the appetizer:

Lamb Khorma is a simple one-pot curry, though we think it's best over rice. From The Culinary Institute of America One Dish Meals cookbook.


Lamb Khorma

Lamb Khorma

Makes 8 servings

Lamb Khorma is a sensuous curry made by simmering lamb pieces with yogurt and cream, and thickening the sauce with a cashew paste. If you can find goat or sheep's milk yogurt, it will make a discernable difference in the taste.

  • 2-1/2 lb boneless lamb leg, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt as needed
  • Ground white pepper as needed
  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger root
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 12 oz cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup ghee (see below) or canola oil
  • 3 cups small-dice yellow onion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 6 Thai bird chiles, chopped, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup pan-roasted cashews (see note, page 44 of the book)
  • 4 cups steamed saffron rice (see note, page 160)

1. Trim the lamb and cut it into large pieces. Season with salt and pepper and put in a bowl. Add the yogurt, 1 tbsp ginger, the garlic, and cardamom. Stir or toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed and the lamb is coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

2. Put the cashews in a small bowl and add enough hot water to cover them. Let the cashews soak for 30 minutes and then drain. Grind the drained cashews to a coarse paste in a food processor. Set aside.

3. Heat the ghee or oil in a casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and sauté until transparent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin, cardamom, fennel, the remaining ginger, and the coriander. Cook, stirring often until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the chiles, cilantro stems, and cashew paste and stir well to be sure that nothing is sticking. Sauté, stirring frequently and adding water a tablespoon at a time if necessary, until the mixture is very aromatic, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the lamb and the yogurt marinade, increase the heat, and stir until the pieces are evenly coated. Once the meat's juices begin to flow, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer very slowly, stirring occasionally, until the meat is nearly tender, about 1-1/2 hours.

5. Add the cream and continue to simmer until the curry is flavorful and thickened and the lamb is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and the Thai chiles. Garnish with cilantro leaves and cashews, and serve with saffron rice.


  • Ghee, a type of cooking butter used in Indian cooking, can be purchased in jars at Asian or Indian markets, but it is easy to make yourself.
  • Cube 1 pound of cold unsalted butter, place in a saucepan, and set over low heat. Once the butter has melted, increase the heat slightly. The pure butterfat will become very clear. Some foam will rise to the top; skim it away.

Increase the heat slightly and continue to cook the butter until the milk solids that have fallen to the bottom of the pan turn a deep golden color.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Ladle the clear butterfat, or ghee, into a clean container: discard the liquid at the bottom of the pan. You can keep ghee in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Buy the Book  

The Culinary Institute of America One Dish Meals
Flavorful Single-Dish Meals from
the World's Premier Culinary College

From the Culinary Institute of America
Lebhar-Friedman Books
More than 100 color photographs
ISBN: 0-86730-908-3
Recipe reprinted by permission.


One Dish Meals


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