Navratna Kurma Recipe

Dec/20/2022 / by Team SEEMA
Navaratna kurma recipe
Image credits: deepapraveen via Flickr

The variety of Indian food may be attributed to the many colonists and invaders that have shaped the country’s culture. One example is the Mughals, a group of conquerors who have had a significant impact on Indian cuisine.

The Mughals, renowned for their exquisite palates, were constantly on the lookout for new and unusual culinary experiences. Indian vegetarianism didn’t meet the needs of the strong Mughal soldiers who craved meat and gosht in every meal. The vegetarian diet of India was produced with simple and basic foods, which could not please the royal palates of the kings and queens of the time. The troops were soon sent to the mountains of Afghanistan and Persia to bring back the rich nuts and raisins that had been a part of the Mughlai diet in India for centuries before.

Akbar was one of the Mughal monarchs responsible for bringing about a paradigm change in the culinary culture of India. Akbar, one of the few Mughal monarchs liberal toward Hindus and other faiths, established a determining body of nine courtiers and referred to them as the “nine jewels” or “Navratan.” Akbar was one of the very few Mughal rulers who was tolerant.

The Mughal monarch gave the order to his khaansamas to prepare a vegetarian meal packed with royal Mughlai flavors. The king intended to present this dish to the vegetarian rulers of the Hindu kingdoms and give it the name of one of the nine courtiers. The khaansamas eliminated the meat from the dish and substituted it with rich nuts, vegetables, and fruits before preparing it in the dum pukht fashion.

This vegetarian curry was soon known as the Navratan korma.

Navaratna kurma recipe is a creamy delicacy that has its roots in Northern India. The dish comprises nine kinds of vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and dried fruits. The food is highly popular, especially in restaurants that serve Mughlai and North Indian cuisine. As seen above, the meal is a blend of different textures and flavors, making it a perfect balance for any spicy meat-based or vegetable side dishes. It can be an excellent option for weddings or family get-togethers.

Facts about Navaratna kurma recipe

The dish derives its name from a combination of two Indian words; “Nav,” meaning “number nine,” and “ratan,” which means “gems.” In short, the meaning of the name Navratan is nine gems, and korma is a curry dish composed of coconut or seeds, curd, and a base of nuts.

Navaratna kurma recipe is a vegetarian side dish mostly made of nine items such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

A special feature of the Navratan korma dish is that it has no uniqueness. What you get served in one restaurant will be totally different from what you will get served in the next.

Some restaurants prefer using milk and cashew melon paste, while others use nuts and poppy seeds to make this particular meal. With this in mind, it is crucial to note that there are several ways of preparing it. However, it is good to know that all navratan kormas contain a sweetish flavor and are prepared using a minimal amount of ground spices.

Due to Navaratna kurma recipe’s sweet taste, most cooks try to make it a bit spicy by adding chili powder, while some opt not to use the paneer or just use coconut milk and tofu. The meal’s naturally sweet flavor is usually a result of sautéing vegetables and simmering them in onion and nut-based paste.

The fruits such as pineapple, cashews, and raisins give the meal its texture and some sweetness, while mild whole spices give it the extra flavor required. You can have your Navaratna kurma recipe with plenty of other dishes, such as:

Ghee rice

Veg pulao

Plain rice

Kashmiri pulao

roti, or paratha

About this recipe

Despite my ingredients consisting of nine for the recipe, this should not be a factor while preparing yours at home. My ingredients include potatoes, almonds, beans, cauliflower, carrots, peas, paneer, and cashews. For garnishing, I will use pomegranate arils.

Although the recipe has a whole bunch of ingredients and may seem like an uphill task, it is simple. After fully grasping the steps involved, you can have it as one of your weekly meal plans. You can also have it with chapatti, jeera rice, pulao, parathas, veg pulao, or ghee rice.

How to prepare the Navaratna kurma recipe

Steps

Cut all your vegetables and paneer into the right sizes. You can also prepare the spices, nuts, and milk.

Procedure

1. Have 3-4 cups in a pan and bring to heat. Put in 10-12 cashews and a cup of onions.

2. Let all the ingredients cook for a maximum of three minutes before removing them from the hot water.

3. In this next step, you need to put back the pan on the fire with the water. Place a ¾ cup of cauliflowers in this water.

4. After 3–4 minutes, you can remove them from the hot water. Thoroughly rinse them in clean running water.

5. You can now pour away the water used in boiling the vegetables and have some fresh water in the pan. Put in your colander, then add your chopped potatoes to it. Keep checking. When they are almost well cooked, you can add ½ peas, ½ cup of beans, and ½ cup of carrots. Let it steam slowly until it becomes tender (not mushy).

6. While cooking, you can now put your cashews and the half-cooked onions in a blender. You can also add a piece or two of chopped green chilies.

7. Let it blend thoroughly until it produces a thick paste. Remember, do not add water to it.

8. In this next step, you can sauté ¾ cup of cubed paneer. Add raisins and almonds and let it cook for a max of three minutes. Depending on your preference, you can also add some cottage cheese, or dry fruits and nuts.

