A mild and creamy curry, all cooked in the slow cooker, is the perfect lazy and budget friendly takeaway alternative. There is just a touch of spice in this Slow Cooker Chicken Korma, so it's good for people that don't like spicy food. A little bit of sweetness, a lot of flavour, this chicken curry is total comfort food.
Personally, we love a spicy curry. However, if you want something mild then a korma is the way to go. It has a slightly coconut flavour, and then some sweetness from the coconut and mango chutney. But, just because it isn't spicy doesn't mean it isn't full of flavour. We have made our own blend of spices to make this a tongue tingling.
If you are new to eating curry, or if it is your first time at an Indian restaurant, then chances are you are going to be choosing a chicken korma. It is seen as a "beginners curry", but that doesn't mean it should be written off by those that already love curries. It has a lovely creaminess to it, and without the spice it allows all the other flavours to shine through.
Why you will love it
- Mild curry - This is a lovely mild curry, and perfect if you are just dipping your foot into the world of curry (not literally)
- Easy - Once you have browned the chicken and onions, it is as simple as dumping it all in the slow cooker and letting it cook.
- Adaptable - There are a few ways you can mix this curry up and adapt it with different vegetables. We have given you some options below.
- Takeaway alternative - Whenever we are looking to save some more, and eat a bit healthier at the same time, we cut way back on takeaways. Instead of giving up the food we love, we just cook our own versions at home. Curries are a good place to start, as they are fairly easy to make - especially this slow cooker version.
- Chicken - We used boneless and skinless chicken thighs because we find they have the most flavour and they are really juicy. However, if you wanted to make this a leaner curry, then you can use diced chicken breasts - these are more expensive though.
- Shallots, garlic and ginger - This is a classic base of a curry. We love the sweetness that you get from shallots, however you could swap them for a small onion if you prefer. Save yourself some time and use frozen garlic and ginger.
- Spice blend - We made our own with a mixture of paprika, cumin, garam masala, coriander, chilli and turmeric. However, you could use the same amount of curry powder instead.
- Coconut milk - This is what gives the curry the lovely creamy flavour. We used full fat, as it is much creamier. However, you could swap it for reduced fat if you wanted, but it wouldn't have the same flavour.
- Stock - This makes the sauce go further. We used a good quality chicken stock, however vegetable stock would work too. You could even use a homemade chicken stock.
- Tomato puree - This not only thickens the sauce up, but it it also adds some colour.
- Ground almonds - This helps to thicken the curry up, but also adds that lovely nutty flavour that you get in a korma.
- Desiccated coconut - This helps to boost the coconut flavour and adds a really nice texture too.
- Mango chutney - Our "secret" ingredient in all curries, as it adds so much flavour and a little sweetness too, which balances out the spice. Use store bought or make your own homemade mango chutney.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make slow cooker chicken curry - Step by step
One: Heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken thighs. Brown for one minute each side then put in the slow cooker.
Two: To the frying pan, add the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes.
Three: Add all the spices and the tomato puree to the pan. Remove from the heat and mix well.
Four: Add the shallot mix to the slow cooker. Add the coconut milk and stock.
Five: Add the ground almonds, desiccated coconut and mango chutney. Mix well and cook on high for 3 hours.
Where does a korma come from?
Korma originates from the Mughal Empire, in India, but it actually refers to many different gravies that have varying levels of heat. It is actually seen as quite a special curry and for festive occasions, rather than an every day food and it would usually be made with goat or mutton.
The word korma translates to 'braise' as the meat it flash cooked to lock in all the flavours and juices, and then it is cooked in a sauce on a low heat for a long time. Which is why a korma is perfect for the slow cooker. Whilst this slow cooker chicken korma might not be very authentic to a traditional korma, it is a delicious Indian takeaway alternative of a curry we know and love here in the UK.
Think of this as an easy curry base that you can adapt in lots of different ways. We love anything that we can add lots of different vegetables to, and this is exactly one of those recipes. You can give this slow cooker chicken korma a green veggie boost by stirring in some spinach about 15 minutes before serving. You could use kale or chard too.
If you wanted to use less meat, but still have a protein packed curry, then you could swap some of the chicken for canned chickpeas. The creaminess of the chickpeas are perfect with the creaminess of the curry sauce.
When cooking the onion, you could add some finely diced bell pepper, mushrooms and courgette too. Peas are also a good addition to this curry and they will add some colour too.
Chunks of cauliflower are also good with this, as they kind of disguise themselves amongst the chicken. Once everything is coated in the sauce, you won't really be able to tell the difference.
