Mughlai food is one of its kinds as every Mughlai cuisine has a story and a rich history behind it. Navratan Korma has its roots in the Mughlai cuisine of the Indian subcontinent. A characteristic Mughal dish, it can be traced back to the 16th century and to the Mughal incursions into the region. Navratan Korma is a rich, creamy and flavourful dish that literally translates to nine-gem curry. The “gems” are the fruits, vegetables and nuts that make up the curry. Navratan Korma was created in imperial kitchens and served to kings, queens and other royals during the Mughal era in India.
- 1 large onion (cut into large chunks)
- 1 tbsp. ginger
- 2 green chilli peppers (like jalapeno or Serrano)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 head cauliflower (separated into medium-sized florets)
- 1 medium carrot (cut in a 1/2-inch dice)
- 1 cup green beans (cut into a 1-inch dice)
- 2 medium potatoes (cut in a 1/2-inch dice)
- 1 large bell pepper (cut in a 1/2-inch dice)
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts (divided)
- 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
- 1 inch piece cinnamon
- 1/2 cup vegan yogurt
- 2 tbsp. golden raisins
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- Place the cauliflower, carrots, green beans and potatoes in a large saucepan. Add half a cup of water, bring to a boil, cover and cook for five minutes. After five minutes, add the green beans and bell peppers and continue cooking another five minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and remove to a bowl. You can reserve the cooking water and use it as a stock instead of water later in the recipe.
- Place the onion in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the onion, put it in a blender, and make a smooth paste.
- Crush the garlic, ginger and green chilli peppers, preferably with a mortar and pestle (or food processor is fine). Set aside.
- Blend half the cashews (1/4 cup) into a very smooth paste in the blender with 1/2 cup water)
- In a large saucepan (you can use the one you cooked the veggies in), add 1 tbsp. of oil and add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns. Sauté for a minute until they start to change colour and become fragrant.
- Lower the heat and add the onion paste. Continue cooking for another 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the paste from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the crushed ginger-garlic-green-chilli-pepper paste and sauté another minute. Now add the cashew paste and the yogurt, mix, and continue cooking for another five minutes. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
- Add all of the cooked vegetables and tofu. Mix well and add a little more water if needed (you can use the reserved water from cooking the vegetables as needed). You want the gravy to be thick enough to coat the veggies, and not too runny. Add salt to taste.
- Let the korma come to a boil and cook another five minutes for all of the flavours to blend. Turn off the heat.
- In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp. oil and add the remaining 1/4 cup of cashews and raisins. Stir-fry until the raisins become puffy and the cashews start to become golden.
- Pour the cashews and raisins into the korma, sprinkle on the garam masala powder, stir once to mix, and serve.
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