Our festival season has just begun in India. And it started this week only with the celebration of Ganeshotsav. So I declared this week as vegetarian week for my family. No, nothing serious about it, I just don’t want to waste the precious time by cooking meat as it takes much longer time than veg items. Infact I have a better utilization of that time i.e. pandal hopping or spending time in cultural programs :D
As I’m a hard core non-vegetarian, when it comes to veg items I find myself in a complete mess. And now I have to live on it for next 5/6 days. I know many of you will be surprised by my lack of knowledge in veggies. But are you suggesting me to have bottle gourd or bitter gourd or mixed veg?? Hell Noooo… Its festive time friends, Remember?? I want special items. Strictly.
After spending some ‘quality time’ on internet I actually found a very interesting and royal recipe at the same time. Okay, now I guess it’s an open secret that I’m very much in love of Mughal Gharana. I can’t help it actually. Simply in love with the rich tastes of it.
My today’s pick is a very popular dish amongst North Indians. This exotic Mughalai cuisine inspired preparation is known as ‘Navaratan Korma/Khurma/kurma’. ‘Navaratan’ means nine jewels and ‘Korma/Khurma/kurma’ means a silky buttery sauce which is very smooth in texture. Here is the recipe of it.
It’s a huge list of items. I keep remembering them as well as keep forgetting them. so I thought it will be helpful if I make small lists according to the usage and mention the names.
Onions: 1, large
Carrot: 1, medium
Potato: 1, large
Capsicum: 1, large
Tomato: 1, medium
Paneer: 200 gms
Fresh green and red chillies: handful
Green peas: 1 cup
Sweet corn: 1 cup
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Garlic paste: 1 tsp (optional)
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Black pepper powder: ½ tsp
White pepper powder: ½ tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For tempering oil:
Ghee/clarified butter: 2 tbsp (ideally this preparation should be cooked in Ghee only; if you want to avoid unnecessary fat, use vegetable oil)
Asafetida/ hing: 1 pinch
Bay leaves: 2
Dried ginger: 1/2“
Peppercorn: ½ tsp
Cinnamon stick: 1”
Green cardamom: 5-6
Black cardamom: 1
Shah jeera: 1 tsp
Milk: 1½ cups
Cashew nuts: handful
Saffron: few strands soaked in warm milk (optional; if you like the white gravy more, skip this)
Remember there should not be any turmeric at all.
At the beginning finish all chopping and dicing programs. It will help you to run the procedure smoothly at the end.
Dice the onions, potato, carrot, capsicum and keep them in separate bowls.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and chillies. Keep the green chillies aside and make a paste of red chillies and tomatoes. Don’t add any water at all.
Make rectangle bite size pieces of paneer.
Grind most of the almonds into powder and add little water to make a dry paste.
Dry roast all the nuts and reserve for later usage.
Keep the milk warm.
Take a large wok. Make sure it’s enough for the veggies and other ingredients to fit in it. After all you need to cook the entire preparation in this same vessel.
Heat 1 tbsp of ghee/oil in that wok. Add all the ingredients under ‘For tempering oil’. Allow them to crackle.
Add onion and sauté on medium flame.
Add chopped chillies along with ginger paste and garlic paste (if using any). Fry until onions become translucent.
Add cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and sauté for few more mins.
Add potato and carrot. Mix well.
Also add black pepper powder, white pepper powder, salt.
Mix well and keep it covered on medium flame until veggies are tender yet firm.
After 7-12 mins veggies will be almost done. At this point add capsicum and continue stir frying.
In a separate nonstick pan heat rest of the ghee and stir fry the paneer pieces. Be careful not to burn them (like me)
When you can't smell the rawness of capsicum, add milk to the first wok and increase the flame.
Once you notice bubbles near edges of the wok add saffron-milk, green peas and sweet corns.
Now let it boil. Keep stirring time to time.
Once the liquid is reduced by little, add almond paste and mix well continuously. Otherwise the gravy will start sticking to the bottom.
Once the gravy starts boiling add paneer and let it simmer with cover on low flame.
Check the seasoning and adjust according to your taste.
When the gravy will reach your desired consistency, turn off the flame and transfer the entire thing into the serving bowl immediately to avoid over cooking.
This Navaratan Korma goes best with roti, naan (Indian Flat bread), jeera rice or even simple peas pulao.
I made a quick peas pulao in microwave within 15 mins. And served oven fresh Puao with my Mughlai Jeweled Curry.