Monday, May 21, 2018

Kashmiri Lamb Korma

It was a miserable day, weather wise, and I had a curry planned on the menu so it was already a win win in my books.

The curry chosen for tonight wasn't a hot and spicy dish but rather a thick creamy mild comforting one.  Korma just means a mild curry. Yet, it is actually a very rich stew in which the meat, chicken or vegetables and nuts are braised in cream, yogurt or coconut milk. 

Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region in Indian. It borders Pakistan, Afganistan and China, the Tibetan region. Kashmir has its own special and traditional foods influenced by the climatic conditions and customs. Rich and redolent with the flavour of the spices used –cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, saffron, etc. Kashmiri food can be the simple meal of a family, or a 36-course wedding banquet called Wazawan. The staple diet of every Kashmiri is rice, the most preferred being the dense, slightly sticky grained Kashmir variety, which is prized in the Valley. Mutton, chicken or fish are of prime importance in Kashmiri meal and everyday cooking often combines vegetable and meat in the same dish.

Once again another curry made from scratch - no jar in sight.  The combination of spices was easy and not over complicated.  Cooked slowly the lamb was beautiful and tender, all most melt in your mouth.  Enveloped with a thick creamy sauce this recipe may not be completely authentic but with lots of spice and herbs, this delicious korma packs a punch of flavour which we all enjoyed.

Kashmiri Lamb Korma
(recipe adapted from

Serves: 4

60 grams ghee or butter
3 brown onions, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
8 black peppercorns, crushed
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 kilogram lamb shoulder, cut into 3cm pieces
2 cups water
1 cup natural yoghurt
freshly ground black pepper
80 grams ground almond meal
additional water if required
toasted flaked almonds, to garnish
chopped coriander, to garnish

Heat the ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until lightly golden.

Add the turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, cumin, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, chilli and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic.

Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tomatoes are pulpy.

Add the lamb, stirring until completely covered with the tomato mixture.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the water and mix well.  Allow mixture to come back to a simmer.

Add the yoghurt and bring to a simmer, ensuring that you mix the yoghurt through completely.  Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or until lamb is very tender and sauce thickens slightly.


Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.

Transfer to a large casserole and cook, covered in the oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally or until lamb is very tender and sauce thickens slightly.

Add almond meal and mix through well.  If too thick add a little water.

Spoon lamb into a serving bowl and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Serve with steamed rice, if desired, and coriander.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe).

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