In The Armchair

Vegetable Korma

Posted in Food by Armchair Guy on May 27, 2007

This is a versatile family of recipes with a tomato base. The tomatoes are cooked until they form a sauce and a variety of ingredients can be added. I’ve found that Campbell’s Tomato Soup, available in most grocery stores in the USA, has an excellent texture along with a mild corn syrup sweetness that works well in these recipes. Paneer can be added alone to make a tasty paneer gravy dish. Vegetables such as beans, peas, carrots, potatoes and capsicum can be added with or without paneer for a variation. Adding cream or milk and roasted cashew nuts changes the dish into a vegetable korma. These dishes can be made with or without onions and with a variety of spices.

We start with a base recipe which can then be modified to form several variants.

Base Dish: Tomato Gravy

Ingredients

Campbell’s Tomato Soup (1 small can)
Coriander powder (2 teaspoons)
Red Chilli powder (1/2 teaspoon)
Mustard seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
Curry leaves (6 leaves)
Asafoetida powder (a pinch, 1/10 teaspoon)
Ginger, crushed or finely chopped (1 teaspoon)
Garlic, crushed or finely chopped (1/2 teaspoon)
Vegetable oil (1/2 teaspoon)
Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

Method

In a saucepan or “mookudu”, heat 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds. When they splutter, add a pinch (1/10 teaspoon) of inguva (asafoetida) and 6 curry leaves. Let fry for about 15 seconds, then add 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic. After another 30 seconds of frying, add 1 can Campbell tomato soup. When it begins simmering, add 2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt (or to your taste). Mix well and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Variations

Paneer in Tomato Gravy

Ingredients

Campbell’s Tomato Soup (1 small can)
Coriander powder (2 teaspoons)
Red Chilli powder (1/2 teaspoon)
Mustard seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
Curry leaves (6 leaves)
Asafoetida powder (a pinch, 1/10 teaspoon)
Ginger, crushed or finely chopped (1 teaspoon)
Garlic, crushed or finely chopped (1/2 teaspoon)
Vegetable oil (1 teaspoon)
Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

Paneer, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (200 gms, about a 3x2x2 inch slab)
Turmeric (a pinch, about 1/10 teaspoon)
Onions, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Method

In a saucepan or “mookudu”, heat 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the paneer cubes and 1/4 tsp salt and let fry until golden/light brown, turning cubes frequently to fry evenly and prevent burning. About a minute before paneer is done, add a pinch of pasupu (turmeric). Remove paneer from saucepan and set aside.

Add another 1/2 tsp oil and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds. When they splutter, add a pinch (1/10 teaspoon) of inguva (asafoetida) and 6 curry leaves. Let fry for about 15 seconds, then add 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic. After another 30 seconds of frying, add about 1/2 cup finely chopped onions. When onions are golden, add 1 can Campbell tomato soup. When it begins simmering, add 2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt (or to your taste). Mix well and add in the paneer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve over rice or with chapattis.

Note: The amount of Campbell soup/tomato puree can be varied by how much gravy you like. The gravy will thicken considerably when cooled.

Tomato-based Vegetable Korma

Ingredients

Campbell’s Tomato Soup (1 large can)
Coriander powder (3 teaspoons)
Red Chilli powder (1 teaspoon)
Mustard seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
Curry leaves (8 leaves)
Asafoetida powder (a pinch, 1/10 teaspoon)
Ginger, crushed or finely chopped (1 1/2 teaspoon)
Garlic, crushed or finely chopped (1 teaspoon)
Vegetable oil (1 1/4 teaspoon)
Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

Paneer, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (200 gms, about a 3x2x2 inch slab)
Turmeric (a pinch, about 1/10 teaspoon)
Onions, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1/2 cup or 2 carrots)
Green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
Green peas (about 4 teaspoons)
Potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1/4 cup)
Capsicum, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1/4 cup)
Heavy or whipping cream (1/4 cup)
Milk (1/4 cup)
Cashew nuts, coarsely chopped (6 teaspoons)

Method

Place chopped vegetables in a bowl, cover and microwave until slightly cooked but still crunchy. It may help to cook potatoes, carrots for a bit more time than beans, capsicum and peas. If a microwave is not available, any other cooking method, including simply frying or sauteeing, is fine. Set aside.

While vegetables are getting done, add 1/4 tsp oil to a saucepan or “mookudu” on low heat, and fry 6 teaspoons of cashew nuts until golden/light brown. Set fried cashews aside.

While vegetables are getting done, heat 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil on medium heat in a saucepan. Add the paneer cubes and 1/4 tsp salt and let fry until golden/light brown, turning cubes frequently to fry evenly and prevent burning. About a minute before paneer is done, add a pinch of pasupu (turmeric). Remove paneer from saucepan and set aside.

Add another 1/2 tsp oil and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds. When they splutter, add a pinch (1/10 teaspoon) of inguva (asafoetida) and 8 curry leaves. Let fry for about 15 seconds, then add 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger and 1 tsp finely chopped garlic. After another 30 seconds of frying, add about 1/2 cup finely chopped onions. When onions are golden, add 1 large can Campbell tomato soup. When it begins simmering, add 3 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder and 1/2 tsp salt (or to your taste). Mix well and add in the paneer and vegetables. Add in 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk and mix well. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with rice or chapattis.

Note: The amount of Campbell soup/tomato puree can be varied by how much gravy you like. The gravy will thicken considerably when cooled. You can add more paneer, cream or cashews for a richer dish or less paneer, cream or cashews for a lower fat dish.

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