Navratan Korma

2013-05-07
  • Servings : 20
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 45m

The name Navratan literally means Nine Jewels, and bring to mind the famous Navratnas of Emperor Akbar’s court, renowned for their intellect and wisdom. These nine courtiers, among them Birbal and Tansen were renowned for their intellect and skills. The Navratan Korma also is quite a bejewelled recipe. It is made with 9 vegetables, paneer, cream and dry fruit and is fit for the royal table indeed.

The number 9 seems to be of great significance historically – the Navagraha or the Nine planets and the Navaratna or Nine jewels. The great Kings of the past have been known to wear Navagraha Rings, each stone symbolising a planet to balance all their stars- so to say.

Interestingly kormas are made in different ways in India. The northern states make the more authentic kormas, mostly meat based,   in a milk based gravy or with cream. If you happen to eat the south Indian version of it, you will be quite surprised to find that it has a coconut based gravy.

Ingredients

  • Mixed vegetables (a mix of any or all of beans, sweetcorn, carrots, cauliflower and any veg of your choice)- 3 cups
  • 150gms - Grated paneer- 2 packets 3 - Tomatoes 2 - Grated onions 1 1/2 tsp -Ginger paste 1 1/2 tsp - Garlic paste Salt To Taste 1 tsp - Turmeric Powder 1 1/2 tsp - Red chilli powder 1 tsp - Coriander powder 2 tsp - Garam Masala Powder 2 tbsp - Cream 6 tbsp - Vegetable oil 1 tbsp - Ghee 1 cup - Milk / water 1/4 cup - Dry fruits (cashew nuts, raisins) Coriander leaves for decoration
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped- 4 or 1 tin
  • Onions, finely chopped- 1 cup
  • Ginger paste- 2 tbsp or 2 frozen cubes
  • Garlic paste- 2 tbsp or 2 frozen cubes
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala- 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 2 tsp
  • Cashewnuts- 1 cup
  • Milk- 1 cup
  • Cream- 3-4 tbsp
  • Glazed cherries - for decoration (optional)
  • Pineapples (optional)- I did not use it
  • Potato - finely chopped, 1 cup
  • Cumin - 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
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Method

Step 1

Boil tomatoes till tender. Allow them to cool. Then peel off the tomato skin to make puree. Readymade tomato puree can also be used. Take 1 tbsp ghee and slightly fry the dry fruits for about 1 min on medium heat. Heat oil in a pan. Fry onions and ginger-garlic paste till golden brown. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and fry for 2-3 minutes. Next add tomato puree and dry fruits. Stir well and cook the mixture for 4 minutes. Ensure that the mixture doesn't stick to bottom of pan. Add milk (use water alternatively). Bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the gravy becomes thick. Add paneer to the gravy and stir well. Finally add all the vegetables to the above gravy and cook for 5-7 minutes. Serve the navratan korma hot. Put cream and chopped coriander leaves on the navaratna korma decorate .

Step 2

Chop the onions and tomatoes very fine. I used tinned tomatoes, I find they blend in very quickly.

Step 3

Lightly toast the cashew nuts.

Step 4

Chop potatoes into 1 cm pieces. Fry till light brown and keep aside.

Step 5

Grate 1 1\2 packet of paneer.

Step 6

Chop the remaining paneer into 1cm pieces. Fry lightly and keep aside.

Step 7

Chop the carrots and beans into 1 cm pieces.

Step 8

I like to microwave the vegetables before putting into the curry, simply because it cuts the cooking time and retains colour in the vegetables. Microwave all the vegetables except potatoes.

Step 9

Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Fry and keep aside. The recipe does call for 9 vegetables, but I think even if you have 4 to 5 and potatoes- its ok.

Step 10

Heat 2 tbsp oil. When hot, add 1 tbsp ghee. Ghee tends to burn easily when hot, so I like to use a mixture of oil and ghee. When this is hot, add the cumin seeds. In 30 seconds, add in the onions. Fry till soft and pinkish. Add the ginger garlic pastes and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Step 11

Add in the spices- turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and the garam masala. Mix well. Fry for 1-2 minutes.

Step 12

Add the tomatoes. Add salt and 1 tsp of sugar. You might find the addition of sugar at this stage intriguing, but I assure you adding salt, sugar and then putting a lid on the mixture of tomatoes and onions, makes them cook and disintegrate beautifully into the curry almost like they were pureed. Also, no unsightly pieces of tomato floating around- another bonus for kids. Put a lid on and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 13

Add in the microwaved vegetables. Add in 1 cup milk or water , cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.

Step 14

Now, add in the fried potatoes and chopped paneer. Mix well. Check the taste and adjust the salt , chilli and garam masala to your taste.

Step 15

Add in the grated paneer. The mixture will become slightly thickish. Add in some more mil/ water if you want a more flowing curry. Let boil for 2-3 minutes, for all the flavours to integrate. If adding the pineapple, add it now. Use pieces that are 1 cm in size.

Step 16

Add in the toasted cashewnuts, leaving aside a few for garnish.

Step 17

Add in the cream. Mix well.

Step 18

Garnish with glaced cherries and remaining cashewnuts.

Step 19

Serve hot.

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