First heat 1/3 cup water and soak 20 to 22 cashews in hot water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain the cashews.
Meanwhile while the cashews are soaking, rinse & chop the veggies. You can also cut the veggies in batons. Add about 2 to 2.5 cups of chopped mix vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, french beans, potatoes, capsicum and peas. You can also add mushrooms. If adding mushrooms then better to saute them instead of steaming them.
Now you can steam or fry/saute the veggies. for steaming, steam then in a pressure cooker, electric rice cooker or a pan. Just add about 2 to 3 cups water in the cooker (pressure or electric). Place the chopped vegetables in the pan/steamer pan and keep in the cooker. While pressure cooking, cook for 2 whistles.
For sauteing veggies, heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the veggies in batches to the pan.
Saute the veggies, till they are browned from the edges. Remove them on a plate and keep aside. Add more oil if required while sauteing.
preparing the ground paste
In a grinder or blender jar, add 1.25 cups of chopped tomatoes, soaked cashews, ginger and garlic (½ inch ginger & 3 to 4 garlic, chopped).
Without adding any water make a smooth paste in the grinder or blender. There should be no small pieces of cashews in the paste.
making veg makhanwala gravy
Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan. Add tej patta or bay leaf and saute for a few seconds.
Add the tomato cashew paste.
Keep on stirring and sauteing the paste on a low flame.
Saute and stir till you see fat leaving the sides and on the surface. The entire sauteing of the tomato-cashew paste takes about 9 to 10 minutes on a low flame.
Add ¼ tsp turmeric powder & ½ tsp red chili powder. Stir and saute for a minute.
Add 1.25 to 1.5 cups water. Stir very well.
Add 1 slit green chili. The green chilies give a bit of heat to the gravy. You can also skip the green chilies.
Bring the gravy to simmer on a low to medium flame for 6 to 8 minutes. You should see some fat floating on top. The gravy will also thicken.
Add the steamed or fried veggies. Stir gently.
Add ½ tsp sugar or as required. Add salt.
Add ½ tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves. Crush and then add the kasuri methi.
Stir and then add 2 to 3 tbsp low fat cream.
Stir so that the cream mixes very well with the gravy. Switch off the flame.
Lastly sprinkle some ¼ tsp garam masala powder. If using homemade garam masala, then add ¼ tsp and if using store brought, then add ½ tsp. You can even add ginger julienne at this step or garnish with them later.
Stir again and veg makhanwala is ready to be served.
Serve vegetable makhanwala with rotis or parathas or naan.
While serving you can garnish with coriander leaves or ginger julienne.