Monday, February 21, 2011

Do you like Indian Food? - Vegan Korma

The first time I ever ate Indian food I had this really bad experience which involved stomach cramps and running for the bathroom. But through the years I always wanted to give Indian food another chance. A few months ago we went out to an Indian restaurant with some friends and I had another disappointing experience. I had a hard time finding a vegan dish that looked appealing. The dish I ended up ordering was so spicy I couldn't eat it. When it comes to spicy I am a bit of a wimp. My husband, on the other hand, got a really delicious creamy dish and I was feeling very jealous.

Since then my husband has been begging me to learn how to make Korma for him. I found this vegan version on the Post Punk Kitchen blog. I changed it quite a bit, making it not so spicy. If you want to see the original version go here.

Here is what I did:

For the cream:
2 cups raw cashew pieces (plus water for soaking)
2 cups vegetable broth

Veggies to boil:
1 pound red potatoes (1 1/2 inch chunks)
1 head cauliflower in large florettes (don’t cut em too small or they will fall apart)
1 lb carrots, sliced on a bias 1/2 inch thick

1 medium sized yellow onions
1 inch nub of ginger
4 cloves garlic

Everything else:
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon coriander, crushed
1/2 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon garam masala
Fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (see note)
1 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk

First, soak the cashews. This will get them really soft and make them easier to blend really smooth. Place them in a bowl and submerge in water. Set aside for at least an hour. In the meantime prep everything.

Boil the veggies. Place them in a big pot and cover them in cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer (so you don’t overcook the veggies), for about 15 minutes. Potatoes should be fork tender. Drain and set aside.

Next, puree the onion, ginger and garlic. It shouldn’t be completely smooth, some texture is good.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Cook the puree in the peanut oil with a sprinkle of salt for about 15 to 20 minutes, until it’s nice and browned.

This is a good time to puree the cashews. Drain them and place them in a blender along with 2 cups vegetable broth. Puree until smooth. This can take up to 5 minutes to get it as smooth as possible.

Back to the puree. Once it’s browned, add the coriander  and saute for about 3 minutes. Add curry powder, garam masala, several dashes fresh black pepper and salt and saute for another minute.

Transfer to the pot you cooked the veggies in. Add tamarind, tomato paste and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Now add the coconut milk and the cashew cream. Let cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, it should thicken a little and be really creamy.

 Now fold in the boiled veggies, put the lid on the pot and let it heat through. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve garnished with cilantro if you like.

** I'm not gonna lie to you this took a bit of time. I also had to find an Indian market to buy garam masala and tamarind paste. But all the effort was oh so worth it. So creamy and good.

** This makes a lot of food. We served it over brown rice and for leftovers I ate it over whole wheat couscous.

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