Month of September: “660 Curries” Recipe: Nine Jeweled Medley with a Cashew-Raisin Sauce (Navratan Korma)

“I write because it is the only way I can reach you.” Sanober Khan

Today will be my last post for September. I have hardly scratched the surface of this cookbook but nevertheless have learned enough to reignite my desire to keep moving forward with the curries. I am in it now for the long haul. I’ve been converted and I hope you have too. The Nine Jeweled Medley curry emanates we are told from the royal palaces’ kitchens of Moghal India. Could it be because of the abundance of vegetables and luxurious raisin and cashew sauce? Regardless of its origin hundreds of years ago, it still exists to this day on the menu of Indian restaurants around the world. So let’s go out with a bang! But get ready to beef up your knife skills..there’s some chopping here and plenty of veggies left over to make something else tomorrow.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup cauliflower florets, 1/4 cup frozen peas (no need to thaw), 1/4 cup fresh green beans (1/2 inch pieces), 1/4 cup of bottle gourd squash, I used zucchini (1/2 inch cubes), 1 small carrot (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 small white potato (cut into 1/2 inch cubes), 1 small green or red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, 2 tablespoons of ghee, 1 small red onion coarsely chopped, 1/4 cup raw cashew nuts, 1/4 cup golden raisins (I used black), 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 1 teaspoon garlic paste, 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves, 1/4 teaspoon cardamon seeds from green or white pods, 1 or 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1.5 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon punjabi garam masala, 4 ounces of paneer cubed and pan fried (I omitted), 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro for garnish.

1.Combine the cauliflower, peas, beans, squash, carrot, potato and bell pepper in a medium size sauce pan. Add water to cover and boil over medium heat. Lower to medium and simmer, uncovered, until tender about 5-8 minutes.

2.Reserve 2 cups of cooking water, drain vegetables in a colander. Return vegetables to the saucepan. Leave saucepan off heat while you prepare the sauce.

3. Heat the ghee in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cashews, raisins, ginger and garlic paste, cloves, cardamom seeds, and bay leaves, Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions and nuts are browned and the raisins have swelled about 10-12 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water and scrape the bottom of the skillet to deglaze it, releasing any brown bits.

4.Transfer the sauce to a blender jar. Add the paste, salt, cayenne, turmeric and garam masala. Puree into a thick reddish brown sauce. Add this to the vegetables in the saucepan. Pour the remaining 1.5 cups reserved cooking water into the blender jar and whir the blades to wash out the inside of the jar. Add the washings to the saucepan.

5. Fold in the fried paneer if using. Cover and simmer until everything is warm. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Bejeweled

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