This recipe for navratan curry is a sweet version of the classic vegetable korma, and is filled with fruit and other sweet vegetables. This curry is vegan-friendly, made with easy-to-find ingredients, and includes step-by-step directions.
What do you order when you go to Indian restaurants? Do you stare in a panic at a list of unfamiliar food names, and then pick something at random?
Do you stick to the buffet, and get a little bit of everything?
The husband and I like to order one "safe" meal, and one new, unfamiliar curry.
My trusty, always delicious, go-to meal is vegetable korma, a creamy curry filled with roasted spices, blended cashews, and seasonal vegetables.
One of my favorite things about korma is that, depending on who prepares it, variations in spice choices, and what vegetables are in season, the dish changes from kitchen to kitchen.
That means, of course, that Vegetable Korma is NEVER boring.
Searching for Perfect Korma
Recently, while happily devouring a plate of korma in near Cincinnati, I ordered Navratan curry (sweet korma) instead of my usual plain vegetable korma.
I was delighted to find raisins (or, tiny bits of sweetness that burst with flavor in my mouth!) and chunks of cashews in my curry.
As I ate, I thought, "This is fantastically amazing, and I must try making my own korma more like this korma!"
I then, of course, promptly forgot about it.
Later, however, I once again ordered navratan korma at a restaurant in South Dakota, and was thrilled, THRILLED, to once again find fruit and nuts in my korma.
This time, when I left, I was on a mission.
A food mission, to be more specific, to make this nutty, sweet, creamy bowl of happiness appear in my home kitchen.
What Is Navratan Curry?
Navratan curry roughly translates to "nine gems."
The gems are made up of the vegetables and fruit in the curry.
In this simplified version of navratan curry, we're not using nine different fruits and vegetables. But if you want to add extra vegetables, you can!
As written, this recipe uses mushrooms, peas, and sweet potatoes. Feel free to try variations using different veggies.
How to Make Navratan Curry
To make this korma, start by sautéing the mushrooms.
Take them out of the pan, and sauté the spices along with a diced onion.
Add some tomatoes, and let everything simmer for just a few minutes.
Add the sweet potatoes, and simmer until they're cooked through.
Add the mushrooms back into the pan, along with the remaining veggies. Add a little milk and cream (or coconut milk), and salt to taste.
Serve this curry with rice, and enjoy!
Want to Microwave Your Rice? Read this tutorial on How to Cook Basmati Rice in the Microwave.
Navratan Curry (Sweet Vegetable Korma)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided) Or use ghee
- 8 ounces mushrooms (such as white button, cremini, or shiitake), sliced If using shiitake, remove stems
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 15 ounce fire-roasted tomatoes (1 can) Or use 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, diced
- 1 cup peas
- ⅓ cup roasted cashews, diced
- ⅓ cup dried fruit (pineapple, raisins, golden raisins)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup milk OR coconut milk
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream OR ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- To Serve: jasmine rice, basmati rice, or naan
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Sauté the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same pan. Add onion, garlic cloves, garam masala, salt and chili flakes. Sauté 3-4 minutes, until the spices are fragrant and the onions are translucent.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes and let them simmer 4-5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, and cover pan. Add the mushrooms and peas to the pan. Simmer about 15 minutes, until the potatoes have softened and the peas have cooked through.
- Add cashews, dried fruit, turmeric, milk, and cream to the pan. If you prefer the color to be more vibrant, add more turmeric.
- Serve while still warm with a side of rice.
- Leftovers:Store in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.
- To simplify the recipe, you could eliminate the mushrooms.
- You can substitute the mushrooms or peas used here for vegetables you already have on hand. Other vegetables that work well in this recipe include sweet bell pepper and green beans.