I can almost imagine the Royal Chef walking into dining room of the Royal Court and presenting this dish with much fanfare and pride at the feast table to his Emperor and standing back with a dedicated and graceful bow waiting for his Emperor’s approval.
He gets his approval from the sparkling brightness of his Emperor’s eyes, the joy he must have experienced when the flavors burst in his mouth, each distinct one vying for attention, the satiation he would feel after he finished his feast, after all he is the Royal Cook, he ought to know.
If you want a dish to shine like a gem at your feast table, then look no further as this is the one. You may be forgotten but this dish that you serve will be not be forgotten and you will be spoken for in the times to come. This dish has never failed to bring me accolades among my family members and friends each time I make it.
The gravy is so creamy and rich and would make your guests keep coming back for more. Beware of this one as it is loaded with CALORIES and after consuming it, you might actually consider going on a fast for at least a week.
I actually made this for 20 odd guests when we invited a newly weds and some of our relatives for dinner at our home last week. I reserve this for special occasions as it needs more time and patience. Of course I can always cheat and take a short cut for making this one often but I feel that it would be a big insult to the Royal Cook who handed us down this recipe.
I’m giving below the recipe with the quantities reduced to serve fewer people.
Serves 6 – 8
(Print this Recipe)
- Mixed Vegetables – 3 cups ( I used carrots, french beans, peas, capsicum & cauliflower)
- Paneer, cubed – 1/2 cup
- Onions – 4
- Tomatoes – 6
- Ginger – 3 inch piece
- Garlic – 10 pods
- Dry whole red chillies – 8 to 10
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Curd / yogurt – 2 cups
- Cream – 1/4 cup
- Cashew nuts – 50 gms
- Almonds / Badam – 50 gms
- Akroot / Walnuts – 50 gms
- Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- Saffron – a few strands
- Cardomom – 3
- Cinnamon – 3
- Cloves – 3
- Bay leaf – 2
- Shah Jeera / Cumin – 1 tsp
- Kasuri Methi – 2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 1/4 cup
- Butter – 50 gms
- Soak cashew nuts and almonds in some hot water and peel off the skin of the almonds. Grind both these together and keep aside.
- Soak Walnuts/ Akhroot in some hot water and grind to a paste and keep aside.
- Soak Dry whole red chillies in hot water. Grind to a fine paste and keep aside.
- Grind together garlic and ginger to a fine paste and keep aside.
- Blanch and puree the tomatoes and keep aside.
- Sauté the onions in 2-3 tsp of butter. When cool grind to a paste and keep aside.
- Chop the vegetables to equal bite sized pieces and steam for 5 min. I microwaved it for 2 min.
In a big bowl Whisk together 1-1/2 cups of curd/yogurt, red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, walnut/ akhroot paste, saffron strands, half the amount of cashew-badam paste and salt together. Add the steamed vegetables and cubed paneer and toss well. The vegetables should be well coated with the curd mixture. Let it rest for an hour.
How to cook:
Heat a kadai with 25 gms of butter. Add the marinated vegetables along with the liquid and sauté for 2-3 min and simmer for another 5 min and keep aside.
In another kadai heat the remaining butter and oil together. Temper with whole spices like shahjeera, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf. Roast till the aroma arises. Now add the finely ground onion paste and keep sautéing till becomes deep brown color over low flame. It would have absorbed all the fat.
Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 2 more min. Now add the finely ground Red chilli paste. Sauté till the raw smell disappears and it gets cooked. This should take 5 min.
Now add coriander powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and saute for a min. Add the pureed tomatoes and salt and bring it to a bubbling boil over medium flame.
Add the remaining curd, remaining cashew-badam paste and bring it again to a boil. Add the sautéed vegetables and paneer, required amount of water and cook covered till the vegetables are cooked completely.
Finally add in the cream, mix well and sprinkle crushed kasuri methi and switch off stove. Keep it covered for 5 min for the kasuri methi flavor to get imbibed well.
Serve hot with any Indian Bread. I paired it with Butter Naans.
- You can remove the seeds of the red chillies before grinding.
- Do not let the vegetables rest for more time at room temperature as they may taste sour. You can marinade in advance and store in the fridge.
- You can also use readymade ginger garlic paste but the flavor will differ
- If you do not have saffron feel free to use red food color instead.
This is off to my event Let’s Cook ~ Mughlai Cuisine, Winter Carnival, Pari’s “Only Curries” hosted by Kamalika and to Siri’s Healing Foods ~ Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes hosted by Sridevi.