Korma Asafjahi Recipe: A Culinary Gem From Royal Courts Of Sailana, Madhya Pradesh
Image Credit: Image credit: Oakwood Premier Prestige Bangalore

The Princely state of Sailana (located in present-day Madhya Pradesh) has been witness to many legends and lores that continue to fascinate. The Sailana state was founded by Raja Jai Singh Rathore, grandson of Raja Ratan Singh Rathore in the sixteenth century A.D. It was a gruesome era marked with gory wars and conquests. Raja Jai Singh himself defeated his uncle as revenge for killing his father in a battle, in doing so, Raja Jai Singh also secured a piece of land for his elder brother in Ratlam, and he made Raoti the capital of his kingdom.  

The Sailana State: A Brief History

Later, in a quest for a safer space, he ordered construction for his new capital which was closer to Kedareshwar temple and called it Jesnagar. As per legends, Lord Kedareshwar appeared in his dreams and told him that the sewage system of his new capital is flawed and that it may flood the Kedareshwar temple that was just downhill, the god suggested him to move further east and also assured him that his new capital in this spot would be more prosperous. The king then rode eastwards where his great palace of Sailana now stands, and ordered the construction of his new capital in this new spot. He named his new capital ‘Sailana’.

The Culinary Prowess Of Sailana

The Sailana state became renowned for its enhanced culture, hospitality, art, cuisine and liquor until it merged with Independent India. The Rajas of Sailana were not only fond of eating, but also making sure that each and every person in their court is well-fed. Their epicurean habits drew the fancy of many visitors and royal patrons. Immense emphasis was laid on the royal cuisine, which boasted of many original, unique recipes as well as recipes collected from the Nizam of Hyderabad, and from Kashmir Valley and Bhopal.

The Korma Asaf Jahi was a gift to Raja Dalip Singh, an erstwhile ruler of Sailana, from the Nizams of Hyderabad in the year 1905. This delicious mutton korma is as decadent as it gets. The curry replete with chillies, almonds and saffron was considered very exotic at the time. Chef Altamsh Patel - Executive Chef at Oakwood Premier Prestige Bangalore, who is presenting the dish at the food festival ‘Royal Cuisine of Sailana’, shared his recipe with us and called it a ‘labour of love, worth all the time and effort’.

So, without further a do, let’s get to the recipe.    

Preparation Time: 30 minutes        

Cooking Time 1.5 hours

Serves: 4-6 persons


  • 0.5 kg Mutton pieces from leg or shoulder
  • 115 gms ghee
  • 12 gms salt
  • 12 gms garlic ground
  • 12 gms ginger scraped and ground
  • 25 gms almonds blanched and sliced
  • 12 gms raisins(kishmish) whole
  • 60 gms onion finely chopped
  • 6 gms red chillies powdered
  • 1.5 gms peppercorns powdered
  • 1.5 gms garam masala powder
  • 6 gms sugar
  • 25 gms green chillies finely chopped without seeds
  • A pinch of saffron diluted in warm water
  • 1tbsp. fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • 250 gms curd fresh and thick


  1. Put the curd in muslin and hang it for two hours. Then whip it and keep aside.
  2. Heat half of the ghee, add garlic and ginger and fry till golden brown. Add meat and salt, and sear it well. Add only as much water that it should dry up when meat is tender. Keep aside.
  3. In a separate pan heat the remaining half of the ghee. Fry almonds and raisins separately to a golden colour and keep them aside. In the same ghee fry chopped onion to a golden brown, add red chillies, peppercorns, garam masala powder, sugar and green chillies, and cook with 2 tablespoonsful of water, stirring well till water dries up. Add to the meat and stir. Add almonds, raisins, curd/saffron and coriander leaves, and stir well. Simmer on low heat for five minutes only and serve immediately.