We had organised a puja at our house the last fortnight and had invited few guests. Since it was a spiritual day so the menu in a true Indian style was kept veg. Needless to say that the food that day had a divine taste. But, one dish that stood out amongst the rest and that was relished by all was Navratan Korma – A gravy dish with very little spices but full of flavours.
Here is how I cooked it.
Following preparation will serve 4.
2 medium carrots cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6-8 florets of cauliflower
2 medium potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup green peas
6-7 french beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8-10 button mushrooms halfed
1/2 cup paneer (cottage cheese) cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup boiled onion paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1/2 cup yogurt
2-3 green chillies chopped
1/2 cup fresh cream
1 tablespoon raisins
1/2 cup cashewnut
Handful of makhana (lotus seeds)
2 green cardamom
1 inch stick cinnamon
4-5 black pepercorns
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon oil + for deep frying
salt to taste
Boil carrots, cauliflower, French beans, potatoes and green peas in three cups of boiling salted water and tuemeric powder till done and then immediately put them in cold water. Drain and keep aside. Ideally termuric powder is not added in the original recipe, but I like to add it for colour. Soak half the cashewnuts in half cup of warm water for ten minutes. Drain and grind to a fine paste. Chop the remaining cashewnuts.
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry makhana for two minutes. Drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a kadai. Add cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and cardamoms. When they begin to crackle, add boiled onion paste. Cook the onions for five to eight minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes. Add chopped green chillies and cashewnut paste. Now add yogurt and stir well. Cook on low heat for five minutes.
When masala is done, add mushrooms and other boiled vegetables. Cook for two to three minutes and add salt and three fourth cup of water. Add the fried makhana and paneer pieces, stir and cook for half a minute. Bring it to boil and finish with fresh cream. Garnished with chopped cashewnuts and raisins and serve hot.