This is a warm, deeply flavorful and authentic Mutton Korma/Qorma recipe with the traditional, classic flavour and simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Korma or qorma is a famous or in fact iconic Pakistani dish. It is often served at weddings as “Shadiyon wala Korma”. Rich in spices along with aromatic ingredients like kewra or saffron, nuts addition such as almonds or cashews is often used which infuse all of the authentic and royal flavours.
Table of content:
- Traditional Mutton Korma
- How to make Korma – 2 Main Steps
- Ingredients For Mutton Korma
- STEP 1: Crispy fried Onions for Korma
- STEP 2: Mutton Korma Gravy
- What to serve with Korma?
- Difference between Korma and other Curries
- Recipe card
- Pro Tips
Traditional Mutton Korma Recipe:
This is a simple and authentic mutton korma recipe that is rich in gravy and has a traditional flavour. Please pardon me for a bit of excess oil but this spice-infused oil is the true essence of korma.
My intention is to make these dishes simpler and easier while maintaining the classic, “traditional” flavour. Mutton korma is one of those traditional dishes, like Chapli Kabab, Cheese Samosas and Biryani which are loved by everyone and are served on every occasion.
How to make Korma – 2 Main Steps:
This is a step-by-step recipe for authentic Pakistani mutton korma which is both, delicious and simple to prepare. And also, you don’t need a ton of hard-to-find spices.
Two main Steps of making korma:
- Crispy fried Onions
- Korma Gravy
Ingredients For Mutton Korma;
- Ghee: For richer and more royal flavour ghee/butter is recommended instead of oil. But you can also use a mix of ghee and oil, both.
- Onions: Thinly sliced, freshly golden fried onions are the main ingredient for korma gravy. You can also use store-bought fried onions.
- Ginger Garlic paste: Homemade ginger garlic is best to remove the raw smell of meat and it also flavours up the food. You can also use store-bought as well.
- Mutton: Rinsed and clean, medium-sized goat meat pieces with the bone are used. ( Leg or shoulder cut is recommended)
- Yoghurt: The use of well-whisked full-day Yogurt helps to tenderise the mutton/lamb and also gives the gravy a nice, thick texture.
- Shan Korma masala: I used here ready-made Shan spice mix, easily available at stores. So, you don’t need a ton of hard-to-find spices here.
- Salt & Kashmiri Red chilli powder: I have used here box spice mix but for some extra lil more spice and colour, these two are used. You can skip it if you prefer less spicy.
- Whole Spices: A good amount of whole spices (cloves, black cardamom, Green Cardamom, Black pepper corn, Cinnamon sticks) are ground and added to this recipe, I have mentioned the quantity in the recipe, but you can omit or add them according to your availability.
- Milk: To thin out the gravy texture, milk is used as per your preferred gravy thickness. As an alternative water can also be used.
- Kewra water: An immensely important element is kewra water/essence. A rich aromatic soul, also known as screw pine.
- Garnishing: For the garnishing blanched Almonds and ginger julienne are added.
STEP 1: Crispy fried Onions for Korma:
Crisp fried onions are one of the main ingredients used in the making of Korma. Here I used homemade pan-fried onions. First, finely slice your onions with the help of a cutter. Then fry them in oil until golden or crispy. Or you can also use the store-bought crispy fried onions.
Make sure not to over-fry them, as they will look darker and gives the gravy a burnt flavour and dark brownish colour instead of royal red colour.
Homemade crispy Fried Onions:
You can follow the below tips for the perfect crispy fried onions:
- Leave the onions on a kitchen paper towel, this will make them more crispy by absorbing the excess oil.
- You can also freeze the fried onions on an open platter for a while, it will also help make them crispy.
STEP 2: Mutton Korma Gravy:
This authentic mutton/lamb qorma is an easy one-pot recipe. After the onion frying process, now in the same pot, add ginger garlic paste and saute it then add mutton and fry until it changes colour, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in individual bowls make the yoghurt masala mix and onion masala mix.
1. Yogurt Masala Mix:
- For the yoghurt, and masala mix adds the handy Shan Korma masala packet along with some more salt and chilli into the creamy yoghurt and mix well.
- Then add it to the sauteed mutton pot and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the mutton is half done and the oil starts to come over the surface and the gravy starts to look a little thick.
2. Onion Masala Mix:
- It’s time for the crispy fried onions to be crushed in a chopper or with the mortar and pestle which is in the olden times normally used as a spice grinder, along with the whole spices and cardamoms.
- Don’t make it a paste, keep it a little crumbly or in a crushed form because this will give the gravy a perfect thick crumbly look.
- Add this mixture to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes until it gets infused in it. Then add in the water or milk for as much gravy or how much thick texture as you want.
Now drizzle some kewra water or Kewra essence in it and garnish it with ginger Julienne or blanched almonds. Serve hot and enjoy.
What to serve with Korma?
Korma is best served with Sheermaal, easily available at Pakistani tandoors. Also frozen sheermaal you can get from Asian grocery stores if you live outside of Pakistan.
Korma is also usually served with naan, bread, taftaan, paratha and/or steamed rice.
Unlike many Pakistani curries, a korma is not topped with fresh coriander. You can serve it with blanched almonds or with ginger julienne on top.
Difference between Korma and other Curries:
Korma is distinguished from other curries by its rich, thick and crumbly gravy texture, because of the heavy incorporation of yoghurt as part of its main ingredients.
On the other side, normal curries/ salans are usually thin and smooth in texture.
Authentic Mutton Korma
- 1 cup Ghee / oil
- 2 cups Sliced Onions
- 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
- 1 kg Mutton (shoulder cut)
- 1 cup Yogurt
- 1 packet Korma masala (Shan mix)
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Red chili powder
- 6 cloves
- 2 black cardamom
- 5 Green cardamom
- 4 Black pepper corns
- 1 cup Milk / Water
- 1 tbsp Kewra water
- Almonds blanched
- Ginger julienne
- In a medium pot, melt in the ghee, add onion and fry until golden brown & set aside or put in freezer for making it more crispy.
- In the same pot, add ginger garlic paste saute it then add mutton and fry until it changes color, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Then in a small bowl, add the Shan Korma masala packet along with salt and kashmiri powder, the yogurt and combine well.
- Add this yoghurt mixture in the pot and cook/bhonofy for 15-20 minutes or until the mutton is half cooked and the oil starts to come over the surface and gravy starts to look a little thick.
- Now crush/grind the crispy fried onions in chopper or with the mortar and pestle which is in the olden times normally used as a spice grinder, along with the whole spices (black cardamom, black pepper corns, cloves and green cardamoms). Don’t make it a paste, keep it a little crumbly or grainy because this will give the gravy a perfect thick and rich look.
- Add the grinded mixture to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes until it gets infused in it. Then add in the water or milk for as much gravy or how much thick texture you want.
- Drizzle some kewra water or Kewra essence in it and garnish it with ginger julienne and almonds .
- Serve with naan, bread, taftaan, sheermaaal, paratha and steamed or cumin Rice.
- Crispy fried onions step can be done a night before the occasion day, so the process will be much quicker on the main day. OR you can simply use store-bought fried onions.
- Make sure to keep your fried onions a little crumbly while grinding because this will give the gravy a perfectly thick, grainy or crumbly look.
- For the best authentic thick korma thick gravy, just crush the crispy fried onions with your hands then add directly to the pot.
- Made this korma in ghee/butter instead of oil, for a more rich and more royal flavour.
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