Monday, August 20, 2012

My Ma's Mixed Vegetable Kurma

My Ma's Mixed Vegetable Kurma is a recipe which is very dear to my heart for many reasons. This is one of my Ma's signature recipes.

When I was a teenager, Ma got a chance to participate in a community kitchen event for charity. She signed up for it and gave a commitment almost 3 months before the event was slated to be held. Just a months before the said event, she fractured her right leg owing to which she was bed ridden for few weeks. With the event around the corner, all of us advised her to back out because there was no way she could have pulled it off. She chose this recipe of Mixed Vegetable Kurma. Finally, the decision was taken by her and she agreed to do it although her health was in shambles. I was the Sous Chef and together we cooked for a large gathering of 450 people. I distinctly remember the day when we sat in our tiny kitchen chopping the vegetables one by one and offering her a helping hand. For the first time, I saw 2-3 industrial size cooking utensils used in my home. There were no fancy gadgets nor Italian modular kitchen with marble floor to boot, just a small 3 burner gas stove, a 10X8 kitchen and nerves of steel to see the event through finish. Finally, she taste tested and approved and it was delivered to the venue for the event. Everyone liked her dish and we were relieved to know it was over.

I learn a few additional things from that event - Honor a promise made even if its hard. Keeping a promise for a cause strengthens your character and broadens your viewpoint in life at large. Few days back, I was browsing through my blog to check if I missed any one of Ma's signature recipes, I found this one missing. I asked her for the exact recipe and she went on - little bit of this and sprinkle that and a pinch of this. She rarely measures the ingredients for her daily cooking and the taste is perfect.  Finally, she measured everything and gave me the recipe. Thank you Ma. You are precious. 

I used Carrots, Green Beans, Lima Beans, Peas and Cauliflower. I forgot to add Potatoes as I was in a hurry to wrap up the dinner. Do add a couple for diversity of flavors and textures. If you are pressed for time, add a pack or two of frozen vegetables.

~ My Ma's Mixed Vegetable Kurma ~
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings

Cauliflower (cut into small florets) - 1 and 1/2 cup
Potatoes (peeled, cubed and rinsed of starch) - 1 cup
Fresh Green Peas - 1 cup
Carrots (peeled, chopped into small chunks) - 1 cup
Lima Beans- 1 cup
Onions (finely chopped) - 1/2 cup
Coconut oil 
Turmeric powder - 1/3 tsp

Kurma Masala -
Grated Coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1 cup
Onion (chopped finely) - 3/4 cup
Ginger knob - 1"
Garlic pods - 2 
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 2
Tomato (pureed, best if whole canned are available) - 1
Clove - 4
Cinnamon stick - 1"
Peppercorns (whole) - 5-8
** Grind everything to a paste, except pureed Tomatoes **

For Garnish -
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 3 tbsp

1. Chop all the vegetables into uniform pieces and cook with hot water and little salt. Drain and keep aside.
2. In a mixer, blend the grated coconut and green chillies. Add the rest of the ingredients including the whole spices and blend to form a thick paste. Do not add a lot of water. Rinse the blender and save the rinsed water as well.
3. In a deep bottomed pan, heat a few spoons of coconut oil. Add the onions (1/2 cup) and brown them. Once done, add the ground masala and saute on a medium flame. Once the masala is half way cooked, add the pureed tomatoes and cook till the raw aroma goes away. This process takes 15-20 minutes. If the masala dries out, add little rinsed water to awaken it. Stir occasionally to bring it all together.
4. Add the par-cooked vegetables now and add little of the rinsed water from the ground masala. Add the turmeric powder and salt. Adjust taste and bring to a boil. The Kurma gravy is thick and not runny in consistency. Simmer on low flame, covered for 5-8 minutes. Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with Phulkas/ Rotis.

Note: I used whole canned tomatoes, its easier to puree them as compared to regular store bought Tomatoes. Ma's Kurma recipe uses all ingredients raw, so no need to pre-roast the ingredients.


  1. thank you for sharing this recipe with us. Will try it soon.

  2. Mixed Vegetable Kurma is a very healthy recipe for all people and taste also good. I like this recipe and Thanks for sharing.

    1. @ Apoorva Sai -

      Thank you. Its a very healthy recipe and makes use of most pantry-found vegetables. Thanks for the encouragement.


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