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  • Lamb Korma

    YIELD: 8 CUPS / 1.9 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need 2 small mixing bowls; a large, shallow dish; an 8-inch / 20-cm frying pan; 2 plates; a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; a food processor; and a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L sauté pan.
    SUBSTITUTIONS: You can substitute beef for the lamb, but if you do, lengthen the cooking time in Step 11 to 2 hours. For chicken, cook for 40 minutes for bone-in and 20 minutes for boneless. For shrimp, cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until just cooked through. For vegetables, cook about 10 minutes, or longer if you want them softer.
    VEGANIZE IT! Page over to my recipe for Navratan Korma and follow the notes for making it vegan.

    Korma is simply the name for a sauce that derives its richness from nuts and its sweet notes from dried fruit like raisins. The main ingredient can be anything at all. I used lamb because it’s most often linked to a korma on Indian restaurant menus. Feel free to use vegetables, poultry, beef, or even shrimp. Just know that cooking times will vary slightly according to the main ingredient.

    • ¼ cup /40 g golden raisins
    • 2 cups /470 mL boiling water
    • 2 pounds /910 g boneless lamb (leg or shoulder), cut into 1-inch / 3-cm cubes
    • 2½ teaspoons plus 1 pinch salt, divided
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 10 whole cloves
    • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
    • 1 (2-inch / 5-cm) piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 2–3 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed
    • 6 tablespoons /90 mL ghee or vegetable oil, divided
    • 1 (4-inch / 10-cm) stick cinnamon
    • 1 large onion (yellow or red), thinly sliced
    • 2 cups /470 mL room-temperature water, divided
    • 3 large tomatoes, diced
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • ½ cup /120 mL heavy cream or half & half
    • 12 raw, unsalted cashews, split in half and dry roasted, for garnish
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan, for serving
    1. Place the raisins in a small mixing bowl and add the boiling water. Set them aside to soak for at least 30 minutes as you prep the remaining ingredients.
    2. Place the lamb in a large, shallow dish and sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the salt and the turmeric over it. Set it aside at room temperature until you are ready to cook.
    3. Combine the cloves, cumin and coriander seeds, peppercorns, and cardamom in an 8-inch / 20-cm frying pan over medium–high heat and dry roast for 3 minutes, until the seeds turn reddish-brown and become aromatic. During the entire cooking time, shake the pan every 15 to 20 seconds to prevent the spices from burning. When roasting spices, never leave the pan unattended—they burn easily. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate, and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
    4. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the roasted spices from Step 3 into a powder and place in a small mixing bowl.
    5. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the ginger, garlic, and fresh chiles into a smooth paste. Transfer to the bowl containing the roasted, ground spices. Stir until combined and set aside.
    6. In a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart/ 6-L sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm 3 tablespoons / 45 mL of the ghee. Add the lamb and sear, turning to cook each side, for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
    7. Return the sauté pan to medium–high heat and warm the remaining 3 tablespoons / 45 mL of ghee. Add the cinnamon stick, onion, and the 1 pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, until the onion is slightly browned.
    8. Add the contents of the small mixing bowl last used in Step 5 to the sauté pan and cook for 1 minute. Add ½ cup / 120 mL of the room-temperature water and cook for 1 minute. Add another ½ cup / 120 mL of the room-temperature water, scrape the pan thoroughly, and cook for 1 minute.
    9. Drain the raisins. Add them, along with the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, and the red chile powder, to the sauté pan and cook for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup / 120 mL of room-temperature water and bring to a boil.
    10. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture slightly thickens. The spices will also come together and should merge with the tomatoes. Add a little more water if you prefer a thinner gravy.
    11. Slowly, carefully add the lamb pieces to the sauté pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours or longer, until the lamb is completely tender.
    12. Add the cream to the sauté pan. Stir slowly and cook for 1 minute, until heated through. If the mixture dries out a bit, just add a little water. Remove from the heat.
    13. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the cashews and cilantro and serve over the brown or white basmati rice or with the Roti or Naan.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.