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August 25, 2010

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe - Step by Step

I love kurmas (or kormas, for those of you who feel that's the way it should be spelled). The ones I grew up eating had lots of coconut or coconut milk in them as you would expect, since the growing up happened in Kerala.

A bit about Navratna Korma although I don't usually like doing yada yada (get to the recipe already!), but this dish is seriously interesting. Navratan means nine jewels and 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. This is different from the less rich coconut based mixed vegetable curry from South India.

I have seen quite a few variations in the 9 items used by different restaurants. TH is quite the spoilsport, he doesn't like it when sweet stuff is mixed with spicy (Ok, I admit, I am like that too, there's a reason why I married that guy) so I didn't add pineapple to my version, which is quite a popular "ratna" to add to Navratan Korma. Since we also don't like biting into raisins in our curries, and I really couldn't omit all the sweet stuff, I ground it into the paste. Genius, eh?

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe

Looking for more side dishes with vegetables? Check out: mixed vegetable saagu, vegetable korma, matar paneer recipe, paneer korma recipe

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cups of diced, mixed vegetables - I used carrot, beans, peas, corn and potato (cauliflower will be nice too!)
A few cubes of paneer
10 cashew nuts and 10 raisins soaked in warm water, drained and ground to a paste
1 large onion, minced
1 tomato, quartered and pureed
3 green chillies
1" piece of ginger
4 garlic cloves (or use 1 tsp ginger garlic paste)
1 tsp tomato paste (or use another pureed tomato)
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter (or ghee)
Salt to taste

The Spice Powders:
2 tsp garam masala (or use 1 tsp freshly ground masala like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp jeera

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe

Sidenote: I got these blue flexible chopping boards from IKEA the other day and totally love them. Yeah they scratch easily but don't they make awesome  background for the 'ingredients picture'?

How to Make Navratna Korma:

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
1. Heat the butter or ghee in a kadai / pan.

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
2. Add minced onions and fry until pink and transparent.

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
3. Grind the green chillies with the ginger and garlic and add to the onions. If using ginger garlic paste, just crush the chillies and add along with it. Fry for 30 seconds.

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
4. Add all the spice powders. Fry for a minute.

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
5. In go the pureed tomato and the tomato paste

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6. Mix well and let it cook until the butter appears on the sides (about 4-5 mins)

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7. Add milk and about 1/2 cup of water, more or less.

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
8. Add the chopped vegetables. Mix well an cook covered for another 5 mins or so, until the vegetables are cooked, yet firm.

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe
9. Add the cashew nut-raising paste and mix well. Add salt and paneer cubes. Cook open for another 5 minutes until the gravy thickens and comes together.

Navratan Korma / Navaratna Kurma Recipe

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot as a side dish chapati, nan, roti, or pulao. This is a recipe that'll surely wow your guests.