Food & Drink Magazine

Restaurant Style, Navratan Korma - An Indian Style Medley of Vegetables & Spices in a Rich & Creamy Gravy

By Weavethousandflavors

Navratan Korma - 01 
I was brought up in a way of thinking that home cooked is best and have seen both my parents and grand parents continue family culinary traditions with determination and pride.

It is my ongoing effort to continue this legacy.

And though we enjoyed our fair share of restaurant food it was always punctuated with conversations where my parents would often comment on how this "style of rich cooking" is alright once in a while but should never become a norm of everyday home cooking in the best interests of ones health.

And so it is that this philosophy of home cooking with honest ingredients with a purity and simplicity at its heart, has been hammered into my head like a peg in a hole.

On the flip side, this pride has also led to the belief that if you're going to fix something at home it must be the best or don't bother and hence there are some things I don't attempt to fix at home - sushi and dim sum for me fall in this category because I fear that the results will be mediocre at best.

Fortunately, Navratan Korma does not fall in this category. This medley of vegetables and spices in a rich creamy sauce is delightful party or occasional delight. Fantastic when it makes an appearance now and then at our dinner table, it is consumed with as much gusto as a soon to disappear wicked treat!

It also happens to be a dish I have received numerous email requests for - so here it is, Navratan Korma, restaurant style at home!

Gather and prepare the ingredients - 

 

Navratan Korma - Ingredients

Paneer (Indian cheese), potatoes, green beans, carrots, shelled frozen green peas, canned pineapple chunks, yellow onion, garlic cloves, fresh ginger root, tomato paste, heavy whipping cream, cup milk, water and spices - salt, ground turmeric, red chilly powder & cumin-coriander powder.

Navratan Korma - Prepare Ingredients
 
Navratan Korma - Spices
 
 

Potatoes - Peel and cut into 3/4" cubes. Soak in a bowl of water to prevent from turning brown.

Green beans - Shuck greenbears and break into 1" lengths with hands.

Carrots - Peel, discard ends and cut into 3/4" pieces. 

Canned pineapple chunks - Separate from juice and set aside.

Spice Mixture - In a bowl combine the salt, ground turmeric, red chilly powder & cumin-coriander powder. Mix with clean dry hands and set aside.

For sauteing : 

Onion - Remove the skin and ends. Discard. Dice onion and set aside.

Thai green chilly - Discard top and set aside.

Garlic cloves - Remove and discard skin and set aside whole.

Ginger root - Scrape the skin off and set aside.

Using a food processor, add the onion, green chilly, ginger root, garlic cloves and chop until fine.

Navratan Korma -Saute onions
 
Navratan Korma - Saute onions02
 

In a saute pan, heat oil on medium heat and add cumin seeds. As soon as they splatter, add the onion mixture and saute for about 15 minutes till the onions are soft and a very light brown. Do not allow the onions to blacken in the edges.

While the onions are sauteing, work on the vegetables.

 

Navratan Korma - Steam vegetables1
 
Navratan Korma - Steam vegetables
 

In a large microwave safe bowl, place the diced potatoes, green beans, carrots and green bell pepper. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt. DO NOT place the green peas and pineapple to this mix.

Add 1/4 cup water and cover with a microwave safe lid on the bowl. Microwave for 6-7 minutes depending on your microwave till the vegetables (especially check the potatoes) are tender but not mushy.

Set aside till ready to use. There is no need to drain.

Navratan Korma - Paneer

 

Navratan Korma - Pan fry Paneer2
 
 
Paneer (Indian cheese) - In a non-stick flat bottom pan, heat 2 tbs oil and pan fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat on each side till golden brown all over. 


Navratan Korma - Add tomato paste

Navratan Korma - Saute tomato paste
 

To the sauteed onions, add the tomato paste. On medium heat, saute for 1-2 minutes and add the spices. Saute for about a minute. Add 1/4 cup water and saute the spices and paste till all the water evaporated.

Navratan Korma - Add steamed vegetables
Navratan Korma - Add cream, milk & methi
 

Add the cooked vegetables with its residual juices, the frozen peas and the fried paneer. Stir to combine. Now add 1-1/4 cup of water. Place a tight fitting lid and cook the vegetables for about 7-10 minutes on medium-low heat allowing the spice paste to season the vegetables.

