Lamb Korma: an easy recipe for an incredibly flavorful Indian dish

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
lamb leg cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb
Olive oil
1 tbsp
medium onion, finely chopped
ginger, minced
1 tbsp
Garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp
Tomato paste
2 tbsp
Coconut milk
1/2 cup
3/4 cup
1 tsp
Garam masala
1 tbsp
Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp
cayenne powder
1/4 tsp
1 tsp
Cardamom powder
1/2 tsp
2 tbsp

Full of wonderful spices and succulent lamb in a rich, creamy sauce, lamb korma is a phenomenal tasting Indian dish that is loved by people all over the world. Kormas are a classic Mughlai dish made from meat, vegetables, or a combination of the two. While traditionally kormas are prepared over a low heat, which allows the meat to braise, this hearty lamb korma is made in an instant pot, making it virtually effortless and much quicker to prepare. Lamb korma is so easy to make and packed with so many incredible flavors, you may find yourself making it at least once a week. The best part is that it tastes even better the next day – if you manage to save any leftovers, that is! If you don't eat meat, you can also try vegetarian korma.

What is Korma?

Korma is a delicious curry found in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The origins of the dish are in Mughlai cuisine. It's made using meats and vegetables cooked in yogurt, heavy cream, or coconut milk over a low heat which gives the dish a rich, creamy texture. It's full of fragrant spices, meats such as lamb, goat, chicken, beef, or game meats, and can be made mild to spicy.

Ingredients for Lamb Korma

Lamb korma gets its wonderful flavor in part from the gorgeous array of spices that go into the dish. Ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, cardamom, and cayenne powder are some of the main spices you'll find in this fragrant dish. They work together to season the lamb meat.

In this particular recipe, coconut milk gives the korma its characteristic creaminess while a touch of tomato paste adds a slight tangy brightness to each bite. It's finished off with a sprinkling of lively cilantro which helps to tie all the flavors together beautifully.

How to Make Lamb Korma

For a mouthwatering lamb korma you can make with ease, use your instant pot. Set your instant pot to saute and begin by cooking the onions and ginger-garlic paste for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add in the tomato paste and ¼ cup of water, followed by all the spices: garam masala, turmeric, ground cardamom, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Stir everything well and let it simmer for a minute or two.

Next, stir in the coconut milk, ½ cup of water, and the lamb. Pop the lid onto the instant pot and secure it, then set it to Manual and cook your korma for about 20 minutes or so. Once it has finished cooking, let the instant pot naturally release for 10 to 15 minutes, or longer if you prefer.

Remove the lid and stir the korma, then garnish it generously with chopped fresh cilantro leaves. To add a little brightness and help finish off the dish, you can squeeze a little lime juice into the curry before serving it.


Tips for Making the Best Lamb Korma

Add a dash of salt to the onions as they're cooking. It not only enhances the flavor but salt also helps cook the onions quicker.

If you prefer a milder korma, leave out the cayenne pepper.

You can swap out the coconut milk for plain yogurt.

Feel free to tinker with the amount of spice you use to season your korma. Add more or less depending on what you like best.

What to Serve with Creamy Lamb Korma

Creamy lamb korma is best served with a rice side dish like pilau, saffron rice, or even plain basmati rice as well as fresh Indian bread like naan, paratha, or roti. People on a low-carb or keto diet can serve their homemade lamb korma with cauliflower rice.

How to Store Lamb Korma

Keep your lamb korma tasting its best by transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Here's a tip: lamb korma tastes better the next day after all the flavors have had time to mingle together. Frozen lamb korma stays good for up to 2 months.


Set your instant pot to saute. Heat the oil then add in the onions and garlic-ginger paste. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions start to soften.

Stir in the tomato paste and ¼ cup of water followed by the garam masala, turmeric powder, cayenne powder, paprika, and cardamom powder. Stir in the coconut milk, ½ cup water, and lamb.

Secure the lid and set it to Manual for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, do a 10 to 15-minute natural release followed by a quick release.

Sprinkle cilantro over the korma. If desired, squeeze a little lime juice over it, then serve.


If you cut the lamb into smaller chunks, they won't need as long to cook. 15 minutes on Manual will do the trick for smaller pieces of meat.

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