Aachar Korma Recipe - Delicious Indian Lamb Dish

Aachar Korma

Aachar Korma Recipe - Delicious Indian Lamb Dish
Region / culture: India | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 4


Aachar Korma
Aachar Korma

Aachar Korma is a delectable and unique dish that combines the rich, aromatic flavors of traditional Indian korma with the tangy zest of achar (pickle). This recipe is a celebration of Indian culinary heritage, offering a symphony of spices, tender lamb, and a burst of flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Perfect for special occasions or a gourmet weekend dinner, Aachar Korma is a dish that promises to take you on a flavorful journey through the heart of Indian cuisine.


The origins of Aachar Korma can be traced back to the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire, where chefs experimented with blending the rich, creamy textures of korma with the tangy, spicy notes of traditional Indian pickles. This fusion dish has evolved over centuries, incorporating local flavors and ingredients, making it a beloved recipe in households across the Indian subcontinent. Today, Aachar Korma stands as a testament to the rich culinary history and innovation of Indian cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. Clean, debone, and cut the lamb into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Put the lamb in a vessel, add turmeric, salt, and 1.5 liters of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until tender.
  3. Drain the lamb and reserve the stock.
  4. Heat mustard oil until smoking, then reduce the heat to medium and add ghee.
  5. Add sliced onions and sauté until brown.
  6. Remove the onions for garnishing.
  7. In the same fat, fry red chilies until black, then remove and discard them.
  8. Add mustard seeds, cloves, and asafoetida to the fat and sauté until the seeds begin to crackle.
  9. Add the cooked lamb, red chili powder, cumin seeds, kalonji, jaggery, ginger, and garlic. Fry until the lamb becomes brownish.
  10. Then add the reserved stock and lemon juice, and simmer for a minute.
  11. Remove the vessel from the heat, add yogurt, stir, and return to heat. Fry until the fat leaves the masala.
  12. Adjust the seasoning.
  13. Serve garnished with fried onions.


  • 1. Chicken Aachar Korma: Substitute lamb with chicken for a lighter version.
  • 2. Vegetarian Aachar Korma: Use paneer or mixed vegetables instead of lamb for a vegetarian variant.
  • 3. Creamy Aachar Korma: Add a dollop of cream towards the end of cooking for a richer, creamier gravy.
  • 1. Chicken Aachar Korma: Substitute lamb with chicken for a lighter version.
  • 2. Vegetarian Aachar Korma: Use paneer or mixed vegetables instead of lamb for a vegetarian variant.
  • 3. Creamy Aachar Korma: Add cream instead of yogurt for a richer, creamier sauce.
  • 1. Chicken or beef can be used instead of lamb for a different flavor profile.
  • 2. Vegetarians can substitute lamb with paneer or mixed vegetables.
  • 3. Adjust the level of spices and chilies to suit your taste preferences.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. Marinating the lamb in yogurt and spices overnight will tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.

2. Use mustard oil for an authentic taste, but ensure it is heated until smoking to remove any raw flavors.

3. Fry spices at a medium heat to release their aromas without burning.

4. Adding a bit of sugar or jaggery balances the acidity of the yogurt and the tanginess of the lemon juice.

5. Slow cooking the lamb on low heat ensures it is succulent and flavorsome.

Serving Suggestions

Aachar Korma is best served with naan, roti, or steamed basmati rice. A side of cucumber raita or a fresh green salad can complement the rich flavors of the dish.

Cooking Techniques

Slow cooking is key to achieving the perfect texture and depth of flavor in Aachar Korma. Marinating the meat and cooking it on a low flame allows the spices to penetrate deeply, resulting in a more flavorful dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. If mustard oil is not available, vegetable oil can be used, though the flavor will be slightly different.

2. Apple cider vinegar can substitute lemon juice for a similar tangy taste.

3. Brown sugar can replace jaggery if unavailable.

Make Ahead Tips

The lamb can be marinated a day ahead, and the onions can be fried in advance. This not only saves time but also enhances the flavors of the dish.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Aachar Korma in a traditional clay pot or a decorative serving dish, garnished with fried onions, fresh cilantro, and a wedge of lemon for an appealing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine or a cold beer pairs wonderfully with the rich and spicy flavors of Aachar Korma.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water if the sauce has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Aachar Korma contains approximately 400-450 calories, making it a hearty and fulfilling meal option.


