Lamb Korma
Lamb Korma
5 from 4 votes
Discover the savoury delight of lamb korma, an exquisite dish with roots in the rich culinary traditions of South Asia. Dive into this immersive cooking journey and master the art of creating this complexly flavoured dish.
Lamb Korma

Ah, Lamb Korma! Just mentioning the name makes my tastebuds dance in anticipation. This Lamb Korma recipe is a dish that holds a special place in my heart, and I’m thrilled to share my journey in mastering this recipe. 

Lamb Korma is more than just a meal—it’s a culinary story that dates back hundreds of years, originating from the Indian subcontinent. This rich, creamy, mildly spiced dish is a stalwart of Mughlai cuisine, often served at royal feasts during the Mughal Empire era.  

The word ‘Korma’ itself descends from the Turkish ‘kavurma’ which means ‘cooked meat’, signifying the key role of slow-cooked lamb in this dish. 

Now, you might wonder, is it challenging to recreate this historic, exotic delicacy at home? I used to think so. When I first encountered Lamb Korma in an authentic Indian restaurant, the complexity of flavours left me pondering – can I ever pull this off in my kitchen?  

However, after several rounds of practice and tweaking, I discovered that it’s a moderately difficult dish, but completely doable even for home cooks, given you follow the steps meticulously. 

Remember, what might appear as an intimidating list of ingredients is, in fact, the secret sauce to the deep, layered flavours of this Lamb Korma recipe.  

With every spice that you add, from the warmth of the ground coriander to the earthy tones of turmeric, you’re participating in a centuries-old culinary tradition. 

And the star of the dish, the lamb, is a joy to cook. It starts off resilient, but as it simmers slowly in the yoghurt and spices, it yields into a mouth-wateringly tender delight that simply melts in your mouth.  

Not to forget, the addition of yogurt adds a creamy, tangy twist, binding all the spices together into a harmonious blend of flavours. 

In the end, it’s all about patience – letting the spices infuse, allowing the lamb to simmer gently, and waiting for the magic to happen. It’s not a quick, toss-it-all-together type of dish.  

It’s more of a slow, nurturing, therapeutic cooking experience that leaves you with a sense of accomplishment, not to mention a pot full of aromatic, delectable Lamb Korma. 

So, are you ready to embark on this flavourful journey? Roll up your sleeves, don your apron, and let’s dive into the art of cooking Lamb Korma! Remember, it’s not just about reaching the destination (although a plateful of this Lamb Korma recipe is a pretty amazing destination!), it’s about enjoying the journey and savouring each step along the way. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Are you ready to take a deep dive into the savoury world of our beloved Lamb Korma recipe? Fantastic! Let’s get started, shall we? 

Lamb: The protagonist of our tale is, without a doubt, lamb – tender, succulent, and oh-so-flavourful. Lamb is an excellent source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals.  

It’s preferred in a Korma for its ability to retain moisture and absorb the spices’ flavours while cooking. However, if you’re not a lamb fan, feel free to substitute it with beef or chicken. Each will provide a unique spin on our tale. 

Vegetable Oil: Our trusted squire in this culinary journey is vegetable oil. It does a fine job of sautéing onions and browning our lamb, helping to coax out those deep, nuanced flavours. If you’re feeling adventurous, ghee or clarified butter could add a nuttier flavour and richer texture. 

Onions, Garlic, and Ginger Paste: Our trio of aromatic wonders! They are the backbone of our dish, providing a pungent, earthy foundation that complements our spices beautifully.  

Alliums like onions and garlic have fantastic health benefits too, including boosting immunity and improving heart health. If fresh ginger isn’t readily available, ginger powder can swoop in to save the day! 

Spices: These are our Four Horsemen of Flavourtown! The spice blend that gives Korma its signature taste. Coriander and cumin lend an earthy, aromatic depth, while turmeric imparts a vibrant colour and subtle warmth. Chili powder adds that much-needed kick! If heat isn’t your thing, paprika can be a milder alternative. 