If you didn't want to serve this curry with rice, then you could add some cubes of sweet potato or butternut squash directly to the curry to make it more filling. Butternut squash would work well too.
Curry goes perfectly with rice, which soaks up all that incredible creamy sauce. You could just go with plain basmati rice, or why not try our Turmeric Rice for something a little different? You could swap rice for quinoa for a protein boost. For a lower carb alternative, cook some grated cauliflower at the same time as the rice and mix it all together.
Soft and fluffy bread is always a good option with curry too, so why not try making our Homemade Flatbreads - they are so simple. And then dip them in some of our homemade cucumber raita. If you want lots of flavour, then try our Peshwari Naan.
Frequently Asked Questions
You could swap the spices for a korma pasta instead and if you really wanted to make this a quick and easy curry, then you could swap the spices, stock and coconut milk for a good quality jar of korma sauce.
Every slow cooker cooks differently, so if you find that your sauce is too thin, then you can cook it for an hour longer with the lid off. You could also add a cornflour slurry, but we find that changes the flavour too much.
There really is no rule here, just make sure that the ingredients you are using can fit in your slow cooker. We use a Crock Pot DuraCeramic Slow Cooker and we love it. What I love most about it is that you can put the bowl insert on the hob too. So, you can cook the onions on the hob, in the slow cooker bowl. I also love that it has a clear lid, as I am so impatient that I want to keep looking and seeing what it is doing. If you don't have a clear lid, then lifting it to see will release lots of the heat and add to the cooking time.
The chicken should be perfectly cooked in the slow cooker after 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. However, we always like to use a food thermometer to check. The cooked temperature of chicken is 75°C/165°F. However, if you don't have a food thermometer, then it is best to use your judgement and stick a knife in it. It shouldn't be pink inside.
Yes, this can all be cooked on the hob and it will take around 35-40 minutes. Just make sure that the chicken is cooked through.
If you wanted to make a vegan version of this, then you could swap the chicken for tofu, or just add extra vegetables.
This is a great batch cook meal, so make extra and keep it in the freezer for those buy nights. Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for 2 days.
Yes, once you have let the curry fully cool, you can transfer it in to a freezable container and then it will keep for 3 months.
Make sure to fully defrost the curry in the fridge overnight and then you can reheat the curry in a saucepan over a medium heat until piping hot all the way through. You could also reheat it in the microwave.
• Make sure the spices you are using haven't been sat in your cupboard for years. If you are using really old spices, they won't have much flavour and you will really notice a lack of flavour in the dish. Opened spices should be used within 6 months ideally.
• You can use light coconut milk instead of full fat in this curry, but you won't get the same creamy flavour.
• You can give this an extra protein boost by adding some quick cook lentils at the same time as the coconut milk.
• Add some fresh coriander (cilantro) before serving to lighten it up a little.
More slow cooker chicken recipes
If you’ve tried this slow cooker chicken korma recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Korma
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 650 g chicken thighs
- 3 Garlic clove - crushed
- 30 g Fresh ginger - peeled and grated
- 4 Shallots - diced
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Garam masala
- 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 0.5 teaspoon Chilli powder
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 100 ml chicken stock
- 3 tablespoon ground almonds
- 2 tablespoon Desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon mango chutney
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken thighs. Brown for one minute each side then put in the slow cooker.2 tablespoon Olive oil, 650 g chicken thighs
- To the frying pan, add the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes.3 Garlic clove, 4 Shallots, 30 g Fresh ginger
- Add all the spices and the tomato puree to the pan. Remove from the heat and mix well.1 teaspoon Cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon Ground coriander, 1 teaspoon Garam masala, 0.5 teaspoon Chilli powder, 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
- Add the shallot mix to the slow cooker. Add the coconut milk and stock.400 ml coconut milk, 100 ml chicken stock
- Add the ground almonds, desiccated coconut and mango chutney. Mix well and cook on high for 3 hours.3 tablespoon ground almonds, 2 tablespoon Desiccated coconut, 1 tablespoon mango chutney
- Make sure the spices you are using haven't been sat in your cupboard for years. If you are using really old spices, they won't have much flavour and you will really notice a lack of flavour in the dish. Opened spices should be used within 6 months ideally.
- You can use light coconut milk instead of full fat in this curry, but you won't get the same creamy flavour.
- You can give this an extra protein boost by adding some quick cook lentils at the same time as the coconut milk.
- Add some fresh coriander (cilantro) before serving to lighten it up a little.