When I made this, I thought it was pretty easy. But now that I’m writing out the directions I’m like “Oy gevault.” I hope you’re not deterred by the long directions, it makes so much food and it is so incredibly worth it. There are a few steps here but each one isn’t exactly complicated, try it out on a Sunday when you’ve got a potluck to go to. It will feed 16 people easily. And those 16 people will love you forever. If you’re not serving a small army then just halve the recipe.
I came up with this because I was invited to a Diwali party over the weekend and of course I wanted to bring something Indian inspired. I wasn’t sure what the rest of the meal was going to be, and I really wanted my dish to measure up. So I went for something super creamy! Korma is usually swimming in cream or yogurt, but just because food is vegan doesn’t mean that it can’t be creamy. I used a combo of cashews and coconut milk to achieve the perfect amount of rich, creaminess.
I also used a traditional method for curry, which is a puree of aromatics that’s sauteed for a good amount of time to bring out all the complex flavors and sugar. Both of these methods are really important foundations for a million other dishes, so work them into your repertoire if you haven’t already!
Anyway, when I got to the Diwali party I found out what else was on the menu…it was pizza! Conclusion: pizza and korma go together pretty darn well. But you can serve with some basmati rice, instead.
Notes: Tamarind concentrate is available in Indian markets or at Whole Foods kinda stores. If you don’t have it/can’t find it/don’t care, then just use lime for some tartness. I’d try juice from 2 and go from there.
You’ll need 2 really big pots to get this done kinda quickly, or you can boil the veggies and then rinse that pot out and use it again to make the base. You also need a food processor fit with a metal blade.
Oh and to crush coriander seeds, I place them in a plastic bag and steamroll them with a rolling pin. Works like a charm!
For the cream:
2 cups raw cashew pieces (plus water for soaking)
2 cups vegetable broth
Veggies to boil:
2.5 pounds yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 inch chunks)
2 lbs cauliflower in large florettes (don’t cut em too small or they will fall apart)
2 lbs carrots, sliced on a bias 1/2 inch thick
2 medium sized yellow onions
2 inch nub of ginger
8 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon coriander, crushed
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
Fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (see note)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
2 cups frozen peas
1 large caramelized red onion
Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
First, soak the cashews. This will get them really soft and make them easier to blend really smooth. Place them in a bowl and submerge in water. Set aside for at least an hour. In the meantime prep everything.
Boil the veggies. Place them in a big ass pot (8 quart is ideal), and cover them in cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer (so you don’t overcook the veggies), for about 15 minutes. Potatoes should be fork tender. Drain and set aside.
Next, puree the onion, ginger and garlic. It shouldn’t be completely smooth, some texture is good. No need to wash the processor bowl just yet, you’re going to puree the cashews in a bit.
Preheat another big pot over medium heat. Cook the puree in the peanut oil with a sprinkle of salt for about 15 to 20 minutes, until it’s nice and browned.
This is a good time to puree the cashews. Drain them and place them in the food processor along with 2 cups vegetable broth. Puree until smooth. This can take up to 5 minutes to get it as smooth as possible.
Back to the puree. Once it’s browned, add the coriander seed and the red pepper flakes and saute for about 3 minutes. Add curry powder, garam masala, several dashes fresh black pepper and salt and saute for another minute.
Add tamarind, tomato paste and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Now add the coconut milk and the cashew cream. Let cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, it should thicken a little and be really creamy.
In the meantime, saute the red onion in a little peanut oil in a separate pan with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes, it should be browned and slightly caramelized. This adds a really nice sweetness and some added texture to the finished dish.
You’re pretty much done. You can shut the heat off then mix in the peas. Now fold in the boiled veggies, put the lid on the pot and let it heat through. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve garnished with cilantro if you like.