. Noah Klat says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. We love every one we have tried so far. I have a question. How much time should I add if I’m using a whole chicken cut up with bone, but skin removed?

  14. Melanie says

    5 stars
    This is one of the most amazing Kormas I have ever had (probably the best ever!). I followed the recipe nearly exactly as written. The only modifications I made were leaving out the serrano pepper in the onion masala and using coconut oil instead of ghee since I can’t have dairy. We will certainly make this again as it was so good!

  15. Audrey says

    I made this last night and my kids (and my friend’s kids, who don’t really eat Indian food) gobbled it up. I ended up blending the raisins in with the cashew sauce, which hid the raisins and added a touch of sweetness. Excellent recipe!

  16. Jay says

    5 stars
    I never get on blogs and leave comments but……..OMG this is the best recipe I have ever made!!! It was so easy to follow, also first time using Instant Pot. My wife and I couldn’t believe how good this was, just like my local restaurant. Ashley, I can’t thank you enough for these recipes and for your kindness in replying to all these comments. Will be purchasing ALL your cookbooks ASAP

  17. Andrew says

    5 stars
    One of my favorite dishes. I have been having it monthly since June last year when I came across this wonderful site when I was looking for a Seekh Kebab recipe (another favorite). My boys love it as did a men’s group dinner last year when i made three XL pots of the dish. Tonight made double and added 4 large carrots, 1/2 cauliflower and 1 pound of green beans, all the goodness of vegetables but with that wonderful Korma flavoring.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Andrew, wow this is so awesome to hear! I’m so happy that you make this so often and that your boys and your men’s dinner group love this dish too! Thank you for sharing this with me 🙂

  18. Joyce Y. says

    5 stars
    Delicious! Made this today and it was sooo good. My sauce was a little thin so I scooped out the chicken and let the sauce reduce a bit with the cashew cream. Surprisingly my favorite part of the dish was the raisins, and I don’t typically like raisins! Would definitely make this again.

  19. Stephan Theron says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    I bought my Instant Pot today and chose your Chicken Korma as my first try.

    It was nothing short of spectacular…!!!

    Better than restaurant bought Korma if I say so myself. Definitely going to be a family favourite from here on out.

    Thanks so much for sharing. Much appreciated.

    PS. Adding some Coconut cream during the last heating put the dish over the top. 😉

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Stephan! That’s so great to hear! Thank you for letting me know how the korma turned out for you 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think of any other recipes you try from my blog!

  20. Sarai says

    5 stars
    OMG! This is amazing (although I skipped the raisins) I’m a fan of both yogurt and coconut milk korma but this is something else! My favourite chicken recipe so far!

  21. Grace says

    5 stars
    This was the first recipe I made with my Instant Pot and I have to say it was transcendental. So delicious and easy to make! I will be making this recipe for all my friends and family.

  22. Dinis Correia says

    5 stars
    OMG, Ashley! I don’t know why I hadn’t try this one before. I’ve made some korma on the Instanpot with recipes from other websites – and it was fine. But this is something else: it smells and taste like a restaurant korma 🙂

    I just made it with chicken breasts (and cooked it for 7 minutes). Also, what I usually do is salt the chicken beforehand (and adjust the rest of the salt accordingly), otherwise the chicken always taste a bit bland, even if the sauce is super flavorful.

    Thanks for such a great recipe!

  23. Julie says


    Would love to try this recipe but I’m allergic to cashews. Can I substitute the cashews with peanuts ? Thanks !

  24. Scott Dunham says

    5 stars
    Just made this in our new instant pot – it was great! I wish I had read David’s comment first, because I burned the first batch of raisins and cashews: it happens fast on high! I also agree that maybe a little less water would be good – 3/4c instead of 1c? Still, it turned out really made as described here. Full marks.

  25. Sana says

    This turned out very good! Rich like butter chicken!! I omitted the raisins as my family doesn’t like them in savory dishes. I have quite a bit of cinnamon in my homemade garam masala so I also omitted that. Otherwise followed it to a T and it was great!!

  26. Johanna Anning says

    Hi. What a wonderful cooking website I’ve found this week! Thank you 🙂 With this Chicken Korma – what would be the cooking time in a slow cooker if I wanted to do non-instant pot?

  27. Wendy Abraham says

    Hi Ashley! Out of curiosity, what blender did you use in the video? The one with the red bottom. I can’t wait to try this!

  28. Matt says

    4 stars
    I really liked the flavor. My biggest issue was the sauce came out thin. Any ideas on how to thicken it? Coconut milk? Half the water just before the pressure cook?

  29. Jennifer says

    5 stars
    Loved this chicken korma recipe. Thanks for sharing it! The sauce was super yummy. Made it for the first time today and doubled on all the ingredients to make a bigger batch of chicken korma (except for the water, only used a little more than 1 cup). It came out wonderful!!!

  30. Tracy Batman says

    5 stars
    This was the first thing I made in my new Instant Pot and it turned out awesome! I replaced the chicken with paneer and it was so good! Plan on trying more of your recipes. Thanks 🙂

        • My Heart Beets says

          Hi Susan, paneer just needs to be heated through, no need to pressure cook it – I’d just make the sauce and stir the paneer in at the end. You can even pan-fry the paneer for better texture and add it at the end. Let me know how it goes!

  31. Zoe says

    4 stars
    On my second round tonight… I used yogurt instead of water in the cashew puree and used tomato sauce instead of fresh. I doubled the cinnamon as well. Next time, I think I will saute the onions first. I tastes a bit too raw for me. Great recipe – I just need to tweak it for my personal taste.

  32. Jenita says

    5 stars
    Another winner, Ashley. You are my go-to IP recipe place. My daughter loved it. Will be making it next week again, when I have guests over.

