Chicken KHORMA – BANGALORE style Curry

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The cuisine of Bangalore, India is famous for both its vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes. Today I’m going to share a typical home-style Chicken Khorma This is a mild to moderate spiced curry made Chicken cooked with whole spices in an Onion and Tomato gravy and finished off with fresh yogurt and Coconut cream. For those of you who have no idea what Bangalore is, it is the capital city of the state Karnataka in India. Because of it’s mild climate and lush greenery it is also known as the Garden City. The local language is Kannada. My husband is a born and bred Bangaloori so we have visited many many times.


Let me tell you a very interesting story about how I developed this recipe. We invited family and friends from Bangalore for dinner one day. I wanted to serve a simple but traditional dinner. My hubby who is from Bangalore insisted that I make Kurma, a gravy dish he remembers growing up with. Now if you think it’s intimidating to try a new recipe for the first time, imagine when you have to make it taste exactly like the memory your husband has of it without ever having tasted it before. To begin with I thought a Korma and a Kurma is the same thing, it’s not. A Korma is a rich and light gravy made with cream and cashew nut paste.

This recipe was a Muglai favourite that made it’s way to the south, but was greatly altered using local ingredients. Different parts of South India have different versions of this recipe. With no structured recipe, I had to figure out how to make it by calling and texting my sister in law in Bangalore. I had no way of knowing if I was on the right track, but somehow the results were amazing and my husband gave me two thumbs up! While I’m sure my method is completely different to how they prepare this back home in Bangalore, I’m sure my process will be easy for you to follow. This is one of those recipes that can be prepared in part or full ahead and can be batched up for a large crowd easily.


We need a LOT of Onions in this recipe. The success of the Kurma should be measured by the lingering smell of Onions in the air. This recipe also uses a LOT of tomatoes. This together with the spices gives this it’s authentic taste. It’s also finished off with Yogurt and Coconut milk or cream. Delish!

I’m using a large full Chicken that has been cut into a few pieces, this recipe does yield a lot of gravy so feel free to add more Chicken if you wish.

This Bangalore Chicken Kurma can also be prepared with Mutton, it’s an easy recipe with simple ingredients, each to prep ahead and batch up and above all, is delicious! Thanks to my sister in law Ayesha Dastagir for patiently walking me through this recipe through text and phone. If you can’t go to Bangalore, you can bring Bangalore to you in flavour!

Chicken KHORMA – BANGALORE style Curry


  • 1 full Chicken (2.2 lbs)
  • 7 cups diced Onions
  • 3-4 sliced chillies
  • 3 tbsps each Ginger & Garlic paste
  • 2 tbsps each Chilli powder, Garam Masala & Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 8 - 9 cups diced Tomatoes
  • Whole spices - Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Water
  • 1 cup beaten Yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsps Coconut milk or cream


  1. Heat oil and saute the Onions
  2. Add the green chillies and the ginger and garlic paste
  3. Add all of the powdered spices
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are mushy
  5. Remove from the heat, cool and puree
  6. Heat some more oil and add the whole spices
  7. Add the chicken and brown on both sides
  8. Add the ground masala and some water
  9. Cover and cook for 30 - 45 minutes
  10. Add salt to taste
  11. Add the yogurt and coconut milk or cream


Bangalore Biriyani

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Throughout my 18 years of married life, I’ve heard people rave about Bangalore Biriyani. During this period, I’ve learned how to cook, mastered the art and even competed in culinary competitions. I can make a pretty mean Biriyani myself, it took years of perfecting and tastes pretty good but is different from a Bangalore style Biriyani.

This recipe is almost always made with the most tender mutton that is cooked together with ginger, garlic, chillies, fried onions, spices and yogurt, layered with long grain Basmati and is prepared in large pots for special occasions and weddings. I think if you didn’t serve Bangalore Biriyani at a typical Muslim wedding, your guests would be pretty darned upset.

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Every time we visit Bangalore, I’ve had the chance to eat this Biriyani, but it was only till my trip in 2015 did I decide to corner my sister-in-law in her kitchen and document the entire process armed with a video camera. The ingredients are almost identical to the ones I use in my Biriyani, but the process varies. I noticed that my sister-in-law used a heavier hand with most of the ingredients oil, ghee & spices and the end result is fairly different from my usual Biriyani but oh so delicious! Follow the ingredient list below, but also play the video to watch the entire process.

This Biriyani was prepared in a large batch to feed a huge group of family and friends but feel free to try this out in a smaller batch. There are two ways to cook the Biriyani in it’s final stage – on the stove top or in the oven. Personally, I will always choose the oven for it’s even heat but if you are going to attempt cooking it on the stove top, be sure to protect the base of your dish with another pan or tava, to reduce the impact of the direct heat as the rice at the bottom of the vessel could burn.



Bangalore Biriyani

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 20

Bangalore style Biriyani - This recipe is almost always made with the most tender mutton that is cooked together with ginger, garlic, chillies, fried onions, spices and yogurt, layered with long grain Basmati and is prepared in large pots for special occasions and weddings. Read more at


  • Marinate the meat
  • 3 kgs or 6.5 lbs Mutton or Lamb shoulder cut in pieces
  • Turmeric
  • Red Chilli powder
  • Gravy
  • 3 cups Oil
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 10-12 Cardamoms and cloves
  • 8 cups sliced red Onions
  • 8 tsps Ginger & Garlic paste
  • 6-9 tsps red Chilli powder
  • 3-4 tsps Turmeric
  • 5 tsps Garam Masala
  • 6 cups sliced Tomatoes
  • 18 green Chillies slit horizontally
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 3 - 4 tbsp salt or to taste
  • 3 cups stirred Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup Ghee
  • 3 - 4 sliced fried Potatoes (half cooked)
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup chopped Mint
  • Fried onions
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Rice
  • 19 cups Basmati rice soaked for 1 hr in water
  • Whole spices
  • 3 green Chillies
  • Marinate the meat for a few hours or overnight


  1. In a large cooking pot add the oil and when heated add all the whole spices followed by the onions and cook till golden brown
  2. Add the ginger and garlic paste, the chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala and mix
  3. Add the tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy for about 10 mins
  4. Add the green slit chillies and 1/2 cup coriander and follow that with the meat
  5. Add the lemon juice and salt and combine
  6. Follow this with the stirred yogurt and ghee
  7. Cover and cook for 15 mins before adding the half cooked potatoes
  8. Add mint, cover and cook for about 30 mins till the meat is tender
  9. In another pot add double the amount of water as the rice and bring to the boil together with salt, some whole spices and 3 green chillies
  10. Add the rice and cook till half done
  11. Drain and keep aside to drain
  12. In another large vessel, add a layer of rice, make a well in the center and add some meat in the well as well as a layer on top of the rice
  13. Add another layer of rice with another layer of the meat and gravy
  14. Also add more chopped coriander, mint and fried onions in between and on top of the final layer
  15. Also add some yellow food coloring at the top
  16. Seal the vessel with some foil, you can also use a wet cloth or dough to make the vessel airtight
  17. Use a pan or kadai under your vessel so the heat is not directly touching your vessel and cook for about 40 mins. You can also use the oven
  18. Mix the grains and meat together with a large fork and serve