Navratan Korma

Navratan Korma
Navratan Korma

Navratan Korma is an Indian delicacy made with nine gems (‘Nav’ means nine and ‘ratan’ means gems in Indian) that combine together in Mughlai-style gravy of yogurt, cream and nut paste. These gems can be seen clearly in the picture too; details of which are in the recipe below. This lavish dish is one of the signature recipes of Mughal dynasty. A legend has it that, this treat is greatly inspired by the nine talented advisors at Akbar’s court whom he often referred to as his ‘navratan’ or nine gems!
Navratan Korma is mildly spicy on the palate owing to its rich and creamy sauce. It could very well be the star at one of your celebratory dinner evenings, as this my dear readers, is a feast to remember! Let me know how it turns out for you! 🙂

Serves 4
1 tbsp raisins
1/4 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup carrot, sliced
10 cauliflower florets
1/2 cup French beans, roughly cut
1/2 cup potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup peas
200g Indian cheese or paneer, cubed
1/2 cup mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 small cinnamon stick
3 green cardamom pods
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 green chillies, sliced
1 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup water
1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee
3 onions, boiled and ground to a paste
2 tbsp yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
Pinch of garam masala powder

Step 1: Grind the cashews to a fine powder. Keep a few aside for garnishing.
Step 2: In a karahi or wok, heat 1 tsp of oil and add the cauliflower florets keeping the flame on high. Gently sauté the florets for a couple of minutes till they get slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
The idea of this step is to kill the raw smell of the cauliflower that remains if cooked directly.
Step 3: Now, heat oil and ghee in the same karahi or wok. Add the cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick and green cardamoms.
Step 4: Next, immediately add the boiled onion paste and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and green chillies. Mix well till the oil separates.
Step 5: Add the cashew nut powder of Step 1 and yogurt. Stir well for 5 minutes.
Step 6: Add the potatoes, French beans, carrots, peas. Mix well. After a minute, add mushrooms and cauliflower florets. Give it all a stir. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Step 7: Add the Indian cheese or paneer, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder. Mix well.
Add water to get a medium thick consistency. Increase the heat, let it boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Step 8: Add the cream. Mix well. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Check seasoning.
Step 9: In a separate pan, heat the butter. Add the raisins and cashew nuts kept aside earlier. Gently toast for a minute. Do not let it burn. Toss it over the karahi or wok.
So the nine gems used are raisins, cashew nuts, French beans, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, peas, cauliflower, Indian cheese/paneer!
Step 10: Garnish the Navratan Korma with a pinch of garam masala powder for that extra kick! Serve hot with rice or parathas!

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