Monday, December 31, 2012

Rainbow Vegetable Korma- with Curry Sauce Base

This is an Indian restaurant favourite for lovers of mild curries.  At home, you get to choose the vegetables (and the meat, if you must) - about five cups of vegetables are needed for this dish.  My neighbourhood grocer had amazing purple baby eggplants and Thai eggplants.  They will form the base of my Korma along with red pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots and peas.  I will admit to about eight cups of vegetables.  I can adjust the sauce if I need to.  A veritable rainbow!  Also, I know that chickpeas are not usually found in this korma.  But, I happen to like chickpeas and they add protein to my vegetarian dish  :-)

The Curry Sauce Base makes quick work of this dish...

This recipe serves 4-6.

1/2  tbsp vegetable oil
1/2  tbsp ghee
1 1/2 tsp turmeric - divided
2     tsp chile powder, or to taste
pinch of cayenne
2 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2   tsp ground cinnamon
1      tbsp ground cumin
1     tsp ground cardamo,
1     onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1     medium carrot, peeled and diagonally sliced
1/2  cup frozen peas (added at the end)
1     cup cauliflower, cut into florets
8     small baby eggplants
5     small Thai eggplants
1     cup mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1     red pepper, medium diced
1/2  cup paneer, diced (optional)
1/2  cup cashews, soaked approx. one hour, plus a handful more, toasted, to garnish
1     can coconut milk
3     cups Curry Sauce Base
2     cups cooked chickpeas
1/2  cup unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2    tbsp yogourt
small handful of raisins- to garnish
fresh cilantro, chopped- to garnish
small handful of coconut shavings, or shredded coconut- to garnish
handful of toasted cashews- to garnish

Vegetables are added to the
spice mix in  the pan
In a large pan, heat the oil and the ghee over medium-high heat.  Add 1/2 tsp turmeric, pinch of chile powder, 2 1/2 tsp garam masala and 1 tbsp of ground cumin.  Blend and cook the spices until fragrant.

Add the onions to the spice mixture and cook until wilted.  Add the eggplant (and potatoes, if using) and brown lightly.  Add the remaining vegetables and paneer (if using) and stir-fry approximately three minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat. 

In a blender, add 1/2 cup soaked cashews, shredded coconut and 1/2 cup of water.  Blend until smooth.  Now add the coconut milk, the curry sauce base and one teaspoon of turmeric.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasonings by adding more coconut if needed.

Pour this mixture into the vegetables and add the cooked chickpeas.
I may have added more than
the two cups of chickpeas
called for in this recipe.

Heat the vegetables and sauce over medium heat and simmer slowly until the vegetables are cooked through.  Keep it low and watch that the bottom doesn't stick.  Stir occasionally.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Remember this is supposed to be a mild curry!  Remove from heat and add 2-3 tbsp of roughly chopped cashews, 2-3 tbsp raisins, 2 tbsp of yogourt and finely chopped fresh cilantro over the dish.  Serve with rice and/or naan.

Meat anyone?  You could replace the paneer with 1 lb of skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes.  Brown in the spice mixture, before adding the onions, remove from the pan and set aside.  Add back to the pan when you add the vegetables back into the blended curry sauce.  

How about shrimp?  Peel thawed shrimp, fry briefly with the spices, remove from the pan and set aside.  Add back to the pan at the end of the cooking period, and cook just long enough for the shrimp to become opaque.  

Vary the vegetables- check out what's in season or what vegetables you would prefer to serve with either chicken or shrimp. Green beans, cut into one-inch pieces; diced potato; broccoli florettes; sliced zucchini, etc.

You could also choose to omit the chickpeas.

Nuts?  Instead of cashews, you could use an equal amount of almonds.


  1. Oh yum Joanne, this looks way better than we had out the other night! Love your blog and will be reading all your recipes.

  2. Hey Nancy
    Thanks for stopping by. If you ever have a question or a special request, just let me know.