Lamb Korma

    2 hours 15 min

    Korma recipes originated from the Islamic Courts of India over the 10th - 16th centuries and have morphed into a mild Anglo-Indian classic curry dish. In this recipe, I bring back some of the luxuriant richness of the traditional Moghul korma while keeping to the mild, simplicity of the modern British curry.


    Yorkshire, England, UK
    7 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or powder)
    • 1 pinch saffron, infused in warm water
    • 4 tablespoons ghee, or sunflower or vegetable oil - divided
    • 500g onions, half chopped finely, half sliced thinly into rounds
    • 1/4 - 1 teaspoon chilli powder
    • salt to taste
    • 115g plain yoghurt
    • 500g lamb, chopped into 2cm peices
    • 3 green cardamom pods, broken open
    • 1 pinch turmeric
    • 2 tablespoons rose water (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon garam masala

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr15min 

    1. Start by dry frying the cumin seeds, if you are beginning with whole ones. When nicely toasted, crush them in a pestle and mortar.
    2. Make the saffron infusion by placing the saffron filaments in a mug or glass and pour over newly drawn water that has just been boiled and leave to infuse for 30 minutes then strain out the saffron.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a frying pan and add the onions and fry gently until translucent. Add the chilli powder, cumin powder and salt and fry together for 1 minute, then add the yoghurt, stir well and cook for about 10 minutes at a gentle simmer with the lid on.
    4. While you are frying the onions, start frying the lamb pieces in 2 tablespoons ghee in a separate frying pan. Cook these quickly to brown and seal the edges. When ready, which should be as the korma sauce is finishing its 10 minutes initial cook, add the lamb to the sauce, cover and cook at a medium heat for 1 1/2 hours. Lift these pieces of lamb out of the ghee with a fork or slotted spoon, i.e. leave the fat behind.
    5. When the meat is tender, which should be after about 1 1/2 hours, simmer with the lid off to let the liquid dry up almost completely.
    6. Now add the remaining ingredients - saffron, rose water, coriander leaves and garam masala - and stir until warmed through.
    7. Serve straightaway, or even better leave a day and eat the next day when the flavours are much more subtle and have infused completely through.


    You can vary the amount of chilli powder you add to the korma but remember that this is a mild curry and should not be blisteringly hot.

    See it on my blog

    Axel Steenberg Blog - Traditional Korma Recipe

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