Jan 3, 2011

My Vegan Navratan Korma

I'm not a big fan of Mughali food and getting myself to cook something other than dessert or non-Indian food is asking for a bit more effort. So this recipe of Navratan Korma was born out of necessity for someone I recently catered to for a lunch. 'Navratan' meaning nine gems, ideally should include nine varieties of vegetables and fruits in the 'Korma' meaning gravy, made with yogurt, cream and a nut paste.

I don't remember when I had a Navratan Korma the last time, but I know it's sweet and from what I have gathered from reading recipes online is there are two ways to make it(with tomatoes and without). For me Navratan Korma is a rich whitish gravy with lots of vegetables and a few nuts sprinkled on top. There are two things I avoid while making Mughali food - adding too much or any sweet to the gravy and adding fruits (specially pineapple) to it. Most of the recipes call for such additions, hence this recipe is my vegan version of the Navratan Korma, how I like it.

This recipe is my vegan adaptation from one recipe I found on www.vahrevah.com. If you haven't seen any videos of the 'vah chef' I think you should do it right away. He's really something to watch and has some really good recipes of course.

For this recipe you need:

(Serves 3 to 4)

Steamed Vegetables and Legumes of your choice (Potatoes, Carrots, French Beans, Sweet Potato, Raw Banana, Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Capsicum*, Peas*, Broccoli, any other beans...)

* I like to add the Capsicum and Peas to the gravy raw so they maintain their colour and don't get too mushy.

1/4 cup Cashews
1 Onion chopped

1 teaspoon Oil (Rice Bran/ sunflower/ safflower/ canola) Optional

1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds/ Jeera
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or 1/2 inch ginger grated and 1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
1 bay leaf
2-4 cloves
A dash of cinnamon or some cinnamon sticks

1 cup (200ml) plain unflavoured Soy Milk

Red Chilli Powder

Roasted or Fried Raisins, Cashews, Almonds

In a saucepan, add the chopped onions and cashews to about 1/4 cup water and cook till the onions become translucent and the cashews becomes soft. Put this into a blender and blend it to a smooth paste.

Heat the oil in a pan if using oil or do a dry roast of the spices. Add the cumin seeds, garam masala, ginger garlic, coriander powder, bay leaf and cloves. Let it all blend and then add the cashew-onion paste. Cook it for a good 5 to 7 mins till it gets thick and starts oozing out the oil. At this point add about half cup of water and add the capsicum and green peas. Let it come to one boil and assimilate. Add the rest of the steamed vegetables and 1 cup of soy milk. Also add in the salt, cinnamon and red chilli powders. Cover it and let it simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame. Add the pepper and stir it well. Add the raisins, cashews and almonds on top.

Serve hot with plain or flavoured rice, rotis or parathas.

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