Creamy Lamb Korma in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

December 10, 2017 (Updated: April 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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Lamb Korma is an Indian Mughlai dish, in which lamb stew meat is braised in a cream based sauce and toasted Indian spices.  This lamb curry is simmered for hours to reach the perfect tenderness and rich flavor.

The word Korma or Kurma draws it’s origin from the Persian word Kormah, which literally means “braise”.

In this easy Indian food recipe for Lamb Korma, I braise the lamb meat with aromatics in a creamy coconut sauce.  I season the sauce with toasted garam masala, and pressure cook it to a melt-in-your-mouth perfection.   Note that this dish is sometimes called Mutton Korma.

Building the Flavors in this Lamb Curry

You develop the flavors of the korma curry by using the popular spice blend called Garam MasalaGaram masala is an Indian spice mix that includes, Cardamom, Cumin, Coriander, Cloves, Bay leaves etc.  The garam masala spice mix is used in many Indian food dishes.

You infuse these flavors in a yogurt, cream or coconut cream sauce.  Traditionally, you simmer the meat in this sauce for hours over slow heat, till it becomes tender and gets infused with all the flavors.

Lamb korma served in a white bowl with cilantro garnish

Cooking Lamb Korma in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

In this lamb stew recipe, I am able to mimic the slow-cooking setup by cooking this easy lamb korma in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot.

Pressure cooking the lamb helps infuse the spices with the meat, and the flavor is to die for.  Also, I am able to cut down the cooking time from hours to less than 30 minutes.

To learn more about the instant pot and many more easy instant pot recipes, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.

Lamb korma curry being cooked in the instant pot pressure cooker

Customize your Lamb Korma Recipe

You can make the korma curry using three different cream bases- heavy creamyogurt or coconut milk.

My family loves the taste of a coconut milk based sauce, so that’s what I end up making most of the time.  Using coconut milk also makes this dish is dairy-free, so people with dairy restrictions can also enjoy this amazing curry.

Close up view of Indian lamb Korma curry in a white bowl

Pairing Suggestion for Lamb Korma

Lamb korma and butter naan are a terrific Indian food combination.  This lamb recipe also goes really well with a homemade flatbread called, Parantha, naan, cumin rice or nutty brown rice.  If you’re eating low-carb, you can have this with cauli-rice.

I serve this with a side of garden salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette.  The salad adds a beautiful contrast to the creamy korma, and adds some greens to your meal too!

Top shot of instant pot lamb korma with a paratha and yogurt side

How to Make Chicken Korma with this Recipe

You can also make Chicken Korma with this recipe.  To make chicken korma, use boneless skinless chicken and reduce the cooking time to 5-6 minutes of high-pressure cooking.

Stovetop Recipe for Indian Lamb Korma

I mostly cook this lamb recipe in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but you can make this on the stove-top too.

For a stovetop recipe, simply follow the instructions to make the sauce and simmer on medium heat for about 40-45 minutes, or till the meat is tender.

Keep stirring every 10 minutes to prevent the sauce from sticking at the bottom.

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Lamb korma curry instant pot pressure cooker by Spice Cravings. Lamb Korma is an Indian Mughlai dish: Lamb stew meat is braised in a cream based sauce & bold Indian spices and simmered for hours to reach the perfection. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian

Lamb Korma in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or Stovetop

Lamb Korma is an Indian Mughlai dish, wherein lamb stew meat is braised in a cream-based sauce & bold Indian spices and simmered for hours to reach perfection.  In this recipe, I shorten the cooking time using the instant pot.
4.77 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 271kcal
Author: Spice Cravings



