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Rainbow Vegetable Korma

Vegetables of any color come to life in this vibrant vegetarian Indian classic.

Rainbow Vegetable Korma

Fasten your seat belts because you are about to go on a ride of epic flavor! Any and all vegetables will work in this coconut milk-and-cashew Indian classic. I used red onion, broccoli stalks, baby eggplants, carrots, Japanese yams, red and yellow bell peppers, and yellow squash. Peas, potatoes, cauliflower, chopped tomatoes, and string beans are also options. Anything goes with this dreamy, creamy concoction. If you want your Korma to have a little kick, add some jalapeño to the food processor when making the cashew paste.

Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; paring knife; spoon; peeler; microplane; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; food processor; rubber spatula; large and wide pan with tall sides and tight-fitting lid or Dutch oven; wooden spoon

Rainbow Vegetable Korma
If you can find baby eggplants the size of eggs, leave them whole. This recipe is perfect for using scraps like broccoli stems.

Cashew Paste Ingredients:

1 bunch scallions, trimmed 4 garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed

1 tablespoon grated ginger root

½ cup raw cashews*

Korma Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small red onion, halved and sliced

1 dozen baby eggplants or 2 Japanese eggplants cut into ½-inch pieces

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 whole green cardamom pods

2 large carrots, ½-inch dice

1 Japanese yam, ½-inch dice

1 cup sliced broccoli stems

1 bell pepper, seeded, ½-inch dice

1 yellow squash, ½-inch dice

1, 14-ounce can coconut milk

1 cup plain yogurt

¼ cup roasted/unsalted cashews

fresh cilantro leaves kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

*raw cashews are ideal for the paste but if you prefer to procure only one kind of cashew for this recipe, use the roasted/unsalted cashews for both the paste and the garnish.

1. Chop the white and the light green of the scallions (discard the dark green part or save for another use). Place the scallions, garlic, ginger, and cashews in a food processor or mini food processor, adding up to ½ cup of warm water as the motor runs, to process until pureed and smooth.

ILOC tip: use enough water to get the paste going but not so much that the paste is too runny. The water is used just to help the scallions, garlic, ginger, and cashews become one.

2. Heat a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the sliced red onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened slightly.

3. Pour the cashew paste over the onions and stir well. Add the eggplants and sauté for 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, coriander, curry powder, cinnamon, and whole green cardamom pods, cooking until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

"You may use ground cardamom if you have trouble finding the whole pods."

5. Add the remaining vegetables along with the coconut milk and yogurt. Stir well until the yogurt is fully incorporated. Season generously with kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, lower the heat to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender (the potatoes in particular).

6. Remove the lid and stir well, scraping the bottom and the sides. Toss in the roasted cashews and cook for another 5 minutes.

7. Taste the korma to confirm whether it needs more salt. Adjust accordingly. If you can find them, remove the cardamom pods and discard. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with rice and naan.

Makes 4-6 servings.

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