• Lamb korma (Asia Unplated with Diana Chan)Source: Asia Unplated with Diana Chan

Korma is a mild curry from the North of India, where meat is cooked in a sauce of yoghurt, nuts and spices. It's irresistibly creamy and comforting.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (353 votes)


  • 1½ onions, chopped
  • 80 g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) ghee
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or cassia)
  • 1½ tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp each coriander seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, coarsely ground
  • 2-3 tsp ground Kashmiri chilli, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1.5 kg lamb neck, cut into 5 cm cubes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 200 g plain yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  • coarsely chopped coriander leaves, to serve

Nut paste

  • 60 g blanched almonds
  • 50 g finely grated coconut flesh
  • 3 tsp white poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp ghee

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Place the onion, ginger and garlic in a food processor and blitz to form a paste.

2. Place the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and cinnamon and cook, stirring regularly until very soft and starting to caramelise. Increase the heat to high, add the remaining spices and stir continuously for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant.

3. Add the lamb to the pan and cook, stirring regularly for 5-7 minutes or until browned all over. Add
1 litre of water, season to taste and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 2 -2 ½ hours or until the lamb is very tender and the sauce is reduced just enough to cover the meat. Add a splash of water during cooking if necessary.

4. Meanwhile, for the nut paste, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the almonds on a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Cool briefly, then place in a mortar and pestle with the coconut flesh, poppy seeds and ghee and pound until smooth. Alternatively use a small food processor.

5. When the lamb is tender, stir in the nut paste and yoghurt, check the seasoning and stir over very low heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Scatter with chopped coriander and serve with steamed basmati rice.


Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.