1 porotta kurma please!
That’s my standard tiffin order in the south, and with good reason! Porotta kurma is one of those classic dishes that just w.o.r.k.s. South Indian porottas (yes, it’s porotta not paratha) are really famous; they’re soft, they’re flaky and they have more layers than a Wachowski siblings movie.
Porotta beef fry is a Kerala classic but to me, the OG accompaniment to porotta will always be vegetable kurma. Don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on great South Indian porotta, because this kurma is also fantastic with idiyappam (string hoppers), dosa, appam or even just plain old chapati.
This is a one pot (and one mixer) dish and given the simplicity of it, your ‘one pot’ better be a good one! I would recommend the Wonderchef Easy-Lock Pressure Cooker. I’ve already spoken a ton about how effortless the lid is to place and lock and it’s easily the best feature of the cooker! However, I’d also like to shed some light on another great feature – it’s wide bottom! It has a wide enough bottom to allow for proper caramelisation of the vegetables. The base is made of stainless steel sandwiched between two layers of aluminium. That might not mean much to you, but you know how annoying it is when parts of your curry start to burn and catch at the bottom of the cooker because of uneven heating? Yeah, you don’t have to worry about that thanks to the 3 ply base!
I also used the Wonderchef Sumo Silverado to grind up the coconut mixture. This recipe uses unsoaked almonds and cashews, which can be difficult to grind sometimes, so I was pleasantly surprised by how powerful the small chutney jar of the Sumo Silverado was. This particular masala does not have to be smooth so all it took was about 30 seconds of blending. If you’re looking for a space saving option, the Nutri Blend Mixer Grinder is another fantastic option. It’s compact and I absolutely love the multitude of colours it comes in.
This recipe calls for 1 cup of mixed vegetables and I’ve used an equal mix of carrots, beans and potatoes. However, the beauty of kurma is that you can alter those ratios or add your own to the mix. Green peas, cauliflower and pumpkin work great as well. I would recommend sticking to the one cup measurement just so that you have a good gravy to vegetable ratio.
I absolutely love this curry and my favourite way to eat it is to drench my porotta with kurma and let it sit for a few minutes. The porotta soaks up all that lovely flavour and becomes so soft. It’s messy, but totally worth it!
No matter the accompaniment, I guarantee you’ll love this curry veggies and all!
Serves – 3-4
Time: 35 minutes
- 1 tsp fennel
- 3 almonds
- 3 cashews
- 1/4 cup heaped shredded coconut
- 1/2 Tbsp pottu kadala (roasted chana dal)
- 1/4 cup water
For the Curry:
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 medium Onion
- 1/2 Sprig Curry Leaves
- 1/2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 Tomato
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1/4 tsp Chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup mixed vegetables
- 1 Cup Water
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- Add the fennel, almonds, cashews, coconut and roasted chana dal to a small mixer and pulse until everything starts to break down.
- Prep your vegetables. Chop them into roughly 1 inch cubes.
- Add the 1/4 cup of water and blend till you get a coarse paste. Set aside.
- Add the ghee to a heavy pressure cooker on medium-high heat.
- Once the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the onions and curry leaves and fry till the onions start to brown.
- Add the Ginger Garlic paste and sauté until you don’t get that pungent, raw smell of the paste.
- Add the tomato and fry for a minute.
- Add all spices to the mix along with the salt.
- Add the chopped vegetables to the cooker and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add your blended coconut-fennel mix to the vegetables.
- Clean out the mixer with 1 cup of water to make sure you get every last bit of that lovely mix! Add it too the cooker.
- Taste the curry for salt and adjust if required.
- Cover and pressure cook on high until the first whistle, about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low after the first whistle and cook for 3 minutes.
- Take it off the heat after 3 minutes and let the steam release naturally.
- Open the cooker and add the coriander leaves.
- Serve with a pile of soft porottas!
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.