Quick and Easy Afghan-Style Chicken Korma (Ghorma)

written by Mirriam Seddiq
9 · 18 · 22

This chicken korma (ghorma) recipe is a quick and easy version of the traditional Afghan dish. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal, and it’s sure to please even the most discerning palate. Serve with Afghan rice.

The best part is that this dish can be made in under 30 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it with your family or friends. If you want a more traditional recipe with bone-in chicken, I’ll post that soon!

chicken korma
finished chicken korma

Traditional Chicken Korma (Ghorma)

A traditional Korma is stewed for quite a few hours. The reason is to let the deep rich flavors from the dark bone-in meat (legs and thighs) seep into the tomato gravy.

Because this recipe uses chicken breast we use a little more oil and get some extra help from chicken bouillon.

Indian Cuisine Has Korma, Too!

Korma has its roots in Mughal cuisine. This makes sense if you think about it since the Mughals ruled much of India and Afghanistan:

Korma has its roots in the Mughlai cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. A characteristic Mughal dish, it can be traced back to the 16th century and to the Mughal incursions into the region. Kormas were often prepared in the Mughal court kitchens, such as the famous white korma, perhaps garnished with vark, said to have been served to Shah Jahan and his guests at the inauguration of the Taj Mahal.

Classically, a korma is defined as a dish where meat or vegetables are braised with yogurt or stock. The technique covers many different styles of korma. The flavour of a korma is based on a mixture of spices, including ground coriander and cumin, combined with yogurt kept below curdling temperature and incorporated slowly and carefully with the meat juices. Traditionally, this would have been carried out in a pot set over a very low fire, with charcoal on the lid to provide all-round heat.


This Afghan Ghorma Recipe

Again, this is not my traditional recipe. This uses chicken breasts and is meant to be able to be made on a busy week of work and school. I use all of the same spices, but I wanted you to be able to make it in 30-45 minutes.

This is how my mother makes it. If I were to make it the traditional way it would take another hour or so and replace the chicken breasts with thighs and legs. (both bone-in)

As always we make this recipe easy to print and replicate. I suggest you watch the video if you have any questions. Also, leave a comment. I always respond. Are you a fan of Afghan Cooks and want to help spread the word? Well, social media is critical. Finally, don’t forget us on social media. We are on Tik-TokInstagram, and Youtube. We also have a wonderful non-spammy Afghan Cooks Club. Sign up for that too!

Chicken korma served with sabzi (spinach)

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Afghan Dopiaza

Afghan Dopiaza Meat Stew with Onions

  • Author: Mirriam Seddiq


Afghan dopiaza is a classic dish made with onions “two ways.”



2.5 pounds of bone-in meat (lamb, beef, or goat)

2 Tablespoons of cooking oil.

4 Large Onions

White Vinegar

2 Cups of Split Lentils (yellow is traditional)

3 Garlic Cloves Crushed

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Tumeric

Ground Black Pepper

4 Cups of Water


1. First, prepare your onions. Slice the onions very thin. Take half and set them aside. Take the other half and soak it in white vinegar for quick pickling.

2. Next, heat your pressure cooker so that you can saute. Add your cooking oil. Saute the onions until soft.

3. While the onions soften, simmer your lentil until soft in a different pot.

4. Add your crushed garlic cloves to the pressure cooker, and add your meat.

5. Now add some simple spices. The focus of the flavor is the meat and onions. Add your salt, pepper, and tumeric.

6. Then pour your 4 Cups of water over the meat. Stir.

7. Cook in your Instant Pot on high pressure, meat, and for 30 minutes.

8. For the base, you want to lay some thin bread over your platter. Then, spoon your meat. Add your cooked lentils over it and then, finally, add your pickled onions.


Goes great with some Afghan bread.

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Quick and Easy Afghan-Style Chicken Korma (Ghorma)

  • Author: Mirriam Seddiq


This Afghan chicken korma (ghorma) is meant to be quick and easy and cooked during the week.



3 Pounds Cubed Chicken Breast

1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Chopped Onion

5 Gloves of Garlic

3/4 Tablespoon Cumin

3/4 Tablespoon Coriander

1 Teaspoon (salt)

1 Teaspoon Tumeric

1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 1/2 Tablespoon Garam Masala

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Cup Canned Crushed Tomatoes

1/4 Cup Water

2 Cubed Potatoes

Bullion Cubes


1. Add oil to the pan and let heat, then cook chopped onions.

2. Next, add 5 gloves of garlic. Cook for two minutes.

3. Add all your spices except garam masala. Cook until toasted.

4. Next, add your chicken breast and let flavors join.

5. Add your tomatoes, water, bullion, and garam masala.

6. Finally, add your potatoes and stir.  Cover and cook on simmer until your potatoes are soft.


Serve with some salatanaan, and some rice.

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Mirriam Seddiq

I am Mirriam Z. Seddiq, the Afghan Cook. I was born in Afghanistan and came to America as a when I was 18 months old. I am a criminal defense, personal injury, and immigration attorney. I started the first Muslim American Woman Political Action Committee, once owned a coffee shop and a restaurant, and currently am the CEO of the Komak Foundation which focuses its efforts on helping Afghan refugees.

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