Korma also pronounced as 'Kuurma' back home is one of those indulgent dishes that I make when cooking for a large dinner party. It is easy to scale up and sinfully delicious. It reminds me of umpteen tonnes of Ghee rice and Kuurma I have devoured at all the wedding receptions while growing up. Now if I think of the vanaspati laden Ghee rice or the greasy and unflavored korma, my appetite dies a sudden death! But when I think of my sister's rich, spicy but satisfying Korma, my stomach screams 'here! I live again'. She makes the best Korma I have ever tasted. With mom's ghee rice, it is mind blowing. I have always made Korma her way, but yesterday midway through the Korma, I realised that I had ran out of cashews. I had to think of substitutions and fast. I tossed in a mixture of poppy seeds and sesame seeds and the combo gave my Korma a special spin. We all loved it.
Mixed vegetables 4 cups chopped
Peanut oil 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
Star anise 2
Marathi moggu 2
Bay leaves 3
Onion 1 medium minced
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Red Chili powder 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Dhania powder 1 tbsp scant
Cumin powder 2 tsp
Tomato 2 medium
Mint a generous handful
Fresh coriander a handful
Sesame seeds 2 tbsp
Poppy seeds 1 tbsp
Kopra 1/2 cup
Heavy cream 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Lemon segments to serve
- Throw the chopped vegetables into a microwaves safe bowl and pop it into the microwave oven to slightly soften the vegetables about 4 minutes.
- Heat oil in a thick bottom stock pot. Throw in the cumin, fennel, star anise, Marathi moggu, bay leaves and cardamon.
- Once the spices stop sizzling, throw in the minced onions, cook the onions till they are deep brown in colour, about 15 minutes.
- Throw in the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell disappears about 5-7 minutes.
- Throw in the turmeric, red chilli, dhania and cumin powders, stir continuously to make sure the spices do not burn at the bottom. Add a little water if the mixture is drying out too rapidly.
- Once the spices are fragrant, throw in the vegetables and add 5-6 cups of water, cover and bring it to a boil.
- Meantime pulse the tomatoes, mint and coriander in the food processor, set it aside. Toast the sesame seeds, kopra and poppy seeds separately in a hot dry skillet, remove from heat and pound till the seeds are reduced to a fine powder. I blitz mine in the coffee grinder.
- Once the vegetables mixture comes to a boil, throw in the tomato and herb mixture and the nut mixture. Stir well to make sure the nut mixture is not lumpy. It is a good idea to temper the nut mixture with the hot liquid from the sauce, mix well and pour the mixture into the simmering curry. Simmer for about 10 minutes till the curry comes together.
- Adjust salt and pour over the heavy cream. Stir once more and heat the mixture for another 3 minutes and remove from heat.
- Serve it with Ghee rice, Raita and lemon wedges.