  • Prep: Chop onions. Fine chop, grate or grind peeled ginger and garlic. You can do everything together in a mini food processor. Start by pulsing ginger and garlic 5-6 times and then add onions. Cube the lamb leg meat and keep aside.
  • Turn on Instant Pot DUO in SAUTE mode. Wait 30 seconds. Add oil, chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste and saute for 1 minute.  Smart Tip: You can add a pinch of salt at this stage to speed up the sweating of the onions.  Add tomato paste with 1/4 cup of water. This deglazes the pot as well as helps blend the tomato paste. Add all spices and stir well.
  • Add coconut milk, rest of water and lamb cubes. Stir. Close the Instant Pot. Set valve to Sealing mode. Set Manual or Pressure Cook for 15 minutes. This time is perfect for the texture that my family likes, you can set it anywhere between 12-15 minutes, depending on how you like it.
    lamb korma curry instant pot pressure cooker
  • Open the lid after 15 minutes of natural pressure release (NPR). Add chopped cilantro. You can add a few drops of fresh lime juice before serving, but this is totally an optional step. Serve it with Naan, Flatbread, Cumin basmati rice, Brown rice, or even Cauli-rice

Stovetop Recipe

  • For a stovetop recipe, simply follow the instructions to make the sauce and simmer on medium heat for about 40-45 minutes, or till the meat is tender.
  • Keep stirring every 10 minutes to prevent the sauce from sticking at the bottom.



If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 728mg | Potassium: 516mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 435IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 3.4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Curry, lamb
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!
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Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for Quick & Easy video recipes. Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Check out my Instant Pot Recipes boards on Pinterest.



Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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  • Reply
    Andrea Grantham
    October 24, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Hi Can you tel l me if I can make this earlier in the day and then re-heat before my dinner party?

    • Reply
      October 24, 2019 at 9:24 pm

      Hi Andrea, absolutely . The sauce gets thicker as it sits. After re-heating it if the sauce seems too thick, add a ‘couple of tbsps’ of hot water and stir.Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Cath Courtney
    August 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    I made EVERYTHING EXACTLY as above and my color is no where near the photo or any regular korma color ???? It’s a deep red.

    • Reply
      August 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Courtney, the color could’ve been a result of two variables. Maybe the coconut milk you used had a lower cream/fat content as cream makes the curry lighter. The other possibility is that your paprika or red chili powder was more potent in color which made the curry darker. Either way, the flavor shouldn’t have been affected. I hope you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    June 20, 2019 at 6:46 am

    hi this recipe looks amazing!! Can this be done in a crockpot? how would the prep stages differ?

    • Reply
      June 21, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Hi Jennifer, thank you! I have never made this in a crockpot, but you can simply saute the aromatics in a fry-pan and follow the remaining recipe in your crockpot. I wouldn’t happen to know the cook time for crockpot, but I’m pretty sure you can find that online. Hope you love it!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    I can’t wait to make this. We have a local Indian restaurant that I always get lamb Korma from but I have been wanting to make it at home. I am curious if you could share your lemon vinaigrette recipe? Or if you have a lime one? This sounded like the perfect thing to serve with it to me as well! 🙂

  • Reply
    Neelam Singh
    March 9, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. This was very authentic and my family loved it. The lamb was so tender my daughter could “cut” it with her spoon. I only added 1/2 cup water and cut the time to 12 mins on high pressure. I didn’t add extra cardomom as I thought my garam masala had enough, but was wondering later if I missed out on some flavor that was supposed to be part of the tase of the dish.
    looking forward to trying your other dishes

    • Reply
      March 10, 2019 at 6:56 pm

      Hi Neelam, I am so glad your family enjoyed this recipe, thanks a lot for sharing that. I would highly recommend adding the freshly ground cardamom next time, it really enhances this dish. I would love to hear from you when you try other dishes! Thanks!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    This recipe was so incredible! I doubled it and added red bell pepper along with the onions. So good! I am really glad I found your website!

    • Reply
      February 28, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Kenady, That is awesome! I am super glad that you customized this recipe and enjoyed it, it’s a favorite in my home 🙂 I really appreciate your sweet words! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Natasha Soares
    February 18, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Aneeshasg,
    I my daughter is a big fan of potatoes in curry, just wondering if I’d need to adjist anything ?
    I’m thinking maybe if I use beef it’d be better as the beef takes a little longer to cook.

    • Reply
      February 18, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Natasha, potatoes go really well in this curry. Just cube them and add them, no time adjustment needed. This cooking time is enough for potatoes to cook through and become creamy. If you wish to make this korma with beef, increase the pressure cooking time to 30 mins, NPR. Hope your daughter loves it!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Can I make this with beef ? If yes, should the cooking time be adjusted ?

