I was at the local library, in the cook book aisle, while finally teen was rampaging through the mystery isle...searching for "that" book which is almost always checked out. "Go check in the teen section" was my instant response, meaning more time in the cook book section for me. Doesn't matter if it's a toddler or a teen, once their job is done, they are hungry or tired or falling apart and it becomes an immediate emergency that we leave the given place and drive to the next destination. So with the limited time window, my eyes fell on "50 great curries of India by Camellia Panjabi" and while browsing through it, the page landed on "mixed dry fruit curry " I knew instantly my family is going to love this one.... the key word savory with a hint of sweet. We never need an excuse to eat spicy food!! The constant complaint is "it's not spicy enough", never "it's too spicy"... Not so much finally teen, but the other person in the house. Not naming any names here. :) But, mind you, if the curry in question is rich n creamy with a mild sweet savory after taste... the spice nagging is thrown out of the window. Weird, but as they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Can't argue about that - spicy or not. My mother always says men are weird like that, they have contradictory likes....she does have a point here. Well the curry is NOT at all spicy and was LOVED by the family. Love is a mild acknowledgement of the emotion - "best thing I ever ate" was finally teen's response. The other half thought it was a "great recipe and well made", a big compliment from a person who is a perfectionist. I thought it was a great recipe too. If you are having people over - wow factor - this is it... not for a late dinner, though, it's rather heavy. Let's say a great lunch curry. It's very unique (in a good way) and extremely rich in flavors, not too much masala but very fragrant. You can use the same curry base and add koftas or even paneer, I don't see why not. Any great curry recipes leave me the link - it's the next best thing after chocolate. I did alter the recipe, by reducing the amount of nuts, so I can eat more, guilt free.
The recipe is called - Mixed dried fruit curry or Dry fruit Korma. I thought apricot curry was a better name as, apricot is the real star in this recipe.
8-10 dried apricots (pitted)
1/2 cup almond blanched
1/4 cup pistachios
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/4 cup or less walnuts
1/4 cup yellow raisins
1 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste
1/2 tsp ground pepper
3-4 tbsp oil
2 inch cinnamon stick
4 green cardamom
3-4 medium sized onion fine;y chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
3 tsp ginger finely chopped
4 garlic cloves
4 green chillies
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp redchili powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
light cream to garnish (optional)
That seems like a big list, don't get intimidated by the number of things - trust me it's worth it in the end.
Soak the apricots in warm water for about 2 hrs.
Soak the almonds, pistachios and remove skin, keep aside the water for the curry and the soaked nuts.
Grind the cashew nuts (3/4 the amount) into fine paste and keep the rest aside
Whisk the yogurt, add salt and pepper, keep aside.
Heat oil in a skillet, (cast iron will be awesome, you know my craze for cast iron (rolling eyes )) add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms. Add onions and fry until medium brown. ( This takes about 20 min ) don't try and speed it up, the onion has to be a rich medium brown, so you get the perfect velvet textured curry. Add the ginger, garlic and sauté' for 5 more min. By now the onion would have turned in to a rich brown color. ( the color of the onion should be cafe au lait in color )
Add coriander powder, saute for 3-4 min on low flame, add the cumin and red chili powder. Now add the tomatoes and sauté for another 2-3 min
Remove from heat, let it cool for a bit, remove the bay leaves and blend and puree. Pour it back into the pot , add the cashew paste, yogurt, water that was used to soak the nuts (about 1- 1 1/2 cup) Cover and let it boil over the flame for about 10- 12 min.
In a skilled add the ghee and roast the remaining nuts with the apricots. Add these to the gravy, boil for 8-10 min, add the garam masala, cook for 3-4 min.
Garnish with almonds or rich cream and serve with naans or rice.
Since the gravy is so rich I decided to make some plain cumin rice to go with it.
Soak basmati rice for about 30 min.
1 cup rice
1 tsp cumin seed
1 brown cardamom
1 bay leaf
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 green chili
2 cups water
salt to taste
In a pot heat 1 tbsp ghee, add cumin, brown cardamom , bay leaf and cloves. Add finely chopped onions and sauté for 10 min, add green chilies, and rice, sauté for 10 min , add 2 cups water, bring to boil, now add salt, and lower the flame to medium low and let the rice cook for 15-20 min.
Serve hot with curry !!
phew ! that was a long post.... don't forget to leave me a link of your favorite curry.