I recently made friends with an Indian woman whose son is in our daughter Nora’s school class. She’s been in the United States for about 3 years now and when I found that out, I asked her if she knew how to cook Indian food. She of course did, and she asked if I’d like her to make some for me. What a dear! I told her that what I would really like would be to have her teach me how to make Indian food. And so we got together one day last week and she taught me how to make Vegetable Korma! I was so excited and pleased to be in her kitchen, watching, smelling, tasting, taking notes and learning from her! It really was a dream come true! And guess what?! She said we can do it again! Next time we meet we’ll go to the Indian Market together so I can get some of the ingredients she used that’d I’ve never seen before like the chana dahl in the first picture below on the far left, and the white poppyseeds in the next picture, and the Indian chilies. I took lots of pictures!
The first thing we did was make our korma paste. We did this by adding all the ‘paste’ ingredients (listed below in recipe) to the blender and blending it til smooth. We added more water as needed if it was too thick to blend.
Next we chopped up the red onion (she advised we use red or white, but not yellow as it’s too sweet) and sauteed it with a little oil (you can use olive oil or coconut oil), salt, curry leaves, turmeric and chili powder. After having made this multiple times now, and not always being able to get the Indian chiles and the curry leaves, I’ll often substitute curry powder for the leaves (and yes, I know they’re not the same thing, but I LOVE the flavor of curry powder and it adds a nice color), and I’ll add crushed red pepper in place of indian chiles. Next we added the tomatoes and cooked them until they were mushy, about 5 minutes.
Next we added the paste from the blender to those tomatoes. Once we dumped that in, we added about 1/2 cup warm water to the blender jar, put the lid on and swirled it around to get all the paste sticking to the inside of the jar, and we poured that into the frying pan. *As a side note, if you wanted chicken Korma, or just a plain Korma sauce, this is where you’d do that and skip adding the veggies…either add in cooked chicken (you could also marinate it and cook it in some of the same spices), or just leave it here plain, or add in some paneer (soft indian cheese).
Next up we added the chopped veggies. And you could really use whatever you like here. I love carrots and chopped potatoes in my Indian food. Cover the pan and bring the heat to low and cook 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add coconut milk (or a couple TBSP plain yogurt with 1 cup water), bring heat to medium and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring ocassionally and adding more water if needed, a Tbsp at a time, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and Naan.
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for 15+ minutes)
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp white poppy seeds
1 tsp roasted chana dal
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
1/4 tsp black peppercorn
2 small green chilies (indian green chili found at an Indian market; I often sub 1 tsp crushed red pepper in place of this)
4 tsp minced garlic or 8 cloves
1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled
1 c water (or a little more if needed, to get a creamy paste)
Combine all paste ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth, adding water, 1 TBSP at a time, if needed to blend.
2 medium red onion, diced (or white, but not yellow because too sweet)
1/2 tsp sea salt
14 curry leaves (I often sub 1 tsp curry powder)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
2 large Roma tomato, chopped
1 can coconut milk with full fat (I like Thai Kitchen brand)…or you can use a couple TBSP plain yogurt and 1 cup water
optional: 1-2 cups chopped veggies like carrots, potato, peas
optional: 1/3 c golden raisins
*could do cooked chicken or paneer instead of veggies
chopped cilantro to garnish
In a large frying pan, add 2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely diced onion with 1/4 tsp sea salt, curry leaves, turmeric and chili powder and cook until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until they are mushy, about 5 minutes. Add the paste from your blender. Add about 1/2 cup warm water to the emptied blender jar, put lid on and swirl it around to get all the paste sticking to the inside of the jar, and pour into the frying pan. *As a side note, if you wanted chicken Korma, or just a plain Korma sauce, this is where you’d do that and skip adding the veggies…either add in cooked chicken (you could also marinate it and cook it in some of the same spices), or just leave it here plain, or add in some paneer (soft indian cheese).
Add chopped veggies. Cover the pan and bring the heat to low and cook 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, add the coconut milk (or yogurt and water) and optional golden raisins and bring heat back up to medium and cook another 10 minutes, stirring ocassionally and adding more water if needed, a Tbsp at a time, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and Naan.