veg kurma also known as vegetable korma served in a black bowl

Veg Kurma | Vegetable Korma

By Swasthi on August 29, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Veg kurma recipe – Learn to make delicious South Indian style mix vegetable kurma that’s flavor-packed, amazingly delicious and easy to make. Serve with flavored rice, roti, poori, paratha or naan for a special meal. Korma, also known as kurma is an aromatic Indian gravy dish made with yogurt, nuts, seeds, spices, onions, coconut & a main ingredient like meat or vegetables.


Veg kurma also known as vegetable korma served in a black bowl

Based on the region, the ingredients used to make a korma recipe are different. In North India it is called as korma and is made with yogurt, seeds, nuts & onion paste made from fried or boiled onions. In South India, it is called as kurma and is made with fresh coconut & seeds paste. Occasionally a small quantity of yogurt is used.

North Indian korma is aromatic, rich & creamy with a velvety texture as nuts & yogurt form the base. South Indian kurma is not creamy or rich but is light as coconut & seeds/nuts form the base.

However both are very fragrant and spiced for flavor but not for heat. So fragrant whole spices like cinnamon and cardamoms are always used as they release a great aroma while the dish is simmered.

About Veg Kurma

This South Indian Hotel style veg kurma is a one pot vegan dish that is super aromatic, tastes delicious & is easy to make. It needs easily available ingredients like mixed vegetables, spices, coconut, poppy seeds or cashews & herbs.

This hotel style dish is very popular & is loved by most people for its unique aroma & taste. Whether served at family meals or a way to honour guests this delicious dish is a part of every special South Indian meal.

In Tiffin centers & restaurants vegetable kurma is usually served with poori, dosa, plain paratha, simple pulao, rava dosa, ghee rice and many other breakfasts & meal platters.

It also pairs wonderfully well with naan, plain basmati rice, coconut rice, jeera rice or any other variety rice dishes.

The key ingredients to make a flavorful vegetable kurma are the tempering spices like bay leaf, star anise, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. These spices along with coconut paste bring in a wonderful aroma to the dish.

There are a few different versions of this South Indian kurma. In some regions it is made only with curd instead of coconut. I have shared that tip as well if you prefer to skip the coconut in this recipe.

Veg kurma is also made to go in a festive meals. So it can also be made without onion & garlic on such occasions.

Though this recipe uses mix vegetable like potatoes, peas, beans and carrots, it can also be made with just one kind of vegetable like potato, cauliflower or peas.

I have shared also shared a few more korma recipes on the blog which are made on the same lines. You may want to check them
Potato kurma
Cauliflower kurma
Paneer kurma
Soya chunks kurma

If you love mixed vegetable recipes, you may also take a look at this Vegetable Curry and Vegetable Jalfrezi.

How to Make Vegetable Korma (Stepwise Photos)

Preparation

1. Prepare vegetables – Chop the following:

  • 2 medium onions (1 cup finely chopped)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (¾ cup fine chopped)
  • 1 medium carrot (¾ cup, half inch pieces)
  • 2 medium potatoes (1 cup, half inch pieces)
  • ¾ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 8 to 10 green beans (¾ cup, half inch pieces, French beans)
  • ¾ to 1 cup cauliflower florets

2. Make kurma paste: To a grinder jar, add

  • ¼ cup grated coconut (or ¼ cup coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (skip if you don’t like)
  • 12 cashew nuts (or 12 soaked almonds or 2 tbsps poppy seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted gram (optional)
making coconut cashew paste for veg kurma recipe

3. Pour 6 tablespoons water and make a fine paste. We don’t want a coarse paste.

smooth ground paste to make veg kurma recipe

Make Korma Gravy

4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pot. Add

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece
  • 1 star anise. You can also add a single strand of mace If you like the fragrance.
sauteing dry spices in oil for veg kurma recipe

4. Next add 1 cup very finely chopped onions & 1 slit green chili (optional). Saute until the onions turn pink. The raw smell of the onions has to go away.

sauteing onions to pink to make vegetable korma recipe

5. Add ¾ to 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. My ginger garlic paste has turmeric in it, so the color. Saute for 1 to 2 mins, until the raw smell of the ginger garlic has gone away.

addition of ginger garlic paste in vegetable korma recipe

6. Then add ¾ cup chopped tomatoes and salt.

addition of tomatoes for vegetable korma recipe

7. Fry until the tomatoes turn completely soft and mushy.

soft cooked tomatoes to make veg kurma recipe

8. Add 1 teaspoon red chili powder, 1¼ teaspoon garam masala & few coriander leaves (optional).

addition of spice powders for veg kurma recipe

9. On a medium to low flame, saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the masala begins to smell good. By now the mixture also begins to leave the sides.

