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Asian Vegan Kitchen
by Hema Parekh
Navratna korma (Assorted Vegetables In Cashew Gravy)
One of the most famous and irresistible Indian curries. Robust and aromatic, yet mild, it can be found on restaurant menus all over the world. It is one of my children's all-time favorites, and I always make it when they have friends over for dinner.
• 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
• 1 cup (100g) green beans, diced
• 2/3 cup (100g) green peas
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste (see below)
• 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
• Salt to taste
• 1 cup (240ml) water
• 1 teaspoon castor sugar
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
For The Cashew Paste
• 3 tablespoons cashew nuts
• 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
• 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
• 3-4 cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 1 fresh green chili
• 1 cup fresh coriander leaves
• 1/4 cup fresh spearmint leaves
1. Boil the vegetables in lightly salted water. Drain and put to one side.
2. For the cashew paste, dry roast the cashews, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, and peppercorns over low heat until fragrant. Using a food processor, blend to a smooth paste with the green chili, coriander leaves, and spearmint leaves, mixed with a little water.
3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onion over medium heat until soft and light brown. Mix in the Ginger Garlic Paste and saute for about 1 minute.
4. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, and salt to taste. Cook covered for 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes soften. Add the cashew paste and the 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer.
5. Add the sugar and lemon juice, then toss in the boiled vegetables. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 4—5 minutes. Serve hot with paratha or rice.
GINGER GARLIC PASTE PASTE
(Pisa hua adrak lasun)
This is a delightfully pungent paste used in many North Indian recipes. This paste not only enhances the flavor of Indian dishes, but it can be used to good effect in your freestyle cooking efforts as well.
Makes 1 tablespoon
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 piece of ginger, walnut sized, peeled
Blend the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste, using few drops of water. Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Keeps for 1 week.
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