"I ate a spoonful of this creamy vegetable curry
with some steamed Basmati rice,
And then, I ate another spoonful,
And with each morsel, I thought -
Damn, can veggies taste so darn good?"
I came back from my trip in Goa, all smiles from catching up with my long-time school friend and her lil girl (who I was meeting for the first time) and a bagful of cashew nuts. Goa is famous for its cashews, a size and price, for every purpose and budget, respectively. As I unpacked my bags in Dubai, I walk over to my mom with two packets of cashews - the biggest in size and the most expensive, obviously. As mom saw my beaming face, she knew I was onto something and heck yea, was I! I wanted to make something out of my newly purchased nuts and as I mulled over it through the week I had a feeling if I ground these varieties of cashews and use it in a curry - the outcome would be creamy, luxurious and just-so-amazing in flavor. Guess what? I decided to try out a traditional Vegetable Korma - one of India's most loved vegetarian curries. Goes perfectly well with paranthas (Indian flat bread) or steamed Basmati rice too.
Here's a knowledge bite for you: What's the difference between a Korma and a Curry? Korma's are usually mildly spiced and yoghurt or ground nut paste are key ingredients whereas, a curry usually draws its flavours from spices and other ingredients like onions and garlic, stir fried to an aromatic spiced paste loosened with water or stock.
2 cups of fresh vegetables, chopped in small cubes fresh green peas/chopped carrots/chopped beans/cauliflower florets/
peeled and chopped potatoes)
1 ½ cup of water
For the korma paste:
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 green chillies
1 inch fresh ginger
2 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
1 cup of freshly grated coconut
20 cashew nuts
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup water
3 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
½ teaspoon asafoetida
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1. In a deep-bottom vessel, add the chopped vegetables and water. Cover the vessel with a lid, allow the water to boil and cook until the vegetables are done (not overdone but still retaining a slight bite).
2. In a blender add the ground spice powders, green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, freshly grated coconut, cashew nuts, chopped
tomatoes and water. Blend to a fine paste.
3. Place a vessel on heat, add oil and asafoetida - then add the freshly ground masala paste. Fry till the masala (spiced paste) 'raw' aromas are neutral as well as you can notice the oil separating from the spiced masala.
4. Add the vegetables along with the water into the vessel, and cook for another 5 minutes - add salt to taste. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve the Vegetable Kurma with warm parathas or steamed Basmati rice. Enjoy!