Plain Yogurt: Our culinary mediator. It marries our spices and meat, lending a creamy, tangy note that balances the dish beautifully. Plus, it tenderizes the lamb and adds a pleasant tang to our Korma. Don’t have plain yogurt? Sour cream or a plant-based yogurt would do a dandy job too. 

Salt: The unsung hero of the kitchen! Salt enhances and binds all the flavours together, making them pop. Your choice of salt can vary according to your preference, but be sure to add it gradually to achieve just the right balance. 

Fresh Cilantro: Our finishing flourish! Fresh cilantro brings a burst of brightness and colour that lifts the entire dish. Parsley or mint could be alternative scene-stealers here. 

And there you have it, a breakdown of each magical component of Lamb Korma and how they contribute to the final, delicious result! Now go forth and cook, my friends! 

Choosing the Best Cut of Lamb for Your Korma 

When venturing on the culinary journey of making a delightful Lamb Korma, the cut of the lamb is indeed a defining factor. It’s like choosing the lead actor for your award-winning movie. Your choice could earn you rave reviews or just a ‘meh’ response. 

The boneless lamb shoulder is the superstar when it comes to Korma. Why? It’s tender, flavourful, and because it contains some fat, it adds to the overall richness of the dish. The fat renders down during the slow cooking process, making the lamb divinely tender and the Korma deliciously rich. 

However, lamb leg can also step into the limelight if shoulder isn’t available. It’s leaner but still makes a good show. Just remember, it may not be as forgiving if you overcook it. Keep an eye on that cooking time! 

A quick pro tip – don’t rush to the supermarket and grab the first pack of lamb you see. Take a moment, check the options, and let the shoulder or leg have their shining moment in your Korma. 

Swapping Out Lamb for Other Meats in Your Korma 

Alright, meat-swapping aficionados, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and dive into the delicious world of Korma versatility. Yes, lamb is the traditional star, but what if you fancy a bit of a mix-up? 

Beef is a strong contender in the Korma ring. A nice slow-cooked beef Korma can be a knockout. Choose a cut that benefits from slow cooking like chuck or brisket, and you’re golden. 

And then there’s chicken. Oh, the humble chicken. It might not seem as exciting as lamb or beef, but let me tell you, a well-made Chicken Korma can really surprise your taste buds. Chicken thighs, with their rich flavour and forgiving nature when cooked for longer periods, would be my go-to here. 

But what if you’re feeling more adventurous? Turkey, duck, or even rabbit could be the alternative choice you’re looking for. Just remember, each meat comes with its own distinct flavour, so choose wisely, my culinary chameleons! 

Crafting a Delicious Vegan or Vegetarian Korma 

Let’s bring down the curtain on the meats and let the veggies and plant-based proteins take centre stage in our Korma production. Even without the lamb, your Lamb Korma recipe can still be a showstopper. So, how do you go about it? 

Say hello to firm tofu or tempeh. When prepared right, they can absorb the flavours of the spices just like lamb, and provide a wonderful texture that’s reminiscent of the meat. 

Chickpeas are another fantastic choice. They bring a hearty texture, and their mild flavour allows the korma sauce to shine. 

But don’t stop there. Potatoes, mushrooms, eggplants – all these veggies can play a part in your vegetarian Korma. The secret is in how you treat them. Make sure to give them time to mingle with the spices and absorb all the lovely flavours. 

A quick note for our vegan friends: swap out the yogurt for a plant-based one, and voila, you have a vegan Korma! 

Using Pre-Made Garlic and Ginger Paste in Your Korma 

We’ve all been there – standing in the kitchen, staring at a bulb of garlic and a piece of ginger, wondering why we didn’t just opt for the pre-made paste. Well, my fellow lazy chefs, today is our day! 

Using pre-made garlic and ginger paste in your Lamb Korma recipe is like hiring a personal assistant for your kitchen escapades. It saves time, avoids the fuss of peeling and mincing, and still delivers on flavour. 

