Vegetable cashew korma

I had always been curious about the creamy cashew kormas served at North Indian restaurants, but apparently they're usually more yogurt than cashew. This is my totally made up vegan version. It's very important to use a high speed blender to puree the cashew sauce; you definitely want it completely smooth, not the least bit gritty. You can use any assortment of vegetables you like; we often throw in cauliflower and peas. When we make this for 100+ guests, we cook off all the vegetables separately, make a big vat of the cashew gravy, then combine them between several pans and bake until the sauce reduces a bit and it all comes together. At home however, you can make it all in one pan on the stove top. In this picture, I topped the korma with curry roasted chickpeas. It was just a whim, but it was pretty good and added protein. If you'd like to do this, just toss cooked chickpeas with a bit of oil, salt and vegan prepared red curry paste and roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serves 4 if just serving this and rice or bread, could serve more if serving several other dishes

2 T oil of your choice

1 t cumin seeds

½ t brown mustard seeds

½ c diced onion

4 t minced fresh ginger

½ t minced jalapeno, or to taste

2 c diced red or yellow potatoes

½ c carrots

½ c raw cashews, soaked

1 t ground coriander

½ t ground cumin

½ t cinnamon

¼ t turmeric

1 ½ t sea salt

Water

1 c fresh spinach, packed, then pureed with ½ c water

¼ c chopped cilantro

1 T fresh lemon juice

Make sure you read through the whole recipe before you start. You should definitely have the onions and cashew sauce pureed before you start frying the spice seeds.

Heat the oil in a pan big enough to hold the entire curry. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and saute until the cumin in a shade darker and fragrant.

Puree the onion in a food processor. It probably won't get totally smooth. That's OK, but pureeing the onion is a nice and traditional step that makes for an especially creamy sauce. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno to the spice seeds and saute until onion is golden. You’ll need a fairly high heat and ample oil to get the onion to saute, and not just steam in its water. If you don't get some nice golden color on the onions, the finished curry won't taste as good.

Add the potatoes and carrots. Saute it all up, making sure the vegetables are well combined with the seasoned oil.

Drain the cashews and place in a blender with the spices and salt. Add 1 c of water and start blending on low speed. Gradually increase speed. When the mixture gets too thick to puree properly, add a bit more water. Scrape down the sides from time to time to incorporate everything. Keep blending at increasingly high speeds, adding water as necessary. When finished, your sauce should be quite thin and have no gritty cashew bits. Pour this sauce into your pan with the vegetables. Stir in all up, add a little more water, cover and simmer over low heat. You want the sauce lightly bubbling, enough to cook the vegetables and concentrate flavors, but not enough to scorch the pan. Check often, adding more water as necessary. When the potatoes are cooked through, remove from heat and stir in spinach puree, lemon juice and cilantro.

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