Kerala Style Vegetable Curry

This super-easy Kerala style vegetable curry is adapted from Roshan’s mouthwatering recipe: I had every intention of following it to the letter but since I had some cauliflower in the ‘fridge, which I wanted to use up, it got added. Then I realised that we don’t have any dishes in this apartment (teddy bear plates, yes – dishes and bowls, no!), so I’d have to make it thicker than Roshan’s seemed to be. I also had a couple of cartons of coconut milk, so I used one of those instead of Roshan’s water, rice flour, and sugar mix. Finally, I omitted the cloves because I’m not a fan, halved the salt, used sultanas instead of raisins (because that’s all I could find in the shop), replaced some of the oil with a bit more ghee, and added some desiccated coconut.

The result, while being quite a way from Roshan’s recipe, was nevertheless a wonderful, mild and creamy curry, which lasted amato mio and I for two meals. The day after I made it (after it had been in the ‘fridge all overnight), I added a little water to it to loosen it up a bit, plus some fresh paneer. Perfect! Yumsome, even! :-)

By the way, traditionally, vegetable stew is a breakfast dish, however, we had it for dinner!

Kerala-Style Vegetable Curry

Nutritional values per serving:
Calories: 358
Carbohydrate: 32g
Protein: 6g
Fat: 24g
Sodium: 189mg
(Please note that these are based on the ingredients I used – your own may be slightly different)

For four servings:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1cm piece of cinnamon stick/cassia bark
4 medium cardamom pods – gently bashed with the flat of a knife blade to make them begin to open(!)
6 curry leaves
150g onion, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala
200g potato – cut into smallish chunks
100g carrot – cut into smallish chunks
150g cauliflower, cut into florets
50g long French beans (or yardlong beans)
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
200ml coconut milk
50g sultanas
30g cashew nuts – halved

In a pan, wok, kadai etc., heat the oil, add the piece of cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods, and fry for about a minute. Add the chopped onion and curry leaves, and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the onion begins to soften. Stir in the turmeric, ensuring it is mixed well. Fry for another minute or so.

Next, stir in the chilli powder and garam masala, and then the rest of the prepared vegetables – again, mixing well to ensure they’re all coated. Add enough water to come about halfway up the pan, add salt, put the lid on, and steam the vegetables until the potatoes and carrots are beginning to get soft. Stir occasionally as necessary, adding a little more water if needed.

Once the vegetables are softened, stir in the ghee and the desiccated coconut (you could of course, use fresh but I didn’t have any). Turn the heat down to a simmer, and stir in the coconut milk, sultanas, and cashews. Put the lid back on, and allow to simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are properly cooked. Taste, and add more salt if desired.

Serve with fluffy rice, chapati, appam… it’s up to you! Appam (rice hoppers) is more traditional but since we were eating this for dinner, and I deviated from the original recipe by quite a lot, I thought it OK to break with tradition, and have rice! Besides, I haven’t yet learned how to make appam!

Buon appetito!