Originating in South Asia’s Mughal Empire, korma (also spelled “qorma”) was frequently prepared in royal Mughal kitchens. These days, made with goat, chicken, or simply vegetables, korma is typically associated with celebrations. Sahil Rahman, co-founder of the Washington, DC Indian restaurant, Rasa, loves to eat his Dolly Auntie’s goat korma for Eid—so much so that the holiday is incomplete without it in the Rahman household. Eaten with rice or naan, the stew is thoughtfully layered with warm spices including green and black cardamom, cumin, clove, and cinnamon. There’s also the addition of black cumin seed, a darker, thinner, and sweeter cousin of the more common brown cumin which is easily found in South Asian markets or specialty stores like Kalustyan’s. What sets this dish apart from more everyday South Asian stews is the addition of yogurt, which results in a luscious, soul-filling mouthful.
We’ve adjusted Dolly Auntie’s recipe here for use in an Instapot, but feel free to cook it traditionally—low and slow on the stove—or how Auntie likes to make it, using a pressure cooker. Just make sure to keep an eye on the heat and adjust as needed as the stew cooks.
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large yellow onions thinly sliced
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 6 black cloves
- ½ tsp. black cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. black peppercorns, divided
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 lb. bone-in goat shoulder or leg meat, cut into 2-in. pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste (2 tsp.)
- One 1/2-in. piece fresh ginger, peeled and crushed to a paste (2 tsp.)
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1⅓ cups plain yogurt
- 2 black cardamom pods
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg powder.
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