Saturday, December 1, 2007

Vegetable Kurma (Mixed vegetables in Coconut gravy)

This is one of my favourite recipes – loved it when my mother used to make it, loved MIL’s version and now I have mine too. I hate the ones served in fast food joints in Chennai, they are an apology to what this creamy spicy dish should taste like; watered down sweetish versions with sad looking vegetables in an oily gravy! Not to mention that they serve miniscule portions (which may be a good thing in a way) barely enough to mop up about half an idiyappam or a piece of appam.

What this dish should taste like is a nice mix of spicy flavours tempered by the coconut added to the masala, the thick gravy a combination of the coconut paste as well as the boiled potatoes adding their own starchiness to it. The other vegetables (I don’t add more than 2 or 3) like beans, carrot, cauliflower or peas bring out the the rest.

Why am I going on about some dish which is not even something gourmet or unusual? Well, just because I guess; just because I can never have enough of it, love trying out other versions of this and maybe because you hardly ever get to eat it outside of home.

I also love the traditional combination of Idiyappam-Kurma ; Idiyappam is steamed rice noodles and another favourite of mine. Because it is a bit time consuming to make, it used to make a rare appearance while growing up which made it all the more attractive. Now of course, you get the instant versions, just soak the dried noodles in hot water for 5 minutes and they are ready! We usually have this combo for breakfast.

For the real thing, take a look at Viji's post on Vcuisine for step by step instructions to soft fluffy idiyappam. This particular recipe is posted on May 14th, 2007.

One evening though, we wanted a light dinner so opted for dosais (rice flour pancakes) instead of the usual rice. And I thought the kurma would be a good accompaniment. I guess I just needed an excuse! So dosai kurma it was – and it was so delicious we dumped the resolve of a light dinner and went on and on with the dosais till the batter ran out!

Some versions of kurma have whole spices like clove and cardamom ground into the masala paste, I don’t prefer doing that because of the strong flavor it imparts, which then seems to mask everything else. But try that route if you hate biting into a clove by mistake.

Also, some versions add coconut milk at the end, this one doesn’t.

Recipe for dosai batter here

Vegetable Kurma

Dosai and Kurma


Potatoes – 4 boiled, peeled and cubed
Mixed vegetables (choose 2 from cauliflower, carrot, beans, peas) – 1 cup chopped
Onions – 1 large sliced
Tomatoes – 1 large chopped roughly
Clove – 2
Cinnamon stick – 1 “
Masala paste:
Coconut – grated ½ cup
Green chillies – 3-4
Cumin – 1 tbsp
Ginger – 1 “piece
Garlic – 3 cloves

1. Grind the ingredients of the masala paste till smooth adding just as much water as is needed.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cloves and cinnamon to it, when they change colour, add the onions and sauté till translucent.
3. Add the masala paste to the oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes, add a splash of water if required so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
4. Meanwhile cook the chopped mixed vegetables in very little water till just done. They will cook further in the kurma so don’t overcook.
5. Add about 300-350ml of water to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil, add salt, cover and let it simmer on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.
6. Uncover, add boiled potatoes, tomatoes and cooked vegetables to the curry and cook for another 5-7 minutes on low till all the ingredients blend together and the curry thickens.
7. Check the salt and spice and if you need a bit more spice, you can add a pinch of garam masala powder before taking it off the flame.
8. Serve with idiyappams,dosais,idlis or chapatis.


Vcuisine said...

Thanks for dropping by Miri. Nice to know you. The Kurma is looking great. Viji

sagari said...

yummy tasting kurma and dosa wonderfull combo

Asha said...

Hi Miri, glad you commented in mine which lead me here. You do have a great blog. Kurma looks yum.
I have added you in my blog roll.To increase traffic here, you need to comment in lot of blogs, a thing I learned from experience!:D
Good luck, will see you in 2 weeks, enjoy the weekend:)

Meera said...

Wonderful recipe! I just discovered this blog. I really liked it.

Laavanya said...

I have a weakness for idiyaapam and kurma too. Looks so good. Have bookmarked it.

Miri said...

Thanks Viji, I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now, loved your braided challah and am waiting to try it out!

Hi Asha, have been visiting your blog for sometime now and am amazed at how many dishes you muster up energy to make.Enjoy your break!

Thanks Meera and Lavanya!

Miri said...

Thanks sagari!

Cynthia said...

Hey, there is nothing wrong about go on about a dish you love :)

KayKat said...

There are *so* many kurma recipes out there, I love stumbling upon new ones! I'm definitely giving this one a shot :)


Miri said...

Kaykat, the same with me , seems like every variation brings something new to the dish.

You said it Cynthia!