Remove the lid and add the milk, cream and kasoori methi leaves. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Navratan Korma - Add pineapple

Navratan Korma - Simmer & serve
 

Add the pineapple chunks and stir. Replace the lid and simmer for another 2 minutes or so.

Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve immediately with rotis, parathas, naan, kulchas or pita breads in a pinch.

Navratan Korma - 04
 

Deliciously spiced vegetables in a slightly tangy and creamy gravy. The flavor from the kasoori methi (dried fenugreek) leaves punctuate every bite and the occasional sweet burst of pinepple constantly cools and soothes the palate.

The rich paneer bites and yet another layer of richness to the dish making it a  great party & occasional treat!

 

Recipe for

Restaurant Style, Navratan Korma

Preparation time - 20 minutes

Cooking time- 30 minutes

Serves 4-6

Shopping list

1/2 of a 14oz block Paneer (Indian cheese)

3 medium potatoes ( to yield 1-1/2 cup cubes)

1/2 lbs green beans (to yield 1 cup, 1" lengths)

4 small carrots (to yield 1 cup diced)

1/2 cup shelled frozen green peas

1/2 cup  canned pineapple, chunks

1/2 large yellow onion

4 garlic cloves

1 " fresh ginger root

2 tbs tomato paste

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup milk

1-1/2 cup water

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp red chilly powder (adjust depending on strength of chillies & taste)

1 tsp cumin-coriander powder

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 tbs Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

2 tbs vegetable or canola oil (not olive oil) to pan fry Paneer

1/4 cup vegetable oil  or canola oil (not olive oil) for gravy

Preparation - 

Potatoes - Peel and cut into 3/4" cubes. Soak in a bowl of water to prevent from turning brown.

Green beans - Shuck greenbears and break into 1" lengths with hands.

Carrots - Peel, discard ends and cut into 3/4" pieces. 

Canned pineapple chunks - Separate from juice and set aside.

Spice Mixture - In a bowl combine the salt, ground turmeric, red chilly powder & cumin-coriander powder. Mix with clean dry hands and set aside.

For sauteing : 

Onion - Remove the skin and ends. Discard. Dice onion and set aside.

Thai green chilly - Discard top and set aside.

Garlic cloves - Remove and discard skin and set aside whole.

Ginger root - Scrape the skin off and set aside.

Using a food processor, add the onion, green chilly, ginger root, garlic cloves and chop until fine.

In a saute pan, heat oil on medium heat and add cumin seeds. As soon as they splatter, add the onion mixture and saute for about 15 minutes till the onions are soft and a very light brown. Do not allow the onions to blacken in the edges.

While the onions are sauteing, work on the vegetables.

In a large microwave safe bowl, place the diced potatoes, green beans, carrots and green bell pepper. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt. DO NOT place the green peas and pineapple to this mix.

Add 1/4 cup water and cover with a microwave safe lid on the bowl. Microwave for 6-7 minutes depending on your microwave till the vegetables (especially check the potatoes) are tender but not mushy.

Set aside till ready to use. There is no need to drain.  
 
Paneer (Indian cheese) - In a non-stick flat bottom pan, heat 2 tbs oil and pan fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat on each side till golden brown all over. 

To the sauteed onions, add the tomato paste. On medium heat, saute for 1-2 minutes and add the spices. Saute for about a minute. Add 1/4 cup water and saute the spices and paste till all the water evaporated.

Add the cooked vegetables with its residual juices, the frozen peas and the fried paneer. Stir to combine. Now add 1-1/4 cup of water. Place a tight fitting lid and cook the vegetables for about 7-10 minutes on medium-low heat allowing the spice paste to season the vegetables.

 

Remove the lid and add the milk, cream and kasoori methi leaves. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Add the pineapple chunks and stir. Replace the lid and simmer for another 2 minutes or so.

 

Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve immediately with rotis, parathas, naan, kulchas or pita breads in a pinch.

 

 Enjoy!

 

 


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