A word of caution though, not all pastes are created equal. Some come with added preservatives or sugars that can alter the taste. Look for pastes with minimal ingredients – ideally just garlic, ginger, and perhaps a little oil or vinegar for preservation. 

And remember, the rule of thumb when swapping fresh for paste is to use half the amount. So, if your recipe calls for two teaspoons of fresh, use one teaspoon of paste. Now go forth and paste! 

Substituting Plain Yogurt in Your Korma 

Stepping into the dairy aisle can be like stepping into a minefield of creamy choices. When it comes to Korma, plain yogurt is the preferred dance partner. But what if it’s out of stock or you fancy a little experimentation? 

Enter Greek yogurt. It’s thicker and creamier, and brings a tanginess that can add a whole new dimension to your Korma. It’s also packed with protein, which is a nice bonus. 

And then there’s sour cream. A dollop of this can bring a delightful richness and slight tang to your Korma. However, it’s heavier than yogurt, so use it sparingly to avoid overpowering the other flavours. 

Remember, cooking is a bit like a dance. It’s all about finding the right partner for your ingredients and enjoying the flavour fiesta that follows! 

Alternatives for Ground Coriander and Cumin in Your Korma 

Are your spice cabinets running low? Do not fret, my kitchen comrades! There’s always a way to work around missing ingredients without losing the essence of our delicious Korma. Coriander and cumin may be out, but other spices are ready to step in and spice up our culinary stage. 

In the absence of ground coriander, you could opt for garam masala or curry powder, which usually contain coriander along with other spices. If you’re missing cumin, try using ground caraway or chili powder.  

They may not offer the exact same flavour profile, but they will still bring their unique zing to the dish. 

Remember, cooking is an art, and you are the artist. Don’t be afraid to play around and find the perfect blend that suits your palate. After all, necessity is the mother of invention, or in this case, the mother of culinary improvisation! 

Adjusting the Spice Level in Your Korma Without Losing Flavour 

We’re all friends here, right? So, let’s talk about that sneaky spice level in our Lamb Korma recipe. Some of us love the burn while others prefer to keep things mellow. Whichever camp you belong to, here’s the scoop on how to adjust your Korma’s spice level without losing out on flavour. 

The trick is to balance. If you’re cutting back on chili powder, try compensating with a bit more of the aromatic spices like coriander and cumin. These will still give your Korma a full, rounded flavour without the heat. 

If it’s the heat you’re after, adding more chili powder is the obvious choice, but do remember, Korma is a gentle soul – don’t overpower it. Consider also using fresh chilies, which can add a different kind of heat and depth to your dish. 

Just remember, whether you’re bringing the heat or keeping it chill, balance is the key. Your Korma will thank you for it! 

Knowing When Your Lamb is Perfectly Cooked in Korma 

In the quest for the perfect Lamb Korma, timing is everything. Cook the lamb too little, and it’s a trip to Chewy Town. Cook it too much, and you’re stuck in Dryville. So, how do we know when our lamb is just right? 

Trust your senses. Your eyes, your nose, and even your ears are your best tools here. As the lamb cooks, it changes colour, going from a raw pink to a succulent brown. The aroma deepens and becomes richer. And if you listen carefully, the sizzle changes as the meat moves from cooking to done. 

You could also take a small piece, let it cool, and give it a taste. It should be tender, almost melting in your mouth, but still retaining a slight firmness. 

Cooking lamb for Korma isn’t rocket science, but it’s a delicious science nevertheless. So put on your lab coat (or apron) and get experimenting! 

Thickening the Sauce for Your Lamb Korma 

Ah, the elusive quest for the perfect Korma sauce. You want it thick enough to coat your lamb and rice, but not so thick it turns into a gloopy mess. If your sauce has taken a turn towards the watery, don’t panic! I’ve got you covered. 

One trick is to let the Korma simmer with the lid off for a little while. This allows some of the water to evaporate, naturally thickening the sauce. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. 

Another trick is to mash a few pieces of the cooked lamb and stir them back into the sauce. They’ll break down and add body to the sauce. 

