This was on the table for lunch today. Now, I’d eaten lamb korma many times, but I’d never made it before. And I decided to make it sans recipe, in part because I knew we didn’t have all the ingredients and in part because I like cooking without guidelines.

I expected something okay. But this was a total success, which is why I’m sharing it with you! By success I mean DELICIOUS. Finger-licking good. Although you might have a problem if you’re eating hot curry with your fingers. Just kidding. Give into your caveperson desires. Eat with your hands! Throw out the rules.

Best of all, this is a pretty simple recipe. The only “difficult” ingredient on the list is lamb. And although I don’t think the balance would be quite as good, you could substitute the lamb out for some other protein. Chicken, for instance. Nothing wrong with a big ‘ole bowl of chicken korma.

I’ve also added RAISINS to the ingredient list even though I didn’t have any raisins to add into mine today. The kormas I’ve had in restaurants include golden raisins, which are a bit plumper than the normal black ones, but I’m sure either would work.

If you’re an Indian food or curry lover, give this recipe a try. You won’t regret it. Certainly don’t be overwhelmed by the rather long-looking ingredient list. And did I mention this recipe only takes a half hour to prepare?

I’m so excited that I broke my own rule and wrote several honking big paragraphs before the recipe itself. Sorry, folks!

Easy Lamb Korma

The perfect balance of sweetness, creaminess, and spice. Lamb, almonds, cream, onions, deliciousness.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: curry, easy, korma, lamb
Servings: 4


  • Large saute pan
  • Large bowl


  • 6 lamb shoulder chops
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or substitute half-and-half or milk + butter in equal parts
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp curry powder, for the marinade
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 cup sliced almonds or substitute cashews
  • A dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 handful raisins
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided into 2 2-tbsp portions
  • 1 tbsp curry powder for frying
  • Basmati rice, cooked, to eat with the korma
  • Parsley, for garnish, if you want it
  • Water


  • Cut the lamb shoulder chops into cubes, cutting the meat off the bone. The smaller you cut the meat, the shorter the korma will need to cook and the tenderer the meat will become in less time. For tender meat in half an hour, cut meat into 3/4 inch cubes.
  • Put the cubed lamb into a large bowl with the salt, the heavy cream (or substitution), the curry powder for the marinade, the garam masala, the cayenne pepper, the salt, the Worcestershire sauce, and the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Let sit.
  • Put 2 tbsp of butter into a large saute pan and heat on medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the honey and cook for a couple more minutes, until the onion is turning golden-brown. Then take the pan off the heat and transfer the onion into the bowl with the marinating lamb. Stir to combine.
  • Put the pan back on medium heat and add the other 2 tbsp of butter. When the butter is hot, add the halved cherry tomatoes. Add some salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Then add the sliced almonds, the raisins, and the curry powder for frying. Stir everything together and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn the curry powder.
  • At this stage, if you feel your lamb has marinated long enough (or if you're in a hurry), you can transfer the lamb and the marinade mixture into the pan. (If you have more time, or want to marinate for longer, then by all means do so. Your dish will be more flavorsome in the end. In that case, just remove the raisin and almond and tomato mixture from the heat while waiting for the lamb to marinate, and proceed when you're ready.)
  • Once you add the lamb and marinade mixture to the pan, stir everything together. Let the mixture come to a boil, then add roughly an eighth cup of water. Cover the pan and let cook on medium heat. After about 5 minutes, uncover; check to see if the mixture is reduced, and add more water if it is. Repeat this process until your lamb has reached your desired doneness and tenderness. If you intend to cook the lamb for a long time, you can add water in larger increments to reduce active time. At the end, taste the curry and add salt and spices to taste. Add garnish, if desired, and serve with hot basmati rice.

More notes. The longer you cook the lamb, the more succulent it will become. If you have hours to spare, add a whole ton of water and let it reduce slowly at a simmer. Your lamb will become fall-apart-tender, and your lamb korma will be delicious.

Also, I very much eyeballed the spices while making this today, so my measurements may be a bit off. I think that if anything, I used more spices than were listed because I like my food on the very spicy side. If you try this recipe out, please let me know how it works for you, and I’ll try to make adjustments as needed.

If you’re looking for something more complex, try this recipe from Taste.

And if you enjoyed this recipe and want more, check out the Good Eats archive, where we keep the most delicious things in the world.

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