A serving of Aachar Korma contains approximately 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this dish are onions, yogurt, and jaggery, which provide energy and help in the digestion process.


This dish is rich in fats, with approximately 25-30 grams per serving, coming mainly from ghee, mustard oil, and the lamb itself. These fats are essential for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and providing energy.


Aachar Korma is a high-protein dish, offering about 30-35 grams of protein per serving. The lamb is an excellent source of high-quality protein necessary for muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

The dish is a good source of vitamins A, B, and D, along with minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, thanks to the lamb, yogurt, and spices used in the recipe. These nutrients support bone health, improve immunity, and aid in metabolism.


This recipe contains dairy (yogurt) and may not be suitable for individuals with a dairy allergy. Additionally, those with a sensitivity to gluten should ensure all spice blends used are gluten-free.


Aachar Korma is a nutrient-rich dish, high in proteins and fats, with a moderate amount of carbohydrates. It provides essential vitamins and minerals, making it a balanced meal option. However, due to its high calorie and fat content, it should be enjoyed in moderation.


Aachar Korma is a rich, flavorful dish that combines the best of Indian korma and pickle flavors. With its deep historical roots and nutritional benefits, it's a perfect meal for those looking to explore the depths of Indian cuisine. Whether you're cooking for a special occasion or a cozy family dinner, Aachar Korma is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the joy I felt when I first stumbled upon this recipe for Aachar Korma. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl learning the art of cooking from my own grandmother. She was a master in the kitchen, always whipping up delicious meals with ease and grace.

One day, as I was helping her prepare dinner, she pulled out a worn and tattered recipe book from the shelf. As she flipped through the pages, her eyes landed on a recipe for Aachar Korma. She explained to me that this dish was a traditional Indian recipe that was passed down through generations in our family.

Intrigued, I watched as she gathered the ingredients and started cooking. The kitchen was filled with the rich aromas of spices and herbs, and I could hardly contain my excitement as the dish came together. When it was finally ready, we sat down to enjoy the Aachar Korma together.

The first bite was like a burst of flavor in my mouth – the tanginess of the pickled mangoes, the richness of the yogurt and cream, and the warmth of the spices all came together in perfect harmony. I knew then that this recipe would become a favorite in my own cooking repertoire.

Over the years, I have made Aachar Korma countless times, each time adding my own twist to the dish. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, who have all fallen in love with its unique and bold flavors. And as I pass on this recipe to you, my dear grandchild, I hope that you will continue the tradition and make this dish a staple in your own kitchen.

The secret to a good Aachar Korma lies in the balance of flavors. The tanginess of the pickled mangoes, the creaminess of the yogurt and cream, and the heat of the spices must all come together in perfect harmony. It is a dish that requires patience and attention to detail, but the end result is well worth the effort.

To make Aachar Korma, start by marinating your choice of protein – whether it be chicken, lamb, or vegetables – in a mixture of yogurt, cream, and a blend of spices. Let the meat or vegetables sit in the marinade for at least an hour, allowing the flavors to penetrate and infuse.

In a separate pan, heat some oil and add in a handful of whole spices – cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns. Let the spices sizzle and release their aroma before adding in finely chopped onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, then add in the marinated protein.

Let the meat or vegetables cook until they are tender, then add in a generous spoonful of pickled mangoes. The tangy flavor of the mangoes will add a unique twist to the dish, balancing out the richness of the yogurt and cream.

Finally, sprinkle in some more spices – turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder – adjusting the heat level to your liking. Let the dish simmer on low heat, allowing the flavors to meld together and create a rich and aromatic sauce.

Serve the Aachar Korma hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and a dollop of yogurt. Pair it with fluffy naan bread or steamed rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

As you sit down to enjoy this dish, remember the joy and love that went into its creation. Cooking is not just about following a recipe – it is about creating memories and traditions that will last a lifetime. And I hope that this recipe for Aachar Korma will become a cherished part of your own culinary journey.


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