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
Dosai and Kurma
Ingredients: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 “
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.