sauteing korma masala to make veg kurma recipe

10. Add the coconut cashew paste.

sauteing coconut poppy seeds paste for veg kurma recipe

11. Mix and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the coconut smells good.

Mix and fry

Add vegetables

12. Lower the flame, add chopped potatoes, beans, carrots, peas and cauliflower.

adding chopped veggies

13. Mix everything well and saute for 2 to 3 minutes without burning.

sauteing veggies in masala

14. Add water just enough to cover the veggies. I used 1.5 cups water. Add ¾ teaspoon salt as well and stir.

pouring water salt

15. Cook on a medium flame until the veggies are tender. Taste the veg kurma and add more salt if needed. Add coriander leaves and switch off.

soft cooked veggies in pot for vegetable kurma recipe

Serve veg kurma with rice or chapati.

veg kurma vegetable kurma

Instant pot Vegetable Korma

Veg kurma or vegetable korma made in Indian Hotel style

1. To a small grinder jar, add

  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 10 to 12 cashew nuts
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (skip if you don’t like)
  • 1 tablespoon fried gram
  • 6 tablespoons water or coconut milk. Blend to a smooth paste.
korma paste in grinder

2. Press SAUTE button on your Instant pot and pour oil to the steel insert. Add the whole spices

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
spices to temper

3. When the spices begin to sizzle add curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds.

4. Next add 1 cup finely chopped onions and 1 slit green chili (optional).

5. Saute until the onions lose their raw smell, for about 3 mins. Next add ¾ to 1 tablespoon chopped ginger garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

6. Add ¾ cup chopped tomatoes and ¾ teaspoon salt. Saute for 1 minute.

7. Move the onions and tomatoes to one side of the pot. Add the diced potatoes to the other side.

8. Cover with an external lid and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. The cook time of potatoes and other vegetables in this korma is different. So we are precooking the potatoes first so the cook time of all the veggies match at the next step.

9. Saute all of these for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in all the spice powders

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • Saute for 30 to 60 seconds.

10. Press CANCEL button and add the coconut paste. Mix well.

11. Add the rest of the veggies – ¾ cup beans, ¾ cup carrots, ¾ to 1 cup cauliflower and ¾ cup green peas.

12. Pour 1 ¾ cup water and deglaze the bottom by scrubbing with a spatula. This releases bits of food stuck there & avoids a burn.
Tip: If you are not using coconut paste then simply substitute water with 1¾ cups light coconut milk. If you do not have light coconut milk, use 1 cup regular coconut milk mixed with ¾ cup water.

13. Taste the water and add more salt if needed. Secure the Instant pot with the lid and position the steam release handle/ value to sealing. Press PRESSURE COOK button (high pressure) and set the timer to 1 minute. After the Instant pot beeps, wait for 1 minute. Then release the pressure manually by moving the steam release value from sealing to venting.

14. Give a gentle stir. Vegetable kurma will look runny at this stage but will thicken after it cools down a bit.

This is the consistency after cooling slightly.

Serve vegetable korma with plain basmati rice, dosa, pulao, poori.

veg kurma vegetable korma

Ingredients and substitutes

Vegetables – The veggies that go well in a mixed veg kurma are carrots, peas, beans, cauliflower & potatoes. You can skip any of these if you do not have. Alternately you can substitute any of the 5 mentioned veggies with the other.

Or use only one vegetable like potatoes. But the total quantity of veggies should be the same as mentioned in the recipe.

You can use any other vegetable like red pumpkin or white button mushrooms if you like the flavor & taste. But also note the taste of kurma depends on the veggies used.

Cashew nuts – Cashews can be replaced with poppy seeds or soaked almond seeds. Please note that blending poppy seeds to a fine paste is really hard if you don’t have a good grinder.

Coconut – Coconut is the main ingredient in this South Indian kurma. If you do not have fresh coconut, then simply use ¼ cup thick coconut milk to blend the cashews & fennel seeds.

If you do not have coconut milk as well, then simply use ½ cup regular yogurt (not Greek). Blend the cashews with little yogurt until smooth & then add the rest and blend.

Whole spices – Whole spices like bay leaf, star anise, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms slowly release their aroma without overpowering the dish. Your dish won’t have the real flavors if you skip these.

All of these spices are very important to make a South Indian kurma. However you may skip if you personally don’t like the flavour of any of these. If you haven’t tried star anise any time, give it a try. It totally elevates the flavour of your veg korma.

Fennel seeds – You can skip if you don’t like. But it is one of the key ingredients in a hotel style kurma.

