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Mutton, chicken korma

Mutton korma from Al-Jawahar in Delhi, India.

What: A mild curry in which meat (often yogurt-marinated) is cooked in a thick gravy of ground onions, ginger, garlic, lots of whole and ground spices, and ghee, mutton (usually goat here) and chicken korma (also spelled qorma) are staples on any Muslim-Mughlai restaurant around town. They’re best enjoyed with a fluffy bread, like tandoori roti, naan, or sheermal, a sweet leavened bread.

Where: Among Old Delhi’s best temples to Mughlai cooking, Al-Jawahar (2327-5987; Bazaar Matia Mahal, opposite Gate 1, Jama Masjid, map) is always a good bet for korma.

When: Daily, 7:30am-2:30am

Order: The mutton korma (150/236 rupees for half/full portion), brown and pooled with oil, looks nondescript but is perfectly satisfying with its slightly sweet flavor and well-cooked meat. (Don’t feel bad about spooning off some of that excess oil, by the way.) Use the excellent tandoori roti (9 rupees) to mop up the sauce and pull apart the tender meat. For something similar but, well, nuttier, try the basam padanda, which adds slivered almonds to the mix.  

Alternatively: If you miss it at Al-Jawahar, there’s always Karim Hotel (Gali Kababian, Jama Masjid, map) next door. Also in Old Delhi, albeit much tougher to find, is Ashok and Ashok (98714-71700; 42 Subhash Chowk, Sadar Thana Rd., Sadar Bazaar, approx. map), touted by many meat-loving local bloggers as having the best korma in town, including our friends at Eat and Dust (chicken korma daily; mutton korma Wed & Sat). In South Delhi, we like Purani Dilli (2698-3371; 371 Main Rd., Zakir Nagar, Jamia Nagar, map), a wonderful Mughlai restaurant tucked within the mazelike market-lined lanes of Zakir Nagar, peddling all the requisite korma, nihari, and ishtu dishes.


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