Finally, a slurry of corn starch and cold water can save the day. Just remember to add the slurry slowly and stir well to avoid lumps. 

With these tricks up your sleeve, you’re well on your way to Korma perfection! 

Pairing Side Dishes with Your Lamb Korma 

Once your Lamb Korma is sizzling and ready, the next step is to choose its dance partners. Steamed basmati rice and naan bread are the usual suspects, but let’s go beyond the obvious, shall we? 

A tangy, refreshing cucumber raita can be the perfect cooling counterpoint to your rich, spicy Korma. Or consider a vibrant, crunchy salad with lemony dressing to cut through the creaminess of the Korma. 

Don’t forget the pickles! Indian pickles, known as achar, come in many flavours and can add a spicy, tangy, or even sweet note to your meal. 

Finally, consider pairing your Korma with a fragrant biryani or pulao. The aromatic rice dishes will hold their own against the strong flavours of the Korma. 

Remember, in the world of food pairings, it’s all about balance and complementing flavours. So go forth, and let your Lamb Korma meet its perfect match! 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

If you fell in love with the richness of the Lamb Korma, let me entice you with another gem from the Asian kitchen, the Chicken Korma. This delightful dish, just like this Lamb Korma recipe, carries the unmistakable flavour of spices simmered to perfection, but the delicate chicken brings a different dimension to the korma family. 

After you’ve savoured these, do give the Malai Chicken Curry a try. Here, the velvety smoothness of cream dances gracefully with fiery spices and succulent pieces of chicken to create a symphony of flavours. A treat for your tastebuds, indeed! 

Now, to try a slight twist on chicken, there’s the Chicken Malai Tikka waiting for you. It’s a marvellous showcase of char-grilled chunks of chicken that have been marinated in creamy yogurt and spices. Each bite of this dish will give you a little crunch of char on the outside and a burst of juiciness on the inside. An absolute must-try if you’re a fan of our Lamb Korma. 

Then there’s the Lamb Karahi. A hearty dish, full of robust flavours where tender pieces of lamb are tossed with aromatic spices and a mouth-watering tomato gravy. It’s another lamb dish that matches the depth of flavour in the Lamb Korma, making it a wonderful addition to your culinary journey. 

My kitchen is filled with these and many other irresistible dishes, all carrying the vibrant flavours and aromatic charm of the Asian cuisine. I invite you to delve deeper, explore more recipes, and discover the incredible diversity of this culinary world. 

Don’t forget to share your experiences in the comment section, your feedback is much appreciated. Here’s to many more delicious adventures together! 

Lamb Korma

Lamb Korma

by Nabeela Kauser
Discover the savoury delight of lamb korma, an exquisite dish with roots in the rich culinary traditions of South Asia. Dive into this immersive cooking journey and master the art of creating this complexly flavoured dish.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 483 kcal


  • 500 g Lamb Boneless, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 Onions Finely chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 200 g Yoghurt
  • 200 ml Water
  • Coriander Garnish


  • In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown. 
  • Add the minced garlic and ginger paste to the pan. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Add the lamb cubes to the pan and cook until they are browned on all sides. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric powder, and chili powder. Mix well.
  • Sprinkle the spice mixture over the lamb cubes and stir until the meat is coated evenly.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the plain yogurt to the pan. Stir well to incorporate the yogurt into the mixture.
  • Pour in the water and season with salt to taste. Give it a good stir, cover the pan, and let the lamb simmer on low heat for about 1 hour or until it becomes tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once the lamb is cooked and tender, remove the lid and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Serve the Lamb Korma hot with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.


You can adjust the spice level by increasing or reducing the amount of chili powder.
If you prefer a creamier texture, you can add a tablespoon of heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking.
Lamb Korma is even more flavourful when prepared a day in advance and reheated before serving.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 24gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 695mgPotassium: 500mgFibre: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 212IUVitamin C: 6mgVitamin D: 0.2µgCalcium: 119mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Curry, Food, Indian Food, Lamb, Meat, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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