Korma Sauce 4.500

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Oct 4, 2017

This yogurt and cashew-paste sauce is the versatile base of several dishes that come from the Rasika restaurant kitchens in Washington.

To read the accompanying story, see: Think recipes from an Indian restaurant’s cookbook will be too hard? ‘Rasika’ proves otherwise.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.

4.5 cups

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4.5 cups

  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced (2 cups)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup unsalted, chopped cashews
  • 1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought ginger-garlic paste (see NOTE)


Combine the onions and water in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the onions have softened.

Transfer the onions and their cooking water to a blender. Remove the center knob of the lid so steam can escape and place a paper towel over the opening. Add the cashews and puree until smooth, for at least 1 minute, starting on a low speed and gradually increasing to high. Pour into a bowl, then stir in the yogurt (by hand).

Heat the oil in the now-empty saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, then stir in the yogurt mixture. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often; about halfway through, the mixture will begin to sputter, so keep an eye on it, and keep stirring to avoid scorching, to form a thickened sauce.

The korma sauce is ready to use, or cool completely before storing.

NOTE: To make about 2 cups of ginger-garlic paste, combine 1/2 cup chopped (unpeeled) fresh ginger root, 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) garlic cloves and 3/4 cup water in a blender; puree on HIGH until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container; seal and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Rasika: Flavors of India,” by Ashok Bajaj and Vikram Sunderam, with David Hagedorn (Ecco, October 2017).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.