Navratan korma is a delicious creamy and aromatic North Indian curry made with 9 different kinds of vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and fresh fruits. Navratan Korma is a popular dish from restaurants serving North Indian and Mughlai foods. This dish is a blend of flavors and textures and provides a nice balance to spicy and fiery vegetable or meat-based sides. It makes a delicious option for family gathering or parties.
A perfect recipe for lunch or dinners, especially weekends when you want something different.
The word “Navratan” is a blend of 2 words “Nav” and “ratan”. Nav is a Hindi word for number “nine” and ratan means “Gems”. So Navratan means nine gems and Korma is a curry made with a base of nuts, curd, coconut or seeds.
Navratan korma is a mild spiced vegetarian side dish containing nine items like vegetables, nuts and fruits in a creamy gravy.
Like many copycat restaurant recipes that have been adapted by home cooks, no navratan korma will exactly taste the same. You will find navratan korma so different in every restaurant.
Some places use milk and cashew melon paste to make the gravy and some use yogurt, nuts and poppy seeds paste. So there are numerous ways it is made with varying ingredients. But all navratan kormas taste sweetish and is made with a minimal use of ground spices.
As this dish is on the sweetish side, some home cooks try to make it a bit spicier by reaching for chili powder. Others skip the paneer or veganize with coconut milk and tofu.
This recipe with sweet and earthy notes is made the usual way by sautéing or steaming vegetables and simmering them in an onion and nut based paste.
Mild whole spices add much needed flavor. Cashews, raisins and pineapple chunks add texture and a hint of sweetness to the dish.
About this recipe
While my recipe has nine ingredients, you can skip or swap with vegetables you have on hand. I have used carrots, potato, cauliflower, beans, peas, almonds, cashews and paneer. Lastly garnished with pomegranate arils.
While this may seem like a lot of ingredients and work involved, my recipe is quite uncomplicated. Make this a part of your weekly meal plan when you want substantial gravy to go with your rotis, parathas, chapatis, or even with veg pulao, ghee rice or jeera rice.
To give credit where it’s due, this is adapted from the recipe by Vahchef.
Chop the vegetables and paneer and prep the nuts, milk and spices.
1. Boil 2-3 cups of water in a pan. Add 1 cup of cubed onions and 12 to 15 cashews.
2. Cook for 2-3 minutes. The onions will be half cooked. Remove onions and cashews with slotted spoon to a colander and set aside to cool.
3. Place the pan back on the stovetop and add ¾ cup of cauliflower florets to the hot water.
4, Remove the florets to a colander after 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse them well under running water.
5. Discard the water and add fresh water to the pot to steam veggies. Add a colander on top and add ¾ cup of chopped potatoes to it. When they are half cooked, add ½ cup of beans, ½ cup of carrots, and ½ cup of peas. Steam until soft and tender but not mushy.
6. In the meantime, add the half-cooked onions and cashews to a blender along with 1or 2 chopped green chilies.
7. Blend to a fine paste without adding water.
8. Next, sauté ¾ cup of cubed paneer in a saucepan for 1 or 2 minutes along with almonds and raisins, and set aside. This step is optional and you can add the cottage cheese, dry fruits and nuts directly while cooking.
Make Navratan Korma
7. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan on high heat (Add less oil as per your preference). Reduce the heat to low and add these ingredients:
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
8. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until the seeds splutter. Add ¾ teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste (or 1/3 teaspoon of ginger paste) and sauté until the raw smell is gone.
9. Now is the time to add the cashew-onion paste.
10. Fry the paste until it starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add these ingredients to the pan:
a pinch of turmeric
½ teaspoon red chili powder
¾ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon garam masala
Skip red chili if you prefer to keep this mild spicy.
11. Sauté until the paste begins to release oil. Add salt as per preference (start with ½ teaspoon).
12. Add 1 cup of water and mix well to combine.
13. Let the curry simmer and cook to a thick consistency. Then add the steamed veggies. Taste test and adjust the salt. Mix well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat.
14. Now reduce the heat to low and add ¼ cup of cream and stir to combine.
15. Add paneer, 6 almonds, 6 cashews and 1 tablespoon of raisins.
16. Cover with lid and cook on low flame for 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t cook for longer as it will harden the paneer making it chewy. If you’ve already cooked the paneer, just add the ingredients and cover. Don’t continue cooking.
17. Switch off the stove and add some chopped coriander leaves. Let cool down slightly and then add pineapple chunks, if using.
