Lamb with spices and yoghurt

The Complete Asian Cookbook
Alan Benson

I have noticed that commercial kormas can be quite sweet, although traditionally this is not so. Whether this is to pander to Western taste buds, I'm not sure. If that is your preference, add a couple of teaspoons of sugar at the end of cooking.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg boned leg of lamb
2 onions
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves
40g raw cashews or blanched almonds
2-6 dried red chillies, seeded
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon ghee
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
125g plain yoghurt
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Cut the lamb into large cubes, trimming off any excess fat. Peel the onions; slice one thinly and set aside. Finely chop the other onion and place in a food processor with the ginger, garlic, cashews and chillies. Add 125 ml water and process to make a smooth paste. Add all of the ground spices and process until well combined.
  2. Put the saffron strands into a small bowl with the boiling water and allow to soak while cooking the masala.
  3. Heat the ghee and oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until soft and golden. Add the spice mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the oil starts to separate.
  4. Add 60 ml water to the pan together with the salt and continue to stir until the liquid evaporates. Add the lamb and stir over medium heat until each piece is coated with the spice. Stir the saffron, crushing the strands against the side of the bowl, then add to the pan and stir to combine. Add the yoghurt and stir again until mixed through.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, or until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened. Make sure you stir occasionally, taking care that the spice mixture does not stick to the base of the pan. When the lamb is cooked, sprinkle with the coriander leaves, replace the lid and cook for 5 minutes further. Serve the lamb korma hot with rice.
The Complete Asian Cookbook
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