Kurma is a popular dish in India and it has many variations to it. It is made as a rich creamy based curry with either yogurt, cream or coconut milk. Personally, I make three different variations (all thanks to mom who gives me ideas and then my experimentation begins) and each pairs well with either rice or rotis. Generally, I don't prefer using coconut much until absolutely necessary .....only when it comes to making or breaking a dish. Although this ingredient has been around forever - roasted split dalia, I recently started using it in some of my gravies and it works wonders especially when you need a creamy base. For a while now, my substitute for coconut has been almonds and dalia but I did use coconut and dalia in this recipe. I must admit that the vegetable kurma turned out to be tasty (more restaurant style taste) and paired well with parathas. I tried making layer parathas (using all purpose flour/maida) for the first time and it turned out fine although I am planning on making wheat parathas which will follow in another post. So, here's a warm and spicy recipe that is perfect for the cold fall season....
3-4 cinnamon, medium pieces
3-4 bay leaves
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, medium diced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 medium carrots, medium diced
3 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 1/2 tsp extra hot chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbsp coconut
1 1/4 tbsp roasted split dalia
1 1/2 cups water
Salt, to taste
In a pan, heat oil, add the whole garam masala (cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves) and add onions. Sauté until slightly brown. Add tomato and fry until it becomes pulpy.
Add the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder. Sauté for few minutes until the raw smell fades away. Now, add the vegetables (potatoes, peas and carrots), salt and water. Mix well and cook until the vegetables are almost done.
Make a paste of the coconut and roasted dalia with little water. Add this paste to the kurma and allow it to boil for 4-5 minutes. If you want the gravy a little liquidy, add more water when boiling. Add the chopped cilantro and mix well. Serve hot with parathas or rotis.
Makes 4 servings.