Malaysian Style Lamb Korma/Kurma

When you combine a mixture of dried ground spices, whole spices and trinity of shallots, garlic and ginger, you get the basic flavouring for this rich mutton curry. The Malaysian touch is obvious in this recipe as it involves candlenuts (which I heard not used by the typical North India/South India curry blend). Candlenuts is used to thicken the gravy. This recipe takes about 1 and 1/2 hour in total but you get this super rich dish that can probably last you for many meals.  My advice is not to throw the remaining gravy (after you have finished the meat) as you will definitely be coming back for more. The gravy goes well with white rice, pilaf, naan bread or even just plain old white bread!


  • 1 kg of mutton/lamb, cubed. (I used lamb midloin chops as it was meaty but with little bones in them.)
  • Blend:
    • 5 shallots
    • 1 whole garlic
    • 2 inch ginger, about the size of your thumb
    • 5 green chillies, deseeded (add more if you like it hot).
  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 6 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 2 stick of cinnamon (approximately 5cm long)
  • 4 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 10 candlenuts, pounded into fine powder
  • 2-3 sprigs of curry leaves, about 20 leaves
  • 3 potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarine pulp, soacked in 1 cup water, squeezed and strained for the juice
  • 1 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • Cooking oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnish (optional)


  1. Blend the shallots, garlic, ginger and green chillies with a tablespoon of water into paste form.
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a pot with high heat and then when hot, pour the meat into the pot.
  3. Brown the meat slices by stirring them occasionally in the pot. Remove them when they are browned on the outside (not cooked through).
  4. With the remaining oil, saute the onions till they become translucent.
  5. Add in more oil if the onions starts absorbing them. When hot, pour in the blended mixture of spice paste and stir them till you can smell the spice fragrant.
  6. Now add in the curry leaves, cardamon pods, curry powder and candlenuts.
  7. Toss back the lamb pieces, potatoes and tomatoes. Stir to combine well.
  8. Now, add the tamarind juice, yoghurt, salt and combine well. Close the pot with a lid and let the meat simmer over medium heat until the meat is cooked through and sauce begins to thicken. You may need to check from time to time as the spices might start to burn on the base of the pot so what you need to do is to stir it gently.
  9. When almost ready, check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper as required.
  10. Serve it hot with coriander leaves as garnishing.

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