Delicate korma with cashews and apricots

Delicate korma with cashews and apricots

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

This is lovely and creamy but light enough so as to not overpower the vegetables, which stand proud. Korma was created for the Moghul palaces, using the most expensive ingredients of the time: nuts, cream, saffron and dried fruit. Most of these are no longer so dear, except for saffron, but I do love it and always keep some in the fridge (the best place for it). If you don’t have any, leave it out, the sauce will be less aromatic but still lovely. I have specified types of vegetables, but you can use almost any; I would only recommend keeping the pepper as it adds a lovely flavour.


Quantity Ingredient

For the korma

Quantity Ingredient
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
50g cashew nuts
40g almonds
3 rounded tablespoons yogurt
200ml whole milk
4 tablespoons double cream
40-50g coconut cream
15 long saffron strands
1 teaspoon caster sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3-4 green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
20g root ginger, grated, (peeled weight)
3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and grated
salt, to taste

For the vegetables (see recipe introduction)

Quantity Ingredient
120g cauliflower, in florets
3/4-1 small red pepper, in 2.5 cm cubes
1 very small carrot, in 1 cm half moons
100g oyster or chestnut mushrooms
75g fine beans, topped, tailed and cut in three
handful peas
8 dried, ready-to-eat apricots, halved if small or quartered if large


  1. Place the onion in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Return to the boil and simmer for around 12 minutes, or until soft. Drain. Soak 40 g of the cashews and all the almonds in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain, then peel the almonds. Blend both types of nut with the yogurt, milk, cream, coconut cream, drained onion, saffron, sugar and ground spices, adding a little water, until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Put the cauliflower, pepper, carrot, mushrooms and beans in a pan and add enough water to come one-quarter of the way up. Season and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for four minutes, until just soft. Add the peas, cook for 30 seconds, then pour everything, including the cooking liquor, into a bowl.
  3. Give the pan a wipe and place back on the heat. Add the oil and, once hot, the remaining cashews, and cook until golden. Remove and set aside. Add the cumin seeds to the pan. Once they darken, add the chillies, ginger and garlic, cook gently until the garlic smells cooked, scraping the pan if things start to stick and adding a splash of water if you’re worried they might burn. Pour in the blended nut mixture and bring to the boil. Cook for five or six minutes, stirring often.
  4. Return the vegetables with enough of their cooking liquid to give a creamy, but not thick, curry. Season to taste and add the apricots and fried cashews. Taste, adjust the seasoning and sweetness and serve.

Tangerine and mint raita

  • Lovely and refreshing with the korma.

    Peel and segment 4 tangerines, removing the pithy membranes. Stir into 600 g of yogurt and add 12 shredded mint leaves, a pinch of chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of caster sugar and salt to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning and sugar, then refrigerate until you are ready to eat. Serves 4.
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