NAVARATAN KORMA

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NAVARATAN KORMA

This exotic Mughalai cuisine inspired preparation is known as ‘Navaratan Korma. ‘Navaratan’ means nine jewels and ‘Korma means a silky buttery sauce which is very smooth in texture. This dish is supposed to contain a mix of 9 fruits, vegetables and fried nuts. In true Mughlai cuisine fashion, cream (or cashew nut paste) is added to form the gravy.

Ingredients:

The vegetables

2 medium carrot, cut into 1cm cubes
4 cauliflower florets
8 to 10 thin, long string beans, cut into 1cm pieces
1 medium potato, cut into 1cm cubes
1/4 cup green peas
1/4 cup paneer, cut into 1cm cubes
The spices
2 to 3 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
3 cloves
1 inch stick of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 single strands of mace
The Korma

2 medium sized onions, sliced or ½ cup thinly sliced onions
2-3 green chilies chopped
½ tbsp ginger garlic paste
½ cup fresh curd
⅓ cup fresh cream
¼ to ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp ghee
1 cup water or add as required
salt as required
The Mughal richness

1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp melon seeds
10 to 12 almonds
10 to 12 cashewnuts
¼ cup warm water for grinding to a paste or as required
The garnish

1 tbsp ghee
10 pistachois
10 cashewnuts
10 walnut halves
1 tbsp raisins
½ cup chopped pineapple
½ tbsp melon seeds
1 tbsp mint leaves
a pinch of saffron strands

Method:

Preparing the paste:

Soak all the dry fruits and seeds in hot water for 30 to 40 minutes.Remove the peels from the almonds and add the peeled almonds in a grinder .Add ¼ cup water and grind the poppyseed, melonseed, almonds, cashewnuts to a fine paste. Add more water if required while making the paste. keep this paste aside.
In the meanwhile, cut the vegetables and steam in a steamer for 5 to 7 minutes, till they are half done. Transfer to a sieve and wash them in cold water to retain its firmness.
Preparing the korma:

Heat ghee in a pan. Add the whole garam masala and fry till they crackle and become aromatic.
Add the sliced onions and saute them till they turn golden.Now add the ginger-garlic paste and chopped green chilies, saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
Now whisk the curd well and keep it ready.Next add the ground paste and curd. stir well. Add turmeric, coriander powder and red chili powder and stir well for 3 to 4 minutes on a low flame.
Now add the vegetables with 1 cup of water. Season with salt and mix well.Cover and simmer the veggies till they are cooked. Check as they are half cooked earlier. Once the veggies are cooked, add the cream and stir it with the rest of the korma, switch off the flame. Sprinkle garam masala powder and keep aside.
Preparing the garnish:

Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small frying pan and saute the cashews,pistachios, walnuts till they turn a pale golden.
Now add 1 tbsp raisins & ½ tbsp melon seeds. saute for some seconds.
Then add ½ cup chopped pineapple cubes. saute for a minute.
Next add 1 tbsp mint leaves, a pinch of saffron strands and saute for half a minute.
Garnish the korma with the sauteed garnishing ingredients.
Serve Navratan korma with jeera rice for a blissful taste of this wonderful North Indian Cuisine.

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