Pro Tips

1. Kurma paste – Kurma paste is made with coconut, cashews, fried gram & poppy seeds. I do not use poppy seeds as they are banned here in Singapore. You can skip making the paste entirely & just use ½ cup curd or regular yogurt.

The taste does differ with curd & it tastes slightly tangy. I personally do not prefer to cook with curd so I have not done it here. But I have grown up eating this as it is a common ingredient used in many Telugu speaking homes.

2. Many households blend whole spices along with coconut. But I don’t. Using garam masala works out much better for me as it is easier to adjust the quantities easily.

3. Do not skip or alter the quantity of whole spices as they are the most key ingredients that flavor up the vegetable kurma.

Faqs

What is vegetable korma made of?

This super aromatic and delicious vegetable korma is made with potatoes, peas, carrots, French beans, onions, tomatoes, coconut or yogurt, nuts and spices.

Is kurma and korma same?

Yes both are same with slight variations. In South India it is called as kurma and is made with coconut as the base. In North India it is called as korma and is made with yogurt as the base.

What is the difference between a curry and a korma?

A curry does not need ingredients like yogurt, nuts, seeds and fragrant whole spices. But a korma needs all of these ingredients. Yogurt, nuts and seeds form the base of a korma which is simmered with a good amount of fragrant whole spices.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

veg kurma

Veg Kurma | Vegetable Korma Recipe

South Indian style veg kurma recipe made with mixed vegetables, spices & coconut. This hotel style vegetable korma tastes very delicious, flavorful & is quick to make. Instructions included for stovetop and Instant pot.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings4 to 6
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

make a paste

  • ¼ cup fresh coconut or ¼ cup coconut milk or 2 tbsps poppy seeds
  • 12 cashew nuts
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf or sombu or ½ tsp powder)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted chana dal (fried gram, roasted gram) (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons water or coconut milk

Whole spices

  • 1 small bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 1 star anise (chakri phool) (optional)
  • 1 strand mace (javithri) (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (jeera)
  • 2 green cardamoms (elaichi)
  • 3 cloves (laung)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)

other ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 cup onions finely chopped – 2 medium
  • 1 green chilli optional
  • ¾ to 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste or fine chopped
  • ¾ cup tomatoes fine chopped – 2 medium sized
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup beans (8 to 10) chopped to ½ inch pieces
  • ¾ cup carrot (1 medium) chopped to ½ inch pieces
  • ¾ to 1 cup cauliflower (gobi florets)
  • 1 cup potatoes (2 medium) chopped to ½ inch
  • ¾ cup green peas or matar
  • cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves for garnish

Spice powders for vegetable korma

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric or haldi
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder kashmiri or byadgi
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon garam masala

Instructions

Preparation

  • Fine chop onions & tomatoes. Slit chilli and set aside all of these. Cube the veggies to ½ inch sizes and set aside. Keep the potatoes immersed in a bowl of water until used.
  • Make a fine paste of coconut, cashews, roasted chana dal & saunf with 6 tbsps water. If you do not like the flavor of fennel seeds you may skip it. Set aside the kurma paste.
  • Heat a pot with oil. Then saute bay leaf, star anise, mace, jeera, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon until they sizzle.
  • Next put in the chopped onions and green chili. Fry until they turn transparent & pink in color.
  • Fry ginger garlic paste until the raw smell goes off.
  • Next saute tomatoes with salt until mushy and soft.
  • Add turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander leaves. Saute well for 2 to 3 mins until the masala smells really good.

How to Make Veg Kurma

  • Transfer the coconut paste and saute for few minutes until the kurma masala smells good.
  • Drain the water from potatoes and add them to the pot.
  • Next add the other veggies and mix well. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes and then pour water just enough to cover the veggies. Adjust salt if needed.
  • Cook until the veggies are cooked. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve veg kurma with chapati, pulao or biryani.

Instant pot Vegetable Korma

  • Press SAUTE button and pour oil to the inner pot of Instant pot. Add all the whole spices and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Next add onions and chili. saute for 3 mins.
  • Add ginger garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Next add tomatoes and salt. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Move the onions and tomatoes to one side. Add the potatoes to the other side.
  • Cover with an external lid and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Saute all of these for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add in all the spice powder and saute for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Press CANCEL button and add the coconut paste.
  • Add the rest of the veggies and mix well.
  • Pour water and deglaze the bottom by scrubbing with a spatula. This releases bits of food stuck there & avoids a burn.
  • Taste the water and add more salt if needed.
  • Secure the Instant pot with the lid and position the steam release handle/ value to sealing.
  • Press PRESSURE COOK button (high pressure) and set the timer to 1 minute.
  • After the Instant pot beeps, wait for 1 minute. Then release the pressure manually by moving the steam release value from sealing to venting.
  • Give a gentle stir. Vegetable korma will look runny at this stage but will thicken after it cools down a bit.

