Tamil Nadu Style Mixed Vegetable Kurma

This South-Indian style and more specifically, Tamil Nadu version of vegetable kurma has a lot of childhood memories associated with it. I am more Tamil with my Malayalam accent, my food choices and my knowledge of vegetable names, movie, 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 and that dominated our choices. Alhamdulillah, the one factor that brings us to the same page is the love for trying new 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. Now all these items are made in all the South-Indian states but there are subtle variations that 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 Nadu Style Mixed Vegetable Kurma

About this mixed vegetable 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 internet! Can you imagine a day without the Internet? 

Well, for now, let us look at the recipe...I have not made any major changes to the original recipe. Also glad this recipe uses Black Stone Flower / Shaiba leaves / Kalpasi / Dagaad ka Phool which I had picked from here to make 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.

Tamil Nadu Style Mixed Vegetable Kurma

Recipe adapted from Chitra's Food Book

Tamil Nadu Style Mixed Vegetable Kurma


Grind to Paste
1/3 cup grated coconut
2 to 3 green chillies, chopped very finely
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1-inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1 green cardamom
2 teaspoon roasted channa dal aka Pottukadalai
4 whole cashew nuts, split
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds 
1/4 cup water

Prepare Veg Kurma
1 tablespoon ghee
2 tablespoon oil
1 large bay leaf
1 medium piece black stone flower/shaiba/kalpasi
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
fistful mint leaves
1 medium tomato, chopped 
add the ground paste 
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 to 2 cup mixed veggies (carrots, beans, potato, cauliflower and green peas)
1 and 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon, whisked curd or 1 tbsp buttermilk
a pinch of dried fenugreek leaves or Kasuri methi
Salt to taste

*Add more or fewer veggies and adjust the water accordingly. 


  1. Add all the "Grind to Paste" ingredients into a grinder mixie or processor and grind the mixture to a fine paste
  2. Heat oil and ghee together in a pressure cooker
  3. Add the bay leaf, black stone flower, and cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds until fragrant
  4. Add the chopped onions and saute till it turns transparent
  5. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes off
  6. Stir in the mint leaves
  7. Add the chopped tomato and saute with a dash of salt and stir until the pulpy
  8. Reduce the flame to low and add the ground paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt and mix well 
  9. Fold in the finely chopped vegetables and green peas
  10. Stir in the water and add a pinch of kasoori methi and whisked curd
  11. Mix well and close the cooker with the weight on 
  12. Pressure cook for 3 whistles on medium flame 
  13. Serve this mix veg kurma with Porotta, chapati, idli etc. 
Tamil Nadu Style Mixed Vegetable Kurma
(Served the leftover kurma with layered paratha for my weekday breakfast)

Ragee is not at her best and is on assist feeding until she recovers. InshaAllah. We will have to do another trip to the vet in the coming days once her antibiotics are over. As of now, there hasn't been any improvement on her eating habit :-( and  The little time I am left with gets into lying on my back, closing my eyes and relaxing the nothingness.

This too shall pass.

If you have access to fresh coconut and all the spices listed, do try this Tamil Nadu's popular mixed vegetable kurma! This is a keeper.

More Vegetable curries?

  1. Pumpkin Erissery
  2. Ash gourd dal


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