Cook the Book: Lamb Korma in an Almond-Saffron Sauce 

Cook the Book: Lamb Korma in an Almond-Saffron Sauce\u00a0

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

Made with creamy bases of milk, yogurt, cream, and puréed nuts and seeds, kormas are some of the richest curries around. This Lamb Korma in an Almond-Saffron Sauce from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey takes that richness to a whole new level, with chunks of fatty lamb and a sauce made from smooth blended almonds and finished with heavy cream.

Combining almonds, cream, and saffron makes for a delicately flavored, velvety sauce that calls for lots of extra rice for soaking up the runoff. Warm spices like cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon play up the sweetness of the dairy and nuts, while herbal bay leaves and sharp ginger keep it from getting to cloying.

As it's the sort of dish that pairs well with fresh flavors, Madhur Jaffrey likes to serve hers with a Tomato Pullao, a rice dish made with coarsely chopped tomatoes and basmati rice studded with black peppercorns.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of At Home with Madhur Jaffrey to give away this week.

Adapted from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey. Copyright © 2010. Published by Knopf. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:3 to 4


  • 1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 good-sized cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • One 2–3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless lamb, preferably from the shoulder, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 


  1. 1.

    Soak the almonds in 1/2 cup boiling water for 2 hours. Put the almonds, their soaking liquid, the ginger, and garlic into a blender and blend until smooth. 

  2. 2.

    Pour the oil into a medium pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves and stir-fry them for 5 seconds. Put in half the meat and brown on all sides. Remove the meat with tongs and put in a bowl. Brown the remaining meat the same way. Now return the first batch of browned meat to the pan. Pour in the paste from the blender. Add the cayenne, salt, and saffron. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 60 to 75 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add the cream and cook on medium-high heat for a few minutes so the sauce thickens.