  33. Jamie Y says

    I made this with a little over a cup of the onion masala and used chicken breasts (only thing I had) and this was the best Indian dish that I’ve made at home so far. The onion masala made it super quick to get going and it tastes exactly how I was hoping!

  34. Emily says

    5 stars
    Let me preface this by saying I am not normally a good cook. I do not enjoy cooking or find it fun, though I wish I did… at the best of times, the most I can muster up is a sense of guilt that I should do more cooking. However… you have changed this for me. For the first time in the 9 years since I moved out, I am actually EXCITED to cook!! Indian takeout has been one of my favorite (expensive) indulgences, but I have started making your recipes at home and it is a real game changer. The onion masala series is particularly great as an easy introduction to Indian cooking. Thank you so much for your blog and cookbooks! (Any chance South Asian Persuasion will come to Kindle?)

    On to this recipe… this is my favorite so far! Absolutely restaurant quality. I made this with 1.25 cups onion masala. Thus yielded a lot of (incredible!) sauce relative to the amount of chicken…would try .5-.75 next time, or bump up amount of chicken. I hate using the blender, so I made extra cashew sauce and froze it for next time. We’ll see how that goes!

    Due to using the masala, I skipped serrano, coriander, and paprika. I’m thinking of including serrano in my next batch of onion masala since it is often added during that stage of making the onion/tomato gravy.. thoughts?

    The cashews/raisins could of course be done on the stove if you want to cut down on time to table. Depends whether you prioritize fewer dishes or shorter cook time. I ended up needing to do mine twice since I always seem to burn my raisins when I sauté cashews with raisins. Maybe I am not realizing right away when the cashews are “golden”. On the second (stove) attempt, I got the cashews most of the way done and added raisins at the very end. Turned out great.

    Thanks again for a fantastic recipe! My 9 month old really enjoyed gnawing naan dipped in this sauce. He is not sold on solids, so this is quite an endorsement, lol!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Emily, I’m so happy to hear that you’re enjoying my recipes!! And thanks for sharing how you used onion masala to make this korma! You can definitely add a serrano to the onion masala if you like the heat 🙂 Love that your baby is enjoying the sauce too!

  35. Lindsey says

    Ashley, I am loving all of your recipes!! My kids do not tolerate spice (hot spices) at all, I’m thinking of not adding any Serrano Pepper or cayenne. Do you think not using these will alter the taste too much? Thanks!

  36. Muhammed says

    I haven’t cooked it, but is there a reason why you are not first frying the chicken, so that it caramelizes/gets nice brown edges? I’m going to try it these days and I think I’d add step 3.5, after taking out the raisins and nuts, fry the cumin seeds, add the chicken, fry it till it gets color, take the chicken out again and then proceed with 4.

    What do you think?

  37. Reenam says

    Hi Ashley,

    I have tried and enjoyed some of your other instant pot recipes and am looking forward to trying this soon too! In another comments section you mentioned that in doubling recipes you usually just double all the ingredients and keep the cooking times the same. Is the same true of this dish? Specifically, I wanted to check whether you double all the spices as well- I tried doing a google search on doubling recipes and often people recommend multiplying spices by 1.5, although I’m worried about that reducing the flavour!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Reenam! I haven’t tried doubling this recipe but if I were to do so, I would do the same – double the ingredients (including spices) and leave the cook time the same 🙂 Since you’ll be using double the meat, I think you will need double the spices in my opinion. Let me know how it goes if you try!

  38. LaNea says

    I have really gotten to enjoy your delicious recipes. I appreciate all your hard work and talent. Step 4 states to brown the cumin seeds but its not listed in the recipe ingredients. How much cumin seeds do you use? Thank you.

  39. Kari McRae says

    This is the second time I’ve made this one from your cookbook.
    Grateful to have your step by step instructions. It’s just out of this world delicious. I also post on the facebook group. Glad that you are sharing your time and talent with the rest of us. Cooking is my hobby, and my chance to relax in the kitchen while preparing some really tasty recipes.

  40. Amy Blackman says

    My daughter is allergic to tree nuts so I need to modify the cashew. Do you think I could substitute sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds without too drastically altering the taste? I have made several things from your cookbook that didn’t use tree nuts but am now trying to venture into other things. Everything we have tried so far the family has loved!

  41. Praveen Vemulapalli says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    First I have to say that I am a huge fan of your website and couldn’t have maximized the use of the crockpot if it wasn’t for all these great recipes.

    I made a bunch of onion masala a while back following this website and I ended up using it with the chicken korma curry.

    I made the following mods:
    – Used 5-6 cardamoms and 1/2 a cinnamon stick and heated with cumin seeds in oil (see comment about oil below)
    – 2 cups of onion masala
    – Skipped raisins since kids don’t eat them
    – Replaced chicken thighs with chicken breast
    – Replaced ghee with unrefined organic coconut oil from Costco (smell initially scared me but it came out awesome)

    The recipe came out awesome. My kids who are picky eaters finished every bit of it. So thank you!


    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Rachel – it honestly depends on my mood – whether I want spicy food or not. I’d say most of the time though I remove the rib/seeds – that way it’s not too spicy for my toddler.

  42. David Martin says

    5 stars
    Best Korma I have ever tasted, hands down. I’ve made multiple rendition of Korma over the years, and this one exceeds all by far. I love that it doesn’t include yogurt or cream as well, which reduce lifespan (and I dont do dairy well anyway). Cheers :). Note: I doubled the recipe, and only used 1.5 cups of water. The thickness seemed perfect and would do the same. Also, don’t saute the nuts/sultanas on High if you have the option, use low or medium.

instant pot pour and cook chicken biryani

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