Veg kurma or Vegetable kurma recipe – Learn to make delicious south Indian style mix veg kurma with step by step photos. Kurma or korma is a curry made using veggies or meat along with yogurt, coconut, spices and nut or seed paste. Based on the regions, the ingredients used to make a korma recipe are different.
South Indian hotel style kurma is very popular & is loved by most people for its unique aroma & taste. In South Indian tiffin centers & restaurants vegetable kurma is usually served with Poori , Dosa, plain paratha , simple pulao , rava dosa, Ghee rice & many other breakfasts & meals.
In this post I am sharing the same South Indian hotel style veg kurma recipe that is quick and easy to prepare. It pairs wonderfully well even with Naan, plain basmati rice,coconut rice, Jeera rice or any other Variety rice recipes.
More about veg kurma
Veg kurma is a side dish made with mixed vegetables, spices, coconut, poppy seeds or cashews & herbs.
The key ingredients to make a flavorful vegetable kurma are the tempering spices like bay leaf, star anise, fennel, mace, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. These spices & coconut paste bring in a wonderful aroma to the vegetable kurma.
There are a few different versions of this south Indian kurma. In some regions it is made by using only curd or yogurt instead of coconut. I have shared that tip as well if you prefer to skip the coconut.
Veg kurma is one of those dishes that makes its appearance not only in a regular South Indian meal but also in festive and special meals. So it can also be made without onion & garlic on occasions.
I often make this flavorful & delicious vegetable kurma when I have guests home.
Tips to make vegetable kurma
1.Vegetables – The veggies that go well in a mixed veg kurma are carrots, peas, beans, cauliflower & potatoes. You can skip what ever you don’t have in hand.
2.The kurma paste is made of coconut, cashews, fried gram & poppy seeds. I do not use poppy seeds as they are banned here in Singapore. You can skip making the kurma paste entirely & just use ¾ cup thick curd or 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 for it post. But I have grown up eating this as it is a common method followed in many telugu speaking homes.
3.Many households blend whole spices along with coconut. But I do not since using garam masala works out much better for me & it tastes really good.
4. Do not skip or alter the quantity of whole spices as they are the most key ingredients that flavor up the vegetable kurma.
Veg kurma recipe – South Indian hotel style
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
make a paste or use ¾ cup fresh yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh coconut or 2 tbsps poppy seeds or ¼ cup coconut milk
- 10 to 12 cashew nuts
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds or saunf or sombu or ½ tsp powder
- 1 tablespoon fried gram or pottukadalai or putnalu (optional)
- 6 tablespoons water or coconut milk
- 1 small bay leaf or tej patta
- 1 star anise or chakri phool (optional)
- 1 strand mace or javithri (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cumin or jeera
- 2 green cardamoms or elaichi
- 3 cloves or laung
- 1 inch cinnamon or dalchini
other ingredients for veg kurma recipe
- 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
- 1¾ 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
How to make the recipe
- 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, fried gram & 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 kurma
- 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 kurma will look runny at this stage but will thicken after it cools down a bit.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- 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.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
1. Add fennel seeds, fried gram, coconut and cashew nuts. You can replace poppy seeds with coconut, or cashew nuts with poppy seeds.
Skipping cashews and poppy seeds both may not lend a good taste. If you do not have a blender to make a paste, then just use 3/4 cup thick yogurt the taste will be different but still good.
2. Pour little water and make a fine paste.
How to make vegetable kurma recipe
3. Heat oil in a pot. Add bay leaf, star anise, jeera, cloves, cinnamon stick. You can also add a single strand of mace If you like the fragrance.
4. Next add in very finely chopped onions or onion paste & green chili. Saute until the onions turn pink. The raw smell of the onions has to go away.
5. Add ginger garlic paste. My ginger garlic paste has turmeric in it, so the color. Saute until the raw smell of the paste has gone away.
6. Then add in chopped tomatoes and salt.
7. Fry until the tomatoes turn completely soft and mushy.
8. Add chili powder, coriander leaves, garam masala and saunf powder. If you do not have saunf/ fennel seeds powder, then add garam masala and saunf to a blender jar and powder well.
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.
10. Add the coconut cashew paste.
11. Mix and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the coconut smells good.
Addition of vegetables
12. Lower the flame, add chopped potatoes, beans, carrots, peas and cauliflower.
13. Mix everything well and saute for 2 to 3 minutes without burning.
14. Add water just enough to cover the veggies. I used 1.5 cups water. Add salt as well and stir.
15. Cook on a medium flame until the veggies are cooked. Taste the veg kurma and add in more salt if needed. Add coriander leaves and switch off.
Serve veg kurma with rice or chapati.