India continues to occupy its historic position as the largest producer of spices in the world. There is something magical about the Indian herbs and spices that transforms simple ingredients into exotic dishes.
Kurma or korma is a popular curry. Here we have a Healthy Mixed Vegetable Kurma recipe which has been made without the use of oil. First make a masala paste. Heat a non-stick pan and roast ½ cup scraped coconut, 8-10 garlic cloves, 1 inch ginger, 1 green chilli, 2 seeded dried red chillies, 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (khus khus), 2 tablespoons fennel seeds (saunf) till light brown. Cool and grind to a paste with half a cup of water. Boil 1 cubed carrot, 1 cubed potato, ¼ chopped cauliflower, 10 chopped French beans till half done in salted water. Drain and keep aside. Heat a non-stick pan, add 2 chopped onions and roast till golden brown. Add 10-12 curry leaves and the prepared masala paste. Add half a cup of water and cook for three to four minutes. Add the boiled vegetables, ½ green peas, 1 cubed capsicum and ½ cup tomato puree and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp and mix well. Add two and half cups of water and salt to taste. Once it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer till the vegetables are cooked and the gravy is thick. Add ½ cup coconut milk and stir. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon garam masala powder. Stir well. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves. To make it without coconut milk, simply replace it with yogurt. It tastes very good and adds a different flavour to the preparation.
Use of spices with a balance is what makes the Indian curry so distinctive. In fact a change in the variety of spices used in curry and the proportion of their quantities makes different recipes of curries. Spices are healthy and their medicinal use in the past, like herbs, were often indistinguishable from the culinary uses. Try some of the other korma recipes like Paneer Dhania Korma and Navaratan Korma.
In medieval times, apothecary prescribed herbs and spices not merely for digestive problems, but for all types of ailments in a truly natural form of medicine. Spices and herbs have had a long standing and even in present – days have not only culinary and medicinal usage but also a lot of other utilities. But our first and foremost focus is on healthy Indian recipes.