Lamb korma pilaf

Main Dish
4 servings
40 min
30 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 4
400 g basmati rice

65 ml oil

4 large onions, finely chopped

2.5 x 1cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 green chillies, chopped

5 cloves

5 cardamoms

5 cm cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

1 kg boneless lamb

1 tbsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 level tsp cumin powder

1 1/2 tsps red chilli powder

3 pieces mace

1/4 nutmeg powder

100 ml full-fat plain yoghurt

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp salt

2 cassia leaves or bay leaves

1 tsp oil or butter

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 level tsp salt

a few strands of saffron

2 tbsp rosewater or milk


  • Wash the rice a few times. Leave the rice to soak in a bowl of water for 30 mins.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow pot or large pan. Fry the onions till they are medium to darkish brown. Add the ginger, garlic, chillies, cloves, cardamoms and cinnamon and fry for 2-3 mins.
  • Add the lamb and stir fry over a low to medium heat, stirring continuously for at least 10-15 mins. The longer you do so, the better the taste. Add the coriander powder, stir for 2 mins, then add the other spice powders and mix well. Add 65ml water and stir and let it simmer for 2 mins.
  • Whisk or whip the yoghurt with a fork and add to the pot. Add the tomatoes and salt. Stir, cover with a lid and leave to cook until the lamb is 90 per cent done, but checking every 15 mins or so to see if the pot has dried up completely. If it does, add 100ml water or more. When the lamb is done, it should have a thick spice coating, but not a runny gravy.
  • Drain the rice. Put in a separate pot with equal quantity of water. Put the same volume of water to boil with the bay leaves. When boiling, add the oil, salt and turmeric powder. Then add the rice. Leave pot uncovered. When the water is absorbed, the rice will be three-quarters cooked.
  • Soak the saffron in 2 tbsp of rosewater or milk and set aside. Take a large ovenproof serving dish. Brush the bottom with a little oil. Put half the rice in and spread it evenly. Then put the cooked lamb on top and spread over. Put the rest of the rice on top.
  • Cover with lid and cook in preheated oven at 160 deg C for 20 mins. The rice will have cooked and absorbed some of the moisture from the korma. You will also get a curried rice at the bottom and the fragrant rice at the top, making a delectable korma and rice combination. Sprinkle the saffron and rosewater/milk on top.


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