Notes

  • Roasted chana dal is also known as fried gram or roasted gram. These are made from black chickpeas which are sand roasted and skinned. These are easily available in Indian stores.
  • If using yogurt or curd, make sure you don’t use sour one. Use more spice powders to balance the tang in yogurt.
  • Substitute fresh coconut with 2 tbsps of poppy seeds or 6 tbsps of thick coconut milk. If using coconut milk then skip water used for making the paste.
  • It is important to keep the size of the potatoes and carrots to half inch.
  • If you use larger pieces of the veggies about 1 inch then you will need to increase the cook time to 2 mins.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Veg Kurma | Vegetable Korma Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 233 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 544mg24%
Potassium 720mg21%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 8974IU179%
Vitamin C 44mg53%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

This post was first published in October 2015. Updated & republished in January 2021.

Veg Kurma | Vegetable Korma

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.

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5 stars
The ingredients and substitutes were very helpful. Thank You. Made this Vegetable Korma. It tastes truly good. Thank You for this recipe. It turned out exactly as shown.

Hi Swasthi, your recipes are simple & so perfect.. I tried this recipe & my husband loved it.. thank you so much..

5 stars
I love your recipes! Made this for lunch was absolutely delicious! Will be making again! Thank you!

5 stars
Hi Swasthi, thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m going to make this dish tomorrow but can I use mung dal or red lentils instead of chana dal? Chana dal is not readily available where I live.

Love all your recipes, Swasthi! Your recipes are a staple at our home, whether for regular meals or when we have guests over.

Could you let me know how many gms of veggies are in the recipe, approximately? I need to cook for a large group and planning to use frozen mixed veggies for convenience, so would love to be able to measure them appropriately

5 stars
Hi Swasthi, I am not sure why i did not get around to providing feedback on this lovely curry. Last night I cooked it and that probably was the 5th time. Your mix/quantity of vegetable is lovely, though of late I just use what I have in the fridge but follow your cup measures. My son said last night that the spices we so beautifully balanced and the fennel flavour is always a favourite of my wife. I get so much positive feedback thanks to your great sense of flavour balance – thank you so much.

The last couple of times I have just used about 250ml tomato puree/pasata. Does that sound about right? Do you have a rule of thumb, e.g. cup of chopped tomato equals ??ml tomato puree/pasata?

As always, I thank you for your insights

5 stars
Very delicious and the aroma was so good too. I am actually quite impressed. Also the feeling of getting it right the first time is wonderful! Thank you for the recipe. I skipped few ingredients like roasted channa dal and fennel seeds. Used coconut milk & coconut milk powder instead of actual coconut. Will be making it again.

Are the cashews suppose to be raw and unsalted?

5 stars
Turned out very well. I did one change. The coconut paste was included after cooking the vegetables and then boiled for 5 minutes.

5 stars
Excellent recipe, today tried and was tooooo yummmy

5 stars
So this is the first time I’m making kurma and I think this is the best I ever had xD Others really liked it too haha. Thank you!!
Also, first time I’m rating and posting comments. It’s that good!

5 stars
I tried this recipe yesterday came out well In my family everyone liked it .thank you so much for this great recipe
I love your all cooking recipes
Keep rocking….

5 stars
Hi Swasthi, Your recipes have all been superb so far……..lots of people love them wjhen I have cooked.

Thank you. Chris, Dorset, UK

4 stars
Hi Swasthi. I just bought a multi cooker. Was happy to see yr vege kurma recipe for instant pot. Hope to try it soon. Hope u can include more receipes using multi cooker. Thank you.

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

I have tried many of your recipes and every recipe of yours that I have tried is a sure shot winner, your website is my go to place if I happen to look for anything to try out. Thanks for the detailed recipe instructions, tips and alternative options that you write.

Regards,
Swati

Can I use dessicated coconut rather than fresh for this?

Can we skip d onion? i was looking for no onion no garlic recipe..

Can we add soya chunks to this gravy Swathi ?

I love receipes by Swathi. Thank you so much, I looked your receipes during the lockdown

5 stars
I like all your recipes and the results will be awesome?.. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes…

5 stars
Great recipe!

Hi Swasthi, your recipes are always so good! Thank you 🙂 I don’t have cashews for kurma paste is their any substitute for cashews pls?