    • Reply
      January 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Esther, Absolutely! If you’re making this with beef chunks, increase the cook time to 30 minutes, with a 10-15 minute natural pressure release. Hope you love it!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2019 at 7:34 am

    I also like a thicker korma. How do I keep my coconut cream from curdling/seperating in the instapot? Is it the same as with tempering the yogurt?… Or could i use an immersion blender to re-emulsify?

    I make Thai coconut milk soups often. Never in my instapot but, on the stove top so that i can control the heat to not let it boil. Texture is important to me.

    • Reply
      January 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Hi Andrea! For a thicker Korma, I would suggest simmering the curry on saute mode for a few minutes after pressure cooking. That’s what I do too. Regarding coconut milk curdling, it happens to me too sometimes. Tempering will help, also make sure it comes to a simmer before you close the lid for pressure cooking. If it still curdles, turn on saute and whisk it a few times and it becomes creamy again. As for Thai coconut soup, try this Instant Pot recipe- it never fails me:

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Thanks Aneesha, this is a fantastic recipe. This one will be on high rotation in our house from now on!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2018 at 10:24 am

      Yeah! It’s on repeat in my home too. My kids LOVE lamb Korma. I’m so glad you liked this recipe. Have you tried the lamb chops recipe? It’s not for pressure cooker, but a real quick stove-top or oven recipe:

  • Reply
    April 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    HI! If I choose to use the yogurt instead of coconut milk, do I still add it at the same point in the recipe? Often, yogurt seems to curdle if added during pressure cooking in instapot so I see many recipes suggest adding it after the pressure cooking is done. Please let me know what you suggest with this recipe.

    I’m excited to try and make this. I make a lot of your yummy recipes. Thanks!!

    • Reply
      April 11, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      Hi M! So glad to hear that you’re enjoying my recipes, thanks for sharing that, it always makes my day! You can add yogurt instead of coconut milk, and add it at the same point. I beat/whisk yogurt to a smooth consistency and add it a tbsp at a time and stir. This tempers the yogurt and helps it blend with the onion and spices and prevents curdling. Check out the video in this recipe for clarity: Hope you love this Korma!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for this recipe- just made it and it tastes amazing. Super easy to follow. Definitely making this again. I might try to figure out how to make the sauce a touch thicker/creamier next time, but this is just a personal taste thing and definitely not a complaint. Nice one!

    • Reply
      March 21, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Yeah! So glad you enjoyed this recipe. You can skip the water next time. The lamb also releases some juices, so there should be enough liquid for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Hello, what is ginger-garlic?
    Thanks. ..

    • Reply
      March 13, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      Hi Gery, by that I meant ginger ‘and’ garlic. I have made some changes to the text, and hopefully it’s clearer now. For this recipe, I use about 2 tablespoons of fine-chopped, grated or ground, ginger & garlic, which is about an inch of peeled ginger, and about 6 cloves of peeled garlic. Hope that helps.

      • Reply
        April 14, 2019 at 1:12 pm

        Does this mean 2 tbsp of ginger and 2 tbsp of garlic? Or 2 tbsp total?

        • Reply
          Aneesha | Spice Cravings
          April 15, 2019 at 12:15 am

          Hi Ben, it is 1 tbsp each. Roughly 1 inch ginger + 6 cloves of garlic should be good. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Brown rice is not low carb. It has nearly the same carb content and glycemic index numbers as white rice.

    • Reply
      March 9, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Hi Tim, I buy both kinds, white Jasmine and Brown Jasmine from Trader Joe’s. Here is what the label says: White Jasmine Rice: Total Carbs: 42g, Fiber: 0g; Net Carbs= 42g. Brown Jasmine Rice: Total Carbs: 37g, Fiber: 3g, Net Carbs=34g. So per every serving, there is a saving of 8g of carbs in Brown rice as compared to White Rice. I agree with you that every kind of rice has carbs, perhaps I should say “lower” carb instead of “low” carb. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Reply
      March 9, 2018 at 10:12 am

      And I do suggest cauli-rice as a low-carb option in this post.

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