Instant Pot Oxtail Korma Curry

I’ve been craving Indian food for a couple of weeks. This started when I tried a really good catered Indian food lunch at work and I haven’t stopped mulling over it. So this evening I decided to make oxtail curry for dinner.

My family members are universally beef lovers and oxtail stew is a hot favourite for them. But kid#2 is really not big on curry as she’s pretty spice averse and also she’s just about to start on her year end exams and I didn’t want to send her into a new week with an upset tummy. So I made a super mild korma curry with the oxtail. Kormas are probably the mildest of Indian curries and feature coriander, cumin and cardamom as the main spices. The yogurt and cream that finishes it off is of course what nullifies any smidgen of spiciness. I took inspiration from the korma recipe from Genius kitchen.

I used the Instant Pot to do the bulk of the cooking – it did save me from having to watch it simmer over the stove, which was fortunate as I had to stop cooking to pick kid#2 up from chemistry tuition and got really delayed waiting for her. Luckily this korma had been pressure cooking and went straight into the keep warm mode which was completely safe.

So the funniest thing is that kid#1 was surprised that this was curry because it wasn’t spicy at all…certainly I would add more zing the next time round. The oxtail curry was eaten up in double quick time, with people licking the bones and eating plates…always a good sign when a recipe works out well!

The pot-in-pot method of cooking curry without burning it in the Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Oxtail Korma Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


  • 1 kg of small oxtail pieces
  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated finely
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced and crushed
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp oil

Spice mix

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 8 cloves
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp garam marsala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup water


  1. Using a spice grinder (or even a coffee grinder), grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods and cloves into a fine powder. Add the ground cinnamon, garam marsala, salt and almond slices and continue grinding further. Finally add he water and grind the mixture into a paste. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat up 3 tbsp oil over high heat and brown the oxtail pieces. Set aside.
  3. Pour away some of the oil. In the same pan over medium heat, sauté the onions till they are fragrant and caramelized. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add the spice paste and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Mix the onion and spice mixture with the oxtail pieces and put into a small pot.
  5. Put a trivet inside the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in, then place the pot containing the oxtail into the inner pot. This is a pot-in-pot method when the liquids used may not be enough to immerse the meat.
  6. Seal the Instant Pot and pressure cook on manual high pressure for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow natural pressure release. Remove the pot containing the oxtail. Remove the trivet and discard the water. Put the pressure cooked oxtail back into the inner pot and add the yogurt and cream.
  8. Turn the sauté mode on. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  9. Serve topped with chopped coriander over some cauliflower rice.

We ended up having a great Sunday dinner! Instant Pot Oxtail Korma Curry, Palak Paneer and Turmeric cauliflower rice.


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