Monday, February 18, 2013

Vegetable Korma

I wanted to prepare a good main for this month, and Indian seemed to be the way to go. Vegetable korma it is.

My personal preference would be for variety of vegetable flavors and textures, but of course, you can use whatever you have available and prefer. In fact, this seems to be a good winterish dish since root vegetables work well for this stew-like meal. Although cashews or maybe almonds are usually cooked in korma, I like them better sprinkled on top after cooking so they stay nice and crispy.

Rice may be all you need in addition to the main, but accompaniments may include yogurt or raita and  fresh cilantro.

If you need a little primer in rice cooking, try this.

And I know, I ask that you use whole yogurt and heavy cream- but there's a reason. There's less of a chance of your korma curdling if there's some fat there. It's more stable.

Yes, it is mostly an extremely sunny yellow when it's finished, but there's certainly some orange in there. Maybe we can call it a shade of yellow-orange?

Vegetable Korma
Based on a Nigel Slater recipe in Tender
serves 6 or more

2 medium yellow onions, diced
2 T (30 ml) vegetable oil 
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger (I tend to use more)
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 1/2 to 3 lb.  (very generous 1 kg, 1.25 kg) hearty vegetables, peeled and coarsely chopped (I have used butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, potato... with and without cauliflower... maybe red or green bell peppers would be good, too)
2 t (8 g) cumin seed
1 T (5 g) coriander seed (if you can't find whole, use about 2 1/4 t ground)
7 green cardamom pods, cracked and seeds removed
1/2 t chile powder (not enough for a weight, sorry)
2 t (6 g) turmeric powder
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 jalapeno or serrano chiles, seeds and ribs removed and finely sliced (serranos are a little hotter than jalapenos)
Salt to taste (I think about 1 T/18 g should do it) 
Several grinds fresh black pepper 
3 c (750 ml) water
3/4 c (150 g) thick whole yogurt, such as Greek style
1/2 c (120 ml) heavy cream
1/2 c (80 g) frozen peas 

For serving:
2/3 c (90 g) cashews or sliced almonds , toasted
Basmati rice
Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves
Extra yogurt

Prep the vegetables:
Onions in one medium bowl, the other chopped vegetables in another large bowl.

Grind the cumin, coriander, and cardamom seeds with a mortar and pestle. 

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until slightly golden. Turn down the heat slightly, and add the ginger and garlic and saute 30 seconds or so until fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, cardamom, chile powder, turmeric, and cinnamon stick. Saute these along with the onion mixture until it all becomes a bit pasty. Pour the vegetables into the pot, give a good stir, and add the chopped chile,  salt, black pepper, and water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a cocked lid on top of the pot and cook 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender (stir every now and then).

Whisk the cream and yogurt together in a medium bowl and set aside. 

When the vegetables have finished cooking, stir the peas into the pot and cook for a couple minutes, until warmed through.
Add a few spoons of the hot sauce from the pot to the cream and yogurt mixture and whisk to incorporate.  This step is meant to temper the yogurt so it will come up to temperature and behave when it's added to the korma. Add more sauce if necessary and whisk again- you want the yogurt mixture to be pourable. 
Pour the cream and yogurt mixture back into the the warm korma and carefully stir through. Cook gently a few minutes until slightly thickened.  
Serve warm with toasted cashews, cilantro, yogurt and rice. 

No comments:

Post a Comment