Mixed Vegetable Kurma is something we make pretty often, especially for dinners alongside roti/chapati, puri, or even dosa at times- in which case the gravy is slightly more watery. We typically make two versions of this kurma- a red and a green type. The red one uses tomatoes/onions as base (with or without coconut, depending on how thick or rich we’d want it), whereas the green uses coriander/curry leaves along with coconut.
What I am sharing with you today, is a richer form of the very dish, that serves the purpose of occasional dinners and Sunday brunches. This is made slightly spicy at my household generally, with the heat coming from both the chillies (green chillies and red chilli powder). This, especially, is absolute bliss with Ghee Rice that I shared in my previous post. You could totally skip the green chillies in the ghee rice; that way it is going to be more balanced with the spicy gravy. However, if you’d like to spice everything up, you can do so with both dishes; turns out yummy nevertheless!
This is a gravy based out of coconut, which gives it its volume. Coconut is used owing to its availability in abundance in the southern regions of India- Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh. The addition of poppy seeds gives the coconut more thickness and acts as a binding agent, so it can stay thick, creamy and smooth. Additionally, it also has very cooling and calming properties just like the coconut. A concoction of coconut milk, poppy seeds and some sugar really makes for a great bedtime drink. It is not only relaxing, but also lowers internal body heat and lets you sleep very well.
As mentioned earlier, today’s recipe features coriander as the main flavouring ingredient for our coconut gravy. Some even add curry leaves in addition to the coriander. Note that we have used fresh ginger, garlic, green chilli and coconut: it is very important to use fresh ingredients for this recipe to attain that traditional taste. If you want a silkier gravy, just add a couple of cashew nuts to this and it should turn into a beautifully silky-smooth, restaurant style gravy with a hint of sweetness to it. Also, if you have the ground paste and the veggies prepped beforehand, this is going to take you no time in getting it all done- a great option for all the lazies out there 😉 On to the recipe.
- Cauliflower florets- 4
- Broccoli florets- 3
- Carrot- 1, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- Green Beans- 4, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- Pigeon Peas- 1/2 cup (I used these instead of the conventional green peas, feel free to substitute)
- Aloo/potatoes- 2 small, roughly chopped
- Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
- Coriander seeds (Optional)- 1/2 tsp
- Oil- 2 tsp
- Coconut flesh- 4 to 5 pieces
- Poppy seeds/ghasghase- 1 tsp, soaked in some water for 5-10 minutes
- Cashew nuts (optional)- 2-3 nos
- Ginger- 1/2 inch piece
- Garlic- about 6 to 7 pods
- Green chilli- 2 to 3
- Fresh Coriander Leaves- a handful
- Wash and cut all your veggies. Pressure cook them with about 1 1/2 cups of water, for two whistles. You could also steam them, instead.
- Wait for the pressure to release. Then, remove the lid and peel your potatoes (if desired) and chop them into cubes. Cover and set everything aside.
- Blend together all the ingredients under the ‘to grind’ section, along with some water to a smooth paste. You can add the poppy seeds along with its water.
- Heat a pan with a teaspoon or two of some cooking oil. To this, add some cumin seeds. I added some coriander seeds as well, since I like the flavor. However, this is totally optional. Once they crackle, add your ground paste.
- Add in your spice powders one by one: turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala. Mix well and and sauté for about 6-7 minutes on a medium flame.
- Let the mixture dry out completely.
- The paste will slowly start oozing oil around its sides. At this point, add all your veggies together along with their stock. Give it a good mix.
- Add enough water to adjust the consistency according to your needs.
- Then, add salt and let this gravy simmer away for about 10 minutes, covered.
- Switch off and serve hot.
I served it with some lip smacking Ghee Rice 🙂
- This recipe is a good way of clearing out your fridge. Feel free to experiment with veggies of your choice.
- Using cashews in the recipe is optional. I did not use them today, but I generally do when I have them in hand. This gives you a really smooth and rich gravy. You can use half the amount of coconut in this case.
- If you do not have any of the spice powders in hand, you can roast 1 tsp each of cumin seeds and coriander seeds, 1 clove and 1 cardamom pod (only the seeds) and grind them along with the other ingredients.