This is the second of the three recipes that Atiya was generous to share with me. The first one was Badinjan Burani, a Persian dish that traveled to India. This arbi Korma or colocassia curry is one of the other vegetarian dishes popular in Jaunpur. According to Wikipedia, “for about eighty-four years (from 1394 to 1478) Awadh was part of the Sharqi Sultanate of Jaunpur“. So there is a fair bit of overlap between Jaunpuri cuisine and Awadhi cuisine.
Awadhi cuisine is hugely influenced by Mughlai style of cooking, which is rich, elaborate and complex. The cuisine is famous for its kababs, kormas and biryanis, among others. Korma in Awadhi cuisine is the term for braising meat. In this vegetarian korma, the colocassia or arbi loses all its sliminess because of the frying and it gets a very meaty texture. Traditionally kormas do not have any chillies or chili powder. I have added a touch of chilli powder in this recipe, which you can avoid. Atiya also tells me that traditionally, tomatoes were never used in this cuisine. The yogurt gives it the required tanginess. She also shares that the korma are not garnished with coriander, that pretty much features as a garnish in every Indian curry.
While I’m a fan of slam-bang quick curries with absolutely no prep time, everything going into the pressure cooker and cooking itself, the taste of this curry is well worth the preparation that goes into it. I have tried to make it a little healthier by not deep frying either the onions or arbi, but you can go the traditional route. I’m sure the taste can only get better.
Recipe for Avadhi Arbi Ka Korma / Qorma
Source: Atiya Zaidi
Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
This recipe requires a fair bit of preparation and then it is just a matter of putting everything together.
The original recipe calls for cleaning, peeling the colocassia, cutting them in half lengthwise and deep frying them. As I chose not to deep fry, I had a couple of steps extra here.