Prepare a Navaratna kurma recipe

9. Make sure your pan is well-heated, then put in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (You can decide on the amount you need.)

10. You can then reduce the heat and add in your cardamoms (2), cloves (2), bay leaf (1), and a half teaspoon of cumin seeds.

11. Make sure you sauté for 1 minute or until you can hear the seeds splutter. In this, you can then add ¾ teaspoon of a mixture of garlic and ginger paste. Let it cook slowly until the raw smell fades.

12. This next step is where you are supposed to add the cashew and onion paste you made.

13. Let all the ingredients cook well. After the paste is all at the center of the pan, you can add:

¼ teaspoon of garam masala

¾ teaspoon of coriander powder

½ teaspoon of red chili powder (You can opt this one out if you do not like your meal too hot or spicy)

14. Shallow fry until when the ingredients start releasing oil. Put in salt to taste.

15. Add 1 cup of water, and stir it slowly until it mixes well.

16. Allow to cook slowly into a thick paste. You can bring in the steamed veggies and add them to the pan at this juncture. You can taste to confirm if the salt is enough. Let it cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes under low heat.

17. Under low heat, add ¼ cup of cream and slowly stir to mix it up.

18. As it cooks, you can then add in almonds (6), cashews (6), raisins (1 tablespoon), and paneer.

19. Reduce the heat, cover the dish with a lid, and allow it to cook slowly. You should not cook it for more than 2 minutes as this tends to harden the paneer, thus making it chewy. However, if the paneer is already cooked, add the ingredients without further cooking.

20. You can then switch off your stove. Add in some nicely chopped coriander leaves. After allowing it to cool, you can add in the pineapple pieces, depending on your preferences.

The meal is now ready to serve. Put it inside your serving bowls, and don’t forget to garnish it with pomegranate seeds. You may also use raisins or cashews as a garnish if you want it to have a richer look.

Pro Tips

• As you have seen, yogurt was not used during our preparation steps. However, this does not make one not use it when preparing this meal. To do this, blend your cashews and onions using ¼ cup of milk or yogurt and blend the mixture to a smooth paste.

• The secret in this is that milk adds a unique, rich flavor while yogurt gives it a tangy taste.

• If the meal is prepared for strict vegetarians, you can substitute the milk with coconut milk and the paneer with tofu. You may also use more cashews if need be.

• You can always use ripe and sweet pineapples. Most restaurants use the fruit as a garnish, and it is often highly sweet. This is because the fruit is canned and has been topped up with sugar syrup. A sour fruit can easily split your korma due to the presence of cream.

• You can avoid the strong chili powder and replace it with a milder black pepper.

• Lastly, do not overcook your paneer. Alternatively, you can add it to your hot gravy.

Ingredients

• 2 or 1 medium yellow large onion

• An inch of chopped ginger

• 4 chopped garlic cloves

• Green chili 1 or 2

• 12-20 cashews

• 3 tablespoons freshly chopped pineapples

• A pinch of cardamom powder

• 2 cloves

• 1 bay leaf

• ¼ red chili powder

• A cup of cauliflower florets

• 1-2 tablespoons of oil

• ¾ cup of water

• Diced potato

• 1 teaspoon salt

• ¾ teaspoon sugar

• 6 whole cashews

• Pinch cardamom powder

• 1 tablespoon pomegranate arils

• 1 teaspoon coriander powder

• 1 ½ tablespoon ghee

• 1 large diced carrot

• ¼ cup cream

• Saffron strands

• 2 teaspoons golden raisins

FAQs about Navratna Corma

How do I make my Navaratna kurma recipe spicy hot?

Commonly, this dish is not spicy at all. However, if you like your meals spicier, you can add some chopped jalapeno pepper or any other chili you prefer.

How long can the Navratan Corma last while in the fridge?

The meal can last up to three days in a fridge. However, you can store some in an airtight container for close to a week. Another good thing with this meal is that it becomes even more sumptuous the next day after cooking.

Can I use frozen vegetables?

You can use a mixture of both frozen and fresh vegetables. However, using some fresh vegetables for a healthier meal is always advisable.

What vegetables are most suitable for the preparation of the Navaratna kurma recipe?

The traditional navratan curry contains 9 different vegetables. However, you can use what best suits you and not the old way. One can use carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, or green beans.

Is it possible to make the Navratna Corma nut-free?

Yes. However, the taste will be a little bit different in the case of those who are nut-tolerant. You can use poppy seeds, which can be a great substitute for the cashews.

What to serve the Navratna Corma with

The Navratna Corma is a hearty vegetarian meal that perfectly blends with a side of garlic naan flatbread, rice, or the Indian paratha roti chapatti.

What is the health content of Navratna Corma?

This dish is a good source of vitamins, like vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as minerals, like iron and potassium.

Conclusion

The guide shows that the Navratna Corma is a food with a rich history and flavor. You can easily prepare the meal if you follow the steps given above. You can put your spin on the meal by adding in some ingredients that you like for a more personalized taste. The dish is usually served around the same time in most restaurants, and it is recommended to have it after a meal because of its rich flavor.

Seema

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