Lamb korma

A classic korma of melting lamb on the bone, Qorma Bahadur Shahi, from Muglai cook Salma Husain
By Gary Rhodes
Lamb korma
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 4 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 250 g yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 800 g lamb, on the bone, cut into pieces (ask the butcher to do this)
  • 4 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 6 green cardamom, seeds only
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 5 prunes, whole
  • 50 g pistachio nuts, finely shredded
  • 30 g blanched almonds, finely shredded
  • 30 g raisins, soaked in warm water
  • 1/2 tsp saffron, soaked in a little warm water


1. Whisk together the yogurt, chilli powder and garlic in a large bowl and season with a little salt. Add the lamb pieces, toss to cover and set aside for an hour.

2. Mix together the ginger, coriander, cardamom, cumin, mace and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add a little water to make a spice paste.

3. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion until golden brown. Stir in the spice paste along with 125ml water. Cook over a low heat until the oil begins to separate.

5. Add lamb along with its marinade and the prunes. Cook until the yoghurt sauce begins to congeal, then fry it a little to take on some colour. You then loosen the sauce with a little more water and simmer for about an hour and a half until the lamb is tender and the oil has separated from the sauce.

6. Stir the pistachios, almonds, raisins and the saffron with its soaking water into the korma. Serve with Indian breads.

About Salma Husain
Salma Husain is a food historian who focuses on the royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperors. Salmas work includes translating recipes from ancient Persian manuscripts and bringing them to modern day India. She is currently writing a book about the cuisine, history and culture of the Indian city Lucknow.

Rate This Recipe