Qorma Lawand

(Afghani Chicken Curry)

January 12: National Curried Chicken Day

We love eating curried chicken and have featured different recipes from around the world—from stews to dumplings and sandwiches. Here is another one from Afghanistan for National Curried Chicken Day. Qorma Lawand has a milder flavor than other chicken curried stews but it is still delicious, hearty and satisfying. Instead of using the curry spice, we made our own nut paste marinade and onion gravy mixture for a fresh flavor. Try this Afghani chicken curry over Kabuli Pulao (Afghani pilaf) or basmati rice for a complete meal combination. بفرماييد • نوش جان ښه اشتیا ولری •


(Adapted from Whats4Eats)

Ingredients for the nut paste marinade

  • 2 pounds chicken, boneless and skinless, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup cashew nuts
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup water

Ingredients for the spice mixture

  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ingredients for the onion gravy

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup ghee (clarified butter) or oil
  • 1-2 chili peppers, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (whole or full fat)
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped


Make the marinade for the chicken by placing the nuts, garlic, ginger and water in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Stir the chicken pieces in the marinade. Cover and chill for at least one hour (overnight is best).

Prepare the spice mixture by combining in a small cup or bowl the turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.

Chop the onions and slice the chili peppers. Heat a skillet on medium high with ghee or oil. Stir in the spice mixture.

Saute the onions until softened. Stir in the sliced chili peppers. Add the chicken and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the yogurt.

Add enough water to make a gravy to desired thickness or soupiness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the bay leaf. Cover and lower heat to medium low. Cook for 35-45 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Adjust seasonings. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the cilantro leaves.  Serve hot with rice.


  • Search our blog for other Afghani recipes.
  • Search our blog for other chicken curry recipes.