Valentine's Day Feast: Navratan Korma

Posted on 12th February 2015

So, last week we showed you how to kick off an Indian Valentine's Feast with a knock-out starter, and this week we're going to take you through phase two: the main course. Carrying on our theme of romantic foodstuffs, today we are going to be featuring another couple of romantic star ingredients: ginger and pomegranates.

Now, pomegranates have been something of a celebrity in the fruit world for quite a while. Since the ancient times they have been associated with prosperity, fertility, and reproduction. According to Greek mythology, the first pomegranate tree was planted by Aphrodite (from whom,we get the word aphrodisiac) Goddess of Love, pleasure, and procreation. Now, I can't attest to the truthfulness of Aphrodite planting the tree herself, but I can tell you that there may be some science behind the pomegranate's fertility-boosting reputation. Pomegranates are bursting with antioxidants which increase blood flow, and its seeds and juice are often used as a tonic for the heart and throat. They are also in season from September-February, so best try to get your hands on some now.

The other star of this week's show is ginger. Not only is this lovely root a highly effective digestion aid, but it will also help your beloved's circulation, bringing more blood to that all-important organ: the heart. It is a key ingredient in a whole host of Indian dishes, including this one, fresh from our menu: Navratan Korma.

Navratan Korma

Navratan Korma

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 150g vegetables (e.g. potatoes, carrots, green beans, peppers)
  • 75g paneer, cubed
  • 75g pineapple, cubed
  • 75g dried fruit and nuts (e.g. raisins, almonds, walnuts)
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter (you can buy online or in Holland & Barrett)
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp ground spice mix (in a frying pan, roast a bay leaf, few cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick, mace, cloves and nutmeg, then grind them to a fine powder)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 75g powdered milk
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt to taste

Steps

  1. Make your spice mix by roasting the bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon stick, mace, cloves and nutmeg in a frying pan. Then grind into a powder in a grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
  2. In a pan, warm the butter and add the ground spice mix. Sauté the mix for few seconds then add the paneer. Roast lightly, then remove the paneer cubes and set aside.
  3. Add the vegetables to the butter and braise them over a high heat until they are a light golden brown.
  4. Turn down the heat and add the ginger paste, sauté then add the tomato purée. Let the vegetables sweat over a low heat for few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the cumin and red chilli powder and sauté for a few more minutes.
  6. Add the cashew butter and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Check the salt and seasonings.
  7. Next add the pineapple and dry fruit mix and the milk powder. Sauté for a few more minutes on low heat.
  8. Add the milk and try to keep the temperature below curdling.
  9. Simmer on low heat for another couple of minutes until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
  10. Add the fried cubes of paneer, mix them well, and add cream.
  11. Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds and garnish with coriander leaves, if you're feeling fancy.

Serve your delicious korma with naan bread and/or rice and be prepared to be partner of the year in the eyes of your Valentine. This recipe looks like there are a gazillion steps and ingredients, but we promise you it's really very simple, and totally worth it! Visit last week's blog for our starter recipe and keep your eyes peeled for phase three: the dessert, which will be with you before the big day, you have our word.

couple having a romantic dinner

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