This was a dish with a prestige status associated with the royal courts rather then an everyday dish.
Today in the UK the korma is the definitive mild curry on the Indian restaurant menu. It is typically prepared with butter and thickened with single cream and coconut milk to give a very, mild creamy sauce, Many people also add sugar top the dish to sweeten it a bit more.
Unfortunately this dish seems to have the reputation of being too sweet and somewhat sickly! So I like to cook mine using the original elements and cooking style but using ingredients that will produce a lighter (no so sickly) fragrant edge. Check out my lighter Korma recipe here.
The spices used for the korma are subtle, with strong aromatics such as cardamom, cloves and cassia to give a gentle sweetness rather than the more robust spices used in tomato based masala sauces. I also like to marinade my meat in a flavoured yoghurt rather then adding cream at the end. I like to keep it light and use coconut and almonds for a bit of warmth and to thicken the sauce. But to finish off this regal dish threads of golden saffron are an absolute must!