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Amparo Bertram

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05:14 pm: Cooking korma
This recipe is from the Best Ever Indian Cookbook at the request of wednesday_10_00. My one warning is that I have not actually cooked this one myself, so I can't vouch for how it will turn out.

Vegetable Korma
1/4 C butter
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 t fresh ginger, grated
1 t ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
6 green cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 t ground turmeric
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
1 potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small eggplant, chopped
1 1/2 C mushrooms, thickly sliced
3/4 C water
1 C green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths
4 T plain yogurt
2/3 C heavy cream
1 t garam masala
salt and black pepper
cilantro to garnish

1. Melt the butter in a heavy pan. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the cumin, coriander, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, turmeric, and chilli. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.

2. Add the potato cubes, eggplant, mushrooms, and the water. Cover the pan, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the beans and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a warmed serving dish and keep hot.

4. Allow the cooking liquid to boil until it has reduced a little. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the yogurt, cream, and garam masala. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Edit: After reading through 660 Curries more carefully, I found that it contains at least one korma recipe. This particular version is apparently quite famous. I haven't made this one either, though.

Nine-Jewelled Medley with a Cashew-Raisin Sauce
1/2 C cauliflower florets (1/2 inch pieces)
1/4 C frozen green peas
1/4 C fresh green beans (1/2 inch pieces)
1/4 C yard-long beans (1/2 inch pieces) or frozen French-cut green beans
1/4 C bottle gourd squash or yellow summer squash (1/2 inch cubes)
1 small carrot, peeled, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small green or red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 T ghee or canola oil
1 C chopped Vidalia onion
1/4 C raw cashew nuts
1/4 C golden raisins
1 t ginger puree
1 t garlic puree
1/4 t whole cloves
1/4 t cardamom seeds from green pods
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 T tomato paste
1 t salt
1/2 t cayenne (ground red pepper)
1/4 t ground turmeric
1/2 t Punjabi garam masala
4 ounces paneer (unsalted white cheese), cut into 1/2 inch cubes and pan-fried in ghee
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine the cauliflower, peas, both kinds of beans, squash, carrot, potato, and bell pepper in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer vigorously, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-firm, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Reserving 2 cups of the cooking water, drain the vegetables in a colander. Then return the drained vegetables to the saucepan. Leave the saucepan off the heat while you prepare the sauce.

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

4. Transfer the onion blend, liquid and all, to a blender jar. Add the tomato paste, salt, cayenne, turmeric, and garam masala. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to make a thick, reddish-brown sauce. Add this sauce to the vegetables in the saucepan. Pour the remaining 1 1/2 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. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and paneer are warmed through.

6. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

And just in case you can't find paneer near you, here's how to make your own:
Whole Milk Cheese
1 gallon whole milk
1/4 C white vinegar

1. Pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent the milk from scorching. When it comes to a boil, stir in the vinegar. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside until the cheese separates and leaves behind a pale green, thin, watery whey, 15 to 30 seconds.

2. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, making sure there are a couple inches hanging over the rim. Place the colander in the sink, then pour the cheese and whey into the colander, and let it drain. Once the cheese is slightly cool to the touch, gather the edges of the cloth and fold them over to cover it.

There are various options on how to squeeze the remaining curds into cheese. This author advises placing a weight (I use the empty milk jug half-filled with water) directly on the cheese in the colander, but I don't like this method because it leaves the cheese with a dome shape.

What I do is set a cutting board with one edge resting over the sink and the other end propped up slightly on a folded dishtowel to form an incline. I set the cheese on this, cover it with a plate flipped upside down, and set the jug on top. Any remaining whey runs down the cutting board into the sink, and the cheese ends up with mostly flat surfaces on both the top and bottom, making it easy to dice into cubes for cooking later.

If you happen to have a tofu press, then it can probably be used as well, to form a nice rectangular block.

Leave the weight on the cheese for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight. When finished, unwrap the cheesecloth. Store the cheese in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in freezer bags in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw frozen paneer in the refrigerator before using it.


[User Picture]
Date:January 7th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
It sure sounds yummy. I've printed it out already. We're going to have fun trying these recipes out.
[User Picture]
Date:January 7th, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
See, I have to wait for you to cook it so I know what kind of onions and potato to use.
[User Picture]
Date:January 7th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)
I always use Vidalia onions (though one of those is probably worth two of any other onion) and Yukon Gold potatoes.

My version wouldn't have eggplant in it, that's for certain.
[User Picture]
Date:January 7th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
Yum, korma, thank you! I'm going to have to visit the Indian spice store...

If you ever decide to try making it for yourself, I recommend adding grapes or raisins (green or golden, respectively). I've had it that way at restaurants, and it's amazing. I don't remember it having green beans or eggplant, though...I may have to order it and check out the vegetables before I make try making it.
[User Picture]
Date:January 8th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
I did a bit of digging in 660 Curries, and I found that it does have a korma recipe, and it contains raisins. I'll edit the original post to add it.
[User Picture]
Date:January 8th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that one sounds really good, but a lot more complicated. Thanks for posting both! A hybrid may be in order.
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