Monday, June 6, 2011

Of Navratan kormas and careless internet jokes...

Do you  order Navratan korma when you eat out ? I don’t. I mean I used to earlier, but have stopped ever since my boss told me his version of how the ill-fated korma was made. Ill-fated because it is subject to judgmental ridicule  by many people like me and my boss – I have never tried to verify whether what I doubt is true, and there is no reason to believe that the boss did so either.  Well, here’s what he told me…He said that left-overs from the previous 9 days are mixed to prepare the Navratan korma, and hence the nomenclature! Ridiculous as it sounds, it however has done what it was intended to do, it has stopped me from ordering the dish. Like many other colleagues I too felt safe avoiding it telling myself   “ Why take risk ?”
The Navratan korma fortunately has no career, no self-respect, no future and no family to feed, so it doesn’t matter. But it is just as easy to slam a human being, a company, a product or a service, and it can cost a life, and at times is capable of ruining several lives.
Let us be kind to all the Navratan kormas and pledge that we will  use the internet based or otherwise  thought-sharing platforms responsibly for good and harmless reasons. A joke, which may be funny for many, can be fatal for that one person at whom it is directed, and shattering for the family who depends on him in so many ways. Let us share jokes for the purpose intended- to entertain.

Mixed vegetable korma - A close country cousin of Navratan korma


Cauliflower: 4/5 medium sized florets
French beans: 10/12 chopped into 1 inch pieces
Carrot :  1 grated
Cabbage : 1 cup thinly sliced
Capsicum: 1 thinly sliced
Tomato : 1 chopped
Potato: 1 diced
Ginger paste : ½ tsp
Ggarlic paste : ½ tsp
Green chillies: 2 slitted
Salt : 1 tsp
Garam masala powder : 1 tsp
Jeera (whole cumin seeds) : 1/2 tsp
Hing (Asafoetida): 1 pinch
Oil : any, 2 tsp

How you’ll do it :

Step 1 : Heat 2 tsp of oil in  a wok
Step 2: Shallow fry the cauliflower florets with a little salt and turmeric, and remove.
Step 3: Add cumin seeds in the remaining oil and let them splutter
Step 4: Add hing ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder and tomatoes.
Step 5: When the mixture is fried properly, i.e. oil shows separately, add all the remaining ingredients excepting the cauliflowers, mix properly, and cover.
Step 6: After about 7 mins, remove lid, and if the vegetables are moderately cooked , add the cauiflowers and mix properly once again. If it looks dry and sticks to the bottom, sprinkle a little water.
Step 7: Cover again and remove from heat after another 5 minutes.

Since this is a mixed vegetable curry, if one or more of the vegetables are missing, it’s okay, not to worry. Similarly,  if you have any leftover vegetable from your previous meal, you can throw in the same too.  I had a little alu-matar left, which I had tossed in. Great dish if you have to plan a meal suddenly, or on days when you have little bit of everything in your vegetable basket, but nothing enough to make a stand-alone dish.

Add-on: If you are  having guests, you could consider adding in a tbsp of cashew paste or watermelon seed paste to lend a rich texture to the dish. You can add it along with other ingredients in step 4. You will need to add more oil, or sprinkle water from time to time if you add this paste, otherwise it tends to stick to the bottom.

 Happy cooking !!!

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