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
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
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 an awesome background for the ‘ingredients picture’?
How to Make Navratan Korma:
1. Heat the butter or ghee in a kadai / pan.
2. Add minced onions and fry until pink and transparent.
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.
4. Add all the spice powders. Fry for a minute.
5. In go the pureed tomato and the tomato paste
6. Mix well and let it cook until the butter appears on the sides (about 4-5 mins)
7. Add milk and about 1/2 cup of water, more or less.
8. Add the chopped vegetables. Mix well an cook covered for another 5 mins or so, until the vegetables are cooked, yet firm.
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.