Lamb Korma in 45 Minutes - American Style

Introduction: Lamb Korma in 45 Minutes - American Style

About: I do extensive LED lighting as a hobby and side business, and love Burning Man. I'm also a chemical manufacturing entrepreneur, in the nanotech space.

This instructable is based on instructions from Premila Lal's book, The Complete Book of Indian Cooking. It's great, and cheap (like $15 for hundreds of recipes), so if you think this looks like an easy and good recipe, buy it!

The actual recipe shown here is modified slightly from the original to make it easier to cook using ingredients found in stores in the US. Additionally, it is adapted from the recipe for chicken korma found in Premila Lal's book, substituting lamb for chicken. The biggest substitutions are:

3 tbsp ghee -> 3 tbsp butter (close enough)
6 green chiles -> 4 red chiles (easier to find in the US)

Step 1: Step One - Prepare Onion Paste With Spices

The first step is to prepare an onion puree base that will also contain ground spices.

Here I'll demonstrate the way that you peel onions in a commercial kitchen as well -- you can peel an onion in 12 seconds! Maybe I'll make a separate short instructable just for that later!

Peeling an Onion in 12 seconds

1. Cut the tips of the onion off on each side(i.e. where the stems are).
2. Cut the onion in half, using the now flat tips to lay the onion flat.
3. Now the peel is totally unattached from the onion, and can be easily peeled with almost no effort.

Chop Onions into a spice puree'

1. Peel two onions. Chop into small chunks, and throw into a food processor in batches.
2. For one of the batches, add:
  • 4 red chiles (dried or fresh)
  • Ginger equivalent to about 1" of fresh ginger (1-2 tbsp of powder)
  • Garlic equivalent to about 1 pod of fresh garlic (1 tbsp of powder)
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves (or powder)
This produces a paste that should be orange colored from the turmeric, and have chile seeds visible.

Step 2: Step Two - Chop and Fry Two More Onions

Peel two more onions using the 12-second peeling method, and chop into pieces small enough for a food processor (or chop by hand). Chop at lower power and for a short time to produce finely chopped, but not pasted onions.

Melt 3 tbsp of butter (or ghee) in a large pan over high heat. After the butter is melted, add the chopped onions and fry to a light brown color.

While the onion is cooking, take out 1/2 - 1 lb of lamb and chop into bite sized pieces.

Step 3: Step Three - Add Lamb and Onion-Spice Paste

After the chopped onions reach a light brown color, add the lamb and brown briefly. After a short initial brown to help capture the flavor, add the spice paste in entirety. Cook the meat in the pastes until the outside of most of the pieces is a light brown. There is no need to completely cook the meat in this step, it will continue cooking for some time.

Step 4: Step Four - Add Yogurt and Remaining Spices

After the meat has been lightly browned, add about 1 cup of yogurt and stir together to form a watery yellowish concoction. As the yogurt and onions cook together, they will mix better and form a creamy sauce.

After adding the yogurt, add the remaining spices:
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 cardamoms (or powder equivalent)
  • 4 cloves
  • salt to taste

After adding the yogurt and remaining spices, bring it to a light boil, and then drop the temperature to allow it to simmer. Simmer until the lamb is tender. Add water if the mixture gets thicker than you like, otherwise cook until the sauce is the consistency you prefer.

Serve over basmati rice. I make mine using a rice cooker, about a teaspoon of cardamom, a bit of salt, and about a tablespoon of butter for 1.5 cups of dry rice.

Step 5: Variations! Rogan Josh and Lamb Pasanda!

This is a little known fact, but I was told by several independent sources at indian restaurants that the dishes "Rogan Josh" and "Pasanda" are basically identical to Korma.

Rogan Josh is one of my favorites, a spicy creamy sauce with raisins and cashews. So, take the recipe for Lamb Korma, and add some raisins and cashews with the spices to turn it into Rogan Josh! To make Pasanda, just add almonds, and cumin if you like.

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    3 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I LOVE lamb korma! I cannot wait to try this :D Thanks!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    For even more fun, use coconut milk in place of the yogurt, or spike your yogurt with some higher-fat dairy like heavy cream or more butter. I'm a big fan of the raisins-and-cashews approach, too.