Tamil style veg kurma is made with ground coconut and whole spices along with nuts and seeds for a creamy texture. Served best with parottas.
This South-Indian Tamil style veg kurma has a lot of childhood memories associated with it. I am more Tamil than Malayali in my food choices, my knowledge of vegetable names, movies, songs, etc. And F is more of a Saaipu (foreigner) - that is how I tease him. Though we are from the same native town, we were brought up in a different city/country, dominating our choices. Alhamdulillah, the one factor that brings us to the same page is the love for food.
F introduced me to all kinds of Arabic food and in return, I gave him the REAL DEAL of Tamil Nadu style Idli, dosa, vada, sambar, chutneys, upma, Pongal, thokku, adais, Kesari, Mysore Pak, murukku, biryani, etc. All these items are made in all the South-Indian states, but subtle variations make a huge difference in taste. You will figure it out when you look for Tamil Nadu style recipes. Don't search my blog, I hardly have all those recipes here. Shame.
Tamil style veg kurma
I have made this so many times and thought why not share this here because it is a very special discovery! Some of the blogs claim this is a copycat "Saravana Bhavan Veg Kurma" but I honestly haven't had much of SB experience. To me, this is the mixed veg kurma that is served with Porotta in Tamil Nadu restaurants of all stature. The kurma has a whole lot of flavours from whole spices and ground spices and also fresh coconut! It goes superbly well with parottas and equally good with chapatis too.
Even though I have had this veg kurma all my life, the memories that flashes are the ones with my mom. I think I was in 6th or 7th grade when I used to accompany her to the hospital every two months for her general health checkup. Post the checkup, we used to head to "Gowrishankar" and have a plate of porotta and veg kurma, the only reason I happily agreed to go with her!
I didn't bother to ask my mom for her recipe which she used to do as part of the catering venture she and her friend had many years ago. Those days, coming back from school meant, coming back to some treats! Life was so simple and beautiful without smartphones and the internet! Can you imagine a day without the Internet?
Kalpasi - Black Stone Flower
This recipe uses Black Stone Flower / Shaiba leaves / Kalpasi / Dagaad ka Phool which I started using when I made Mofatah rice. It does make a difference and a little goes a long way! There is no close sub for this lichen, so do not omit it if you want the real taste. You should be able to find it in any Indian or Middle Eastern store.
If you have access to fresh coconut and all the spices listed, please try this kurma! This is a keeper. Trust me.
Tamilnadu Style Mixed Vegetable Kurma
Grind to Paste
- ⅓ cup grated coconut
- 2 to 3 green chillies chopped finely
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 green cardamom
- 2 teaspoon pottukadalai roasted channa dal
- 4 whole cashews
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- ¼ cup water
Prepare Veg Kurma
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 black stone flower aka shaiba in Arabic or kalpasi in Tamil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- Fistful fresh mint leaves
- 1 medium-sized tomato chopped
- prepared coconut paste
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 to 2 cups mixed veggies carrots, beans, potato, cauliflower and green peas
- 1½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon curd whisked
- ½ teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
- salt to taste
- Add all the ingredients for the paste into a mixie or processor and grind the mixture to a fine paste.
- Heat oil and ghee together in a pressure cooker or a saucepot.
- Add the bay leaf, black stone flower, and cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add the chopped onions and saute till it turns transparent.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off.
- Stir in the mint leaves.
- Add the chopped tomato and saute with a dash of salt and stir until pulpy.
- Reduce the flame to low and add the ground paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt and mix well.
- Fold in the finely chopped vegetables and green peas.
- Stir in the water and add a pinch of kasoori methi and whisked curd.
- Mix well and close the cooker with the weight on.
- Pressure cook for 1 whistle on high flame and 1 on medium flame or for a total of 10 to 12 mins. If using pot, cover and cook until all vegetables are cooked through. You may need more water for pot cooking.
- Serve this mix veg kurma with Porotta, chapati, idli etc.
Recipe adapted from Chitra's Food Book