Sunday, October 7, 2012

Navaratna Kurma (Mixed Vegetables and Cottage cheese in a mild curry)

With winter approaching, home made dinner will be preferable mostly and recently I have been experimenting some variations in Veg Kurma, Paneer curry etc. I have tried this Kurma many times before and we all love it, but this time I had some time to click a shot at the end.

Navratna (9 gems) Kurma is a famous Indian side dish for chapatis and is referred to having a combination of 9 different vegetables, fruits and nuts cooked in a rich creamy gravy. This comes down from Mughlai tradition if I remember it right. In most Indian restaurants, heavy cream is used for the gravy, but to lighten it you can use cashew paste and milk combined. Almost all Paneer gravys have similar ingredients and this one is no different. But I believe the fruits and nuts give a twist in the taste, especially the pineapples and raisins. I have tried this recipe with and without pineapple and I relish it both ways.

  • Chopped mixed vegetables (I used carrot, peas, potatoes and cauliflower) - 2 cups
  • Onions - chopped finely - 3/4 cup
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Garlic - 3 medium sized cloves
  • Green chilly - 1  
  • Tomato Puree - 1 cup
  • Tomato Paste - 2 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Corriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Cashewnuts (soaked in water) - 10 pieces
  • Heavy cream - 1 tbsp (You can substitute with 1/4 cup milk)
  • Raisins - 15
  • Chopped Pineapple - (1/2 inch cubes - 6 - 8)
  • Paneer cubes - a few
  • Corriander leaves - a handful
  • Grind the Ginger, garlic and chilly to a paste. Set aside.
  • Grind the soaked cashews and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadai (I use a butter and oil), and add the rasins. Once they puff up, add onions. Fry until it starts to change the color.
  • Add the Ginger/Garlic/Chilly paste and fry for a min
  • Add the tomato paste, tomato puree and salt and fry for a 2 - 3mins.
  • Add the spice powders, fry them for a min, cover and cook well in medium heat until the raw smell goes (3 - 4 mins)
  • Add the vegetables, 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for a few more mins until the vegetables are almost cooked.
  • Add the cashew paste and pineapple and boil for a few more mins until the vegetables are fully cooked.
  • Add Paneer cubes and heavy cream (or milk) at the end and boil for a min, until the mixture comes to a gravy consistency.
  • Garnish with corriander leaves.
 Serve hot with Rotis or Naans.