Life is all about experiences, and learnings from such encounters, and moving on to become better and more fulfilled. We see so many people, read so mnay books, by varied authors, but only a few of them create lasting impression in our minds. One such poem was “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference”…I read these lines over and over and over again and from then on, I have learnt to NEVER regret any decision in my life. The best option would always be to find out what to do next and how to move on.
When my eyes chanced on Raghavan Iyer`s 660 Curries in my local library, I was excited! It`s been a dream to lay my hands on that book, just like Ive been waiting to read ” The Mainland China Cookbook” for a long long time! I liked the little anecdotes by the author in all his little posts in the book. All his recipes have his underlying love and passion for his cooking! I tried a couple of recipes from his book and this particular one was partially inspired by his version and I must say it was almost close to the restaurant version – only much more delicuous and wholesome and much less greasy!!! Navratan means “9 gems” , and this dish has mughlai roots, so I am guessing it gets its name from the ingredients that go in to making the dish.
1 cup Cauliflower Florettes.
1 Cup Potatoes Cooked.
1 Cup Baby Corn.
1/2 Cup Peas.
1/2 Cup Corn.
1 Medium Onion.
1 Medium Tomato.
1 CUp Milk.( Or 1/2 Cup Milk + 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk for richness)
1 Bay Leaf.
1 Tsp Cardamom Powdered.
1/4 Cup Cashews.
1/4 Cup Raisins.
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder.
1/2 Tsp Punjabi Garam Masala.
1/4 Tsp Turmeric.
2 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste.
1 Tsp Sugar.
1 Tsp Kasuri Methi.
- Cube all the vegetables in to slightly bigger cubes say and all of them in to a stock pot. Add a little salt and let them slowly boil together. When they are done drain the vegetables but save the water in which the veggies are cooked. Set aside.
- In a flat bottomed kadai add 2 tsp of oil and when its hot season it with a dash of cumin seeds., When the seeds have spluttered, add the roughly chopped onions and follow up with ginger garlic paste, raisins, cashews, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom powder. Cover and cook in medium low heat until the nuts and the onions have browned. Now add the diced tomatoes and cook for a couple more minutes.
- Slowly add the reserved water which was used to cook the veggies and let this deglaze the kadai and remove all the spices sticking to the pan.
- Switch off the heat in another 3-4 minutes and set aside. Transfer to a mixer jar and puree to a smooth paste adding the 1/2 cup of milk.
- To this add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and punjabi garam masala and pulse it for a few more seconds.
- Take the same kadai and add a spoon of oil and season with jeera. Now add the cooked veggies and give it a quick swirl.
- Add the pureed paste and to this addd the spoon of sugar and mix it well.
- Adjust the consistency, add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk ( or coconut milk) check salt and wait until it starts boiling. Add crushed kasuri methi.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with Butter Naan / Phulkas.
- I served mine with Cucumber Raitha and a cup of fresh sweet corn hashed with a pinch of chat masala and kala namak!