What the heck is a “schmorma” you ask? It’s a name entirely made up by me. I mean us.

Straight to the recipe please!

“Schmorma” is when you mean “korma,” are thinking “schwarma,” and it all gets jumbled together. I swear, when we were making this neither I, my willing associate, or even El Gallo could get the name of this dish right even though we’ve eaten plenty of it at Indian restaurants, and somehow we all landed on calling it “schmorma,” in isolated incidences no less. So schmorma it is. In case you haven’t noticed, this is a bit of a fusiony kind of recipe blog anyway, so we are just gonna roll with it.

Indians don't typically use the spice/seasoning we know as "curry." They mix the different spices together, different ones for different dishes. Curry powder is, however, a quick way to Indianize something otherwise American.

Instead of using the blend of spices we call “curry,” I like to mix the different elements together yourself so I can get exactly the flavor you want.

This schmorma will look strikingly familiar to a korma, a Pakistani and/or Indian dish that involves meat braised in something creamy (here, coconut milk) and a lot of comforting spices. This makes a wonderful year-round dish; comforting in the winter (despite the fact that neither India nor most of Pakistan gets cold) but spicy enough to be okay to eat in the summer time. Like chili.

Good in hot and cold weather, not unlike chili! Okay it's a little bit unlike chili.

Good in hot and cold weather, not unlike chili! Okay it’s a little bit unlike chili.

The other thing about this dish is that it’s better the next day, after all the flavors and seasonings have had time to mingle, do a little dance and mellow out.

Elk “Schmorma”

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 2 hours, 10 minutes
Website Adapted from The Kitchn


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3lb elk round steak (trimmed of silver skin and cut into chunks, or use stew meat)
  • 2 onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 carrot (chopped in large chunks)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Or more if you like it spicy!)
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 can coconut milk (shake well before opening)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (finely chopped, for garnish)

Garlic paste

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 " ginger (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons water


Garlic Paste
Step 1
Place the garlic, ginger and water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, scraping the sides if needed. Set aside.
Step 2
Preheat the oven to 250 with the racks in the lower part of the oven. Heat oil in heavy pan that's oven safe or dutch oven on medium high heat (about a 6). Brown the pieces of meat, working in batches if necessary. Set aside. If the bottom of the pan has badly burned during the searing process, deglaze with water and pour it out. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and carrots, and cook until the onions are translucent, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the spices and give the pot a quick stir, cooking until fragrant. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook another minute or two.
Step 3
Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and meat pieces with any juices that have come out in the bottom of the bowl. Bring to a good boil then cover and place in the oven. Braise for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender. Serve over rice.

Non-game substitution: Stew meat of any kind will nicely substitute, even chicken instead of beef.

Vegetarian substitution: Korma can be kind of one of those “everything but the kitchen sink” recipes. Substitute paneer, cashew pieces, chickpeas, or all of the above for a lovely vegetarian version.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of