Traditional Lamb or Mutton Korma Recipe

I love a good curry, and a simple mutton korma is a good one to know. This is a classic mutton recipe, made with marinated meat, spices and yogurt. It’s spicy, but not too spicy, and can be made with lamb or goat meat too if you prefer. Mutton is traditional though, and I love using it for curries when I have it on hand. Read on and I’ll explain how to make it.

Mutton korma in a bowl served with Indian mushroom rice, garnished with cilantro.
Mutton korma served with Indian mushroom rice.

While there’s a few different ingredients, the recipe comes together easily after the onions are made. The first thing you’ll do is marinate the mutton or lamb stew meat with yogurt, ginger garlic paste and spices, which can be done overnight.

A bowl of mutton meat marinating in yogurt with spices.
Marinating mutton meat in yogurt and spices.

One of the most important things my Indian friends have told me about korma is the onions. While some recipes call for pre-cooked, purchased onions, I prefer to brown and caramelize them myself. The onions are browned in ghee and cooked until soft and caramelized. Next the onions are ground to a coarse paste in a food processor.

When it’s time to cook the korma, the marinated mutton and onion paste is cooked in lamb stock or water until the meat is tender and could be cut with a fork.

Chef’s Tips

  • Marinating the meat, especially allowing it to rest overnight will give the best flavor.
  • Slow-cooking cuts like lamb shoulder or neck will have the most tender meat.
  • Make the curry the day before you want to serve it as the flavor improves over time.
  • Save time on prep by using commercially prepared ginger garlic paste.
  • Cayenne (red chilli powder) provides most of the heat here. Feel free to use your favorite chilli powder or fresh hot peppers.

What to serve with mutton korma

Rice is the most traditional accompaniment, especially tumeric rice, or Indian Mushroom Rice. You can also serve it with flatbreads like naan or chapati.


  • There’s many different ways to make this. two options people have mentioned I’d like to try are using black cardamoms, and cooking in an instant pot instead of a dutch oven.
  • The cut of meat can be a number of different things. The best will be slow-cooking cuts like shoulder or neck, but, just about any muscle will work if it’s cut into stew chunks. Bone-in goat meat or lamb is a little more tricky to work with, but is more traditional, and gives you extra collagen and body in the finished curry.
  • You can use the same recipe to make chicken korma.
  • If you like green curries and saag, make sure to take a look at my lamb saag too.
  • I like serving just about any spicy curry with a spoonful of Pataks chutney or a sweet jam or preserve I’ve made, especially pepper jelly.
A pot of indian mushroom rice.
Indian mushroom rice.


Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef

This recipe is by James Beard award-winning Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

Related Posts

A bowl of mutton korma with Indian mushroom rice.
Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Mutton Korma

A traditional mutton curry made with marinated mutton or lamb, caramelized onions and yogurt. Perfect served with Indian mushroom rice or tumeric rice.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Marinating time2 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Goat Korma, Lamb Korma, Mutton Korma
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 435kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 dutch oven
  • 1 two quart mixing bowl


Marinated lamb

  • 1 lb boneless mutton lamb or goat, cut into pieces for stew
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or ½ teaspoon for a milder korma
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 jalapeno diced, seeds removed
  • 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 cups water or lamb stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns finely ground


  • 3 small onions roughly 9 oz sliced onions
  • 2 tablespoons ghee


  • Combine the ingredients for the marinated lamb. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  • For the fried onions, cook the onions in the ghee until golden brown, about 15 minutes on medium high heat. Remove the onions, then pulse to a coarse paste in a food processor.
  • Combine the marinated lamb, onion paste, and lamb stock or water.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer on medium heat, turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 1.5 hours, or until the lamb is fork tender and pulls apart easily.
  • Double check the seasoning for salt and pepper and adjust as needed until it tastes good to you.
  • Serve the korma with turmeric rice or Indian mushroom rice, flatbreads, or your favorite side dish for soaking up the sauce. It’s great garnished with yogurt, chutneys and fresh herbs.


I use commercially made ginger garlic paste to save time here. If you want to make your own, just puree ginger and garlic together in equal parts using a food processor and a little oil until it just comes together in a smooth puree. 


Serving: 6g | Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 679mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 306IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg