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Article: Navratan Korma – the royal Nine-gem Curry

Navratan Korma – the royal Nine-gem Curry

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Like the nine jewels of Emperor Akbar’s court is the Navratan Korma, a delicious combination of several vegetables in a creamy sauce. Often served in Indian restaurants, Korma can be served with either any form of chappatis, bread or rice. This delicious North Indian Mughlai dish gets its name Navratan (meaning nine gems) from the nine different vegetables, fruit and nuts used in it.

Rich, creamy and flavorful this nine-gem curry is so named because the “gems” are the fruits, vegetables and nuts that make up the curry. Vegetable korma was created in imperial kitchens and served to kings, queens and other royals during the Mughal era in India.

Mughlai cuisine is enjoyed by one and all as Mughlai dishes are rich and incredibly delicious. They usually include dried fruit and nuts like golden raisins and cashews as well as heavy cream or coconut milk.

Let’s know how to make and make it.

Navratan Korma

What You'll Need
  • vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil - 4 tbsp
  • cashews, broken into bits – ½ cup
  • paneer (cottage cheese) cubes (1" cubes) - 1 cup
  • medium-sized onions chopped and ground to a fine paste - 2 Nos.
  • garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • ginger paste - 1 tsp
  • tomatoes chopped and ground to a fine paste - 3nine
  • coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • cumin powder – ½ tsp
  • turmeric powder – ½ tsp 
  • red chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • peeled, cubed, parboiled potato - 1 cup
  • french beans, tops and tails removed, parboiled – 12 to 15
  • medium carrots chopped into small cubes and parboiled - 2
  • green peas, parboiled – ½ cup
  • cauliflower florets, parboiled - 1 cup
  • medium-sized green bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into 1" squares - 1
  • pineapple cubes -1 cup
  • thickened/ double/ heavy cream - 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
Making the Navratan Korma
  • 12517102_10205176936958248_1024442991_o-1Heat a deep pan on medium flame. Add 1 tsp of cooking oil to it.
  • Add the cashews and fry till slightly darker. Remove and keep aside on paper towels for later use.
  • Do similarly for the paneer cubes. Keep aside for later.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining cooking oil and heat.
  • Add the onion paste and fry till slightly browned.
  • Add the garlic and ginger pastes and fry for 1 minute.
  • Now add the tomato paste and fry for another 1 minute.
  • Add all the spice powders and fry the masala till the oil begins to separate from it.
  • Stir often to keep the masala from sticking to the pan and burning.
  • Now add 1 cup of warm water to this masala and mix well. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add all the vegetables, pineapple, paneer and previously fried cashews. Mix gently but making sure not to mash or break the pieces of the vegetable. Cook till veggies are done but not limp (they must be al dente!)
  • Add the cream, season with salt to taste, stir and turn off heat.
  • Serve hot preferably with Naans (tandoor-baked Indian flatbread).
Helpful Tip14
  • To make the recipe look colorful use blanching for all the vegetables in the dish.
  • Blanching involves getting all the vegetables like potatoes, tomatoes, French beans, carrots, green peas, cauliflower, bell pepper etc. to be put in hot boiling water for a few seconds and then immediately put in a vessel having ice water for the same duration (few seconds), removing and keeping aside.
  • Each vegetable blanched separately would be preferable.
  • Blanching retains the original color throughout, keeps the vegetable taste intact and gives the outcome a tangy taste.
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