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)

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Chicken korma served with sabzi (spinach)

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Quick and Easy Afghan-Style Chicken Korma (Ghorma)

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5 from 1 review

  • 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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  1. Krysta Bea Jackson

    Delicious! This will be my second time making this recipe. Thank you!

  2. Kizzy

    Ramadan kareem..

    Made this for iftar and it was deliCious.. the only thing i changed was that i added extra water (about 1 cup) to cover the potatoes.. i served it with a simple saffron rice..

    My entire family thoroughly enjoyed it even my youngest who is a fussy eater.. He went back for thirds..!

    Can’t Wait to try more of your recipes..!


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