Shahi means “royal”, a name well suited for this dish from the kitchens of Moghul emperors. One of the most powerful dynasties of the medieval world, the Mughals are entwined inseparably with India’s history and culture and most importantly, its cuisine.
Shahi Lamb Korma, is a royal dish cooked for palace feasts by the 400 cooks of the Mughal kitchen. Mughlai cuisine evolved in medieval India during their reign starting in the 16th century. The cuisine is a mix of styles and recipes from North India and Persia.
Korma is a style of braising meat on high heat briefly then cooking it on slow fire in gravy until cooked through. This dish can be made with meat of your choice or even vegetables. Shahi korma is flavored with ginger, garlic and spices like garam masala, red chili powder, cardamom, cloves, black peppers, saffron, and cashew nuts. This elegant korma is fragrant, rich, mild and has a subtle spiciness that will make you crave for more. Shahi korma is a component of the majestic Hyderbadi Biryani.
Shahi Korma – Royal Braised Lamb with Fragrant Spices
- Large heavy-bottomed skillet or wok
- 3 lb Lean boneless lamb, cut into 1½ cubes
- ½ cup Ghee or vegetable oil
- 2 cup Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
- 1½ tbsp Ginger root, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tbsp Ground nutmeg
- ¾ tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Mughal garam marsala
- ½ tsp Red pepper
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 cup Plain yogurt
- 1 cup Sour cream (or heavy cream)
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- Milk, a little if necessary to stop sticking during cooking
- Slice onion and chop garlic and ginger. Cut meat into 1½-inch cubes and dry on paper towels. In a small bowl, combine cumin, mace, cinnamon, garam masala, red pepper, and paprika. Heat ghee in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Onions will turn a caramel brown in about 15 minutes. Reserve ½ of the onion.Add garlic and ginger and cook 2 minutes more. Add spices from bowl and stir rapidly to incorporate.
- Increase to high and add meat cubes. Brown meat on all sides for around 5 minutes. Add ½ cup of yogurt, ½ cup sour cream, and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to low. Cover and simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Check frequently to avoid the sauce sticking and burning. If it looks like it's sticking, stir in a little milk. When the korma is fully cooked, there will be just enough sauce to coat the meat pieces. At this point, turn off the heat and stir in remaining onions, ½ cup yogurt and ½ cup sour cream.
- Shahi korma can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 3 days. It doesn’t freeze well.
- Feel free to scoop-off excess fat from the top. Be sure to leave enough to coat and glaze the meat pieces.