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Goat Korma

An authentic recipe for goat korma, a classic and much celebrated Awadhi dish cooked with yoghurt and with flavourings of mace and kewra among other aromatics. This is a long and elaborate recipe so save it for a special feast. As with any dish of its kind there are variations. The way I was taught it was to fry raw ground onions together with the meat after the garlic-ginger step but others recommend frying the onions separately first and then adding to the dish. Another variation is the use of khus khus or poppy seeds to thicken the gravy or almonds. It takes time to cook this properly but it’s worth it believe me. This is not to be confused with milder coconut based or tomato based versions.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Awadhi cuisine, Delhi Food, Goat curry, Korma, Mughlai cuisine, North Indian Food
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 4


  • Pressure cooker or slow cooker


  • 1 kg goat meat on the bone (shoulder, ribs or leg), cut into 2" pieces
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Oil enough for deep frying onions
  • 2 tbsp ghee increase to 4 if meat is very lean without any fat
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 2 brown cardamom optional
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 8-10 black peppercorns
  • 200 g plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala homemade is best – see recipe
  • 1 tsp kewra water available in Asian shops
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri or Deghi chilli powder
  • 1 tsp hot red chilli powder leave this out if you do not want the curry to be very hot
  • 4 tsp coriander powder homemade is best
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp lightly toasted poppy seeds (khus khus) optional


  • Heat the ghee, add the meat and garlic and ginger pastes. Fry this on a medium heat until the ghee separates. Add half a cup of water and repeat. The raw smell of garlic needs to become mellow and less acrid.
  • Grind the onions to a fine paste adding a little water if necessary. Add this paste to the cooking meat after the garlic and ginger has cooked properly.
  • Add the yoghurt and the remaining spices except the garam masala and kewra. Stir and fry on medium heat until the ghee separates once again. It should now have a deep red colour.
  • If using ground poppy seeds add now
  • Add 1.5 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt. Either pressure cook for half an hour or slow cook until the meat is completely tender.
  • Add the kewra and garam masala, stir and serve with roti or naan
Tried this recipe?I would LOVE to see your creations so click a photo and tag @deccanbtn on Instagram with the hashtag #DeccanTiffin!

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