Keralan Coconut Vegetable Curry

The hectic traveling has finally wind down for a bit and I am back in the kitchen trying out new recipes again. When in India, cook Indian food, right? India has many different beautiful curries and I made a lovely Keralan curry yesterday. It was light, flavourful and versatile enough for a mix of different vegetables. The original recipe from Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast uses 400g sweet potatoes, 100g shredded greens and 400g can chickpeas, but I used a mixture of pumpkin, Delhi carrots (because they are in season in India now), mushroom, broccoli, Swiss chard and chana dal (split black chick peas with the outer skin removed). You can try aubergines, okra, spinach, peas and green beans, too. I also used coconut oil to give this coconuty curry more fragrance, and omitted coconut cream to give it more lightness.This curry is excellent with rice, bread or even a side of plain boiled puy lentils.

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Prep 60 mins (including soaking time for pulses, if using dried ones)

Cook 20 mins

Serves 4 as part of a meal 

Source Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast (slight modifications made)

For the vegetables

(a) 600g of mix vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, white button mushrooms, broccoli, in 3cm chunks
(b) 100g shredded greens or swiss chard leaves
(c) 100g chana dal, soaked for at least 30 mins

For the curry

(d) 4 tbsp coconut oil
(e) 1 tsp mustard seeds
(f)  1 onion, finely chopped
(g) 3 green chillies, whole but pierced with fork or tip of knife
(h) 25g root ginger, peeled weight, finely chopped
(i) 5 fat garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
(j) 2 small tomatoes, chopped
(k) Salt, to taste (try 1/2 tsp)
(l) 1/2 tsp turmeric
(m) 2 tsp ground coriander
(n) 1 tsp ground cumin
(o) 400ml creamy coconut milk
(p) 1/2 tsp tamarind paste, dissolved in hot water
(q) 3/4 tsp garam masala

(r) lots of freshly ground pepper

  1. Put the carrots and pumpkin to steam for around 10 minutes, until just done.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and add (e).
  3. Once the popping diminishes, add (f) and (g) and saute for 2-3 minutes, then add (h) and (i); saute gently for 1 minute.
  4. Add (j) to (n) and keep sauteing for 4-5 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft but still retain their form.
  5. Add (o) and a splash of water. Bring to gentle simmer and cook for 5-7minutes. At this point, you may remove the chillies if you want to avoid biting into them later.
  6. Add the greens/swiss chard, button mushrooms and broccoli and cook for a few minutes, then add the drained pumpkin, carrots, chana dal, (p) and (q). Stir well, taste, adjust the seasoning with salt or tamarind, and serve.



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