Transfer the navratan korma to serving bowls and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Garnish with roasted cashews and raisins for a richer dish, if desired.
- I haven’t used yogurt or milk in this recipe. But you can always use one of them. To incorporate milk or yogurt, simply blend the onions and cashews with either ¼ cup yogurt or ¼ cup milk to a smooth paste.
- Yogurt adds a mild tang to the korma and milk adds a different rich flavor.
- To make the recipe vegan, use more cashews, skip cream and paneer. Or you can also substitute cream with coconut cream and paneer with tofu.
- A lot of restaurants use canned pineapple for garnish. They taste sweet & delicious because they are canned with sugar syrup. If using fresh pineapple make sure it is ripe and sweet. Also adding sour pineapple is likely to split your korma since cream has been added to it.
- Skip the chili powder for a milder korma. Alternately add black pepper.
- Don’t overcook the paneer. You may add it directly to the hot gravy.
Navratan Korma Recipe
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
For onion paste
- 1 cup onions cubed
- 12 to 14 cashew nuts (for paste)
- 1 to 2 green chilli (adjust to taste, skip for reduced heat)
- ½ cup peas
- ½ cup carrots (diced to ½ to ¾ inch pieces)
- ¾ cup cauliflower (¾ inch florets)
- ¾ cup potato (diced to ½ to ¾ inch pieces)
- ½ cup beans (chopped to ½ inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons oil or butter
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 inch cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon ginger paste or ¾ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 pinch turmeric
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 cup water (adjust as required)
- ¾ cup paneer (¾ inch pieces)
- 6 cashew nuts chopped or split
- 6 Almonds chopped or sliced
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils for garnish
- ⅓ cup pineapple chunks (optional)
- 1 tablespoon raisins (adjust to taste, optional)
- ¼ cup cream (heavy cream or whipping cream)
- ½ teaspoon kewra water or 1 teaspoon rose water (optional)
- Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil in a pot. Add onions and cashews to it and boil for 3 mins until the raw smell of the onions has gone. Turn off the stove.
- Remove the onions and cashews with a slotted spoon. Set them aside to cool and later grind it along with green chili to a smooth paste in a grinder jar.
- To the same hot water, add the cauliflower florets and leave them for 1 minute. Later drain the water and rinse them under running water. This blanching is done to get rid of any worms in the florets so you may skip this step if not required. Set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil or butter in a pan. Add cashews and almonds. Fry until light golden and then add raisins. As soon as the raisins swell remove all of the nuts and raisins to a small plate.
- To the same pan, add paneer and fry for 2 mins. Do not over fry they turn hard and chewy. If you want soft paneer, Keep them immersed in little warm water until we use later.
- There are 2 ways you can prepare the veggies. The first method is to immerse all the veggies in 1.5 cups of water and boil them until fork tender.
- The other method is to steam them. For this bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a steamer. Place the potatoes in a steam basket and stem until half done. Later add the rest of the veggies and steam together until just cooked. Do not over cook them.
How to Make Navratan Korma
- On a low flame, heat oil or butter in a pan. Add cumin, bay leaf, cardamom and cloves to the hot oil.
- When they begin to sizzle Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell has gone.
- Then add the ground onion cashew paste and cook until it turns thick to a mass and begins to leave the pan, meaning the paste is cooked well.
- Add chili powder, garam masala, turmeric and coriander powder along with salt.
- Saute until oil begins to separate from the mixture.
- Pour ¾ to 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thick. Taste test and add more salt if required.
- Add all the steamed veggies and cook covered for 2 mins. Pour cream and stir.
- Add fried paneer and nuts. Turn off the heat and add kewra water or rose water if using. If using pineapple cool down the navratan korma slightly and add the pineapple chunks.
- Garnish navaratan korma with coriander, pomegranate arils and raisins.
- You may skip the cream in the recipe by increasing the quantity of cashews to 18 but it won’t be the same.
- If your cream does not have any stabilizers, it may split if you add it directly to the curry. So temper it first by pouring the cream to a small bowl and then stir in a few tablespoons of gravy with it. Then add back the entire thing to the pan.
- This korma tastes sweetish and a lot of times restaurants don’t add any ground spice that imparts heat to it, like green chilies or red chilli is not added. So it is up to you. You can also simply add some crushed black pepper for the mild heat.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Recipe from Archives. First published in Dec 2015. Updated and republished in October 2021.