Kala’s Easy Vegetable Kuruma – For Working Women

Winter is almost over, but we still get lovely fresh vegetables to make this dish. My mother never made vegetable kuruma, but I always remembered the kuruma we enjoyed when visiting relatives. I tried to reproduce what I had eaten before, but I made the mistake of trying to make it like a meat kuruma which was not well received in the family. I eventually figured out the magic technique – do not use curds, mint, strongly flavoured vegetables like knol-khol (kohlrabi), or strongly pigmented vegetables like beetroot.

Kalas Easy Vegetable Kuruma - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Easy Vegetable Kuruma

It’s a popular prejudice against working women that they deprive their families of vegetables in their food because the pre-preparation takes a long time. I created this recipe to make the process simpler and quicker than the traditional kuruma – a pressure cooker is the only utensil used for the entire cooking process; the tempering, frying the masala, and cooking of the vegetables take place in the cooker; because of this the cooking and dishwashing time are shortened; it is served directly from the pressure cooker; and most importantly, because the pressure cooking time is very short (only about 5 minutes), most of the nutrients are not destroyed.

Nutritive Value

The potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, and cauliflower all provide very little energy and protein, but together provide a whopping amount of carotenoids and a good amount of vitamin C and a fair amount of fibre. The energy in this dish comes from the ghee and oil and the coconut used, which is insignificant considering the serving size.

Ingredients

  • 1 small Cauliflower
  • ½ C shelled Green Peas
  • 2 large Carrots
  • ¼ kg French Beans
  • 2 large Potatoes
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 4 Green Chillies, stalks removed
  • 1 T Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 3-4 pieces Cinnamon
  • 6 Cloves
  • 8 Cardamoms
  • 1 T Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 2 T Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Lime, juiced
  • 2 tsp Salt, or to taste

Grind Together

  • ½ C Coconut scrapings
  • ½ C Coriander Leaves
  • 1 tsp Sombu (Aniseed)

Method

  1. Leave the cauliflower florets in salted water for five minutes to remove dirt and worms. Clean, rinse, and drain.
  2. String the beans. Cut into 3cm pieces.
  3. Pare the potatoes. Chop into 3cm cubes.
  4. Pare the carrots and cut into long strips.
  5. Heat the oil and ghee in a medium pressure cooker.
  6. Add the whole spices. When the cloves begin to swell, add the onion and fry till translucent.
  7. Add the green chillies and stir twice.
  8. Add the ginger-garlic paste with 2 tablespoons of water, and stir till a fragrant aroma arises.
  9. Add the ground masala and stir for a minute.
  10. Add all the vegetables and 2 cups of water. Stir.
  11. Pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Add lime juice before serving with Poori, chappati, Coconut Milk Rice, and Potato Pulav.

Notes

  1. The green peas will change colour when pressure cooked. You can boil some separately and add later to improve the appearance.
  2. Do not slit the chillies and do not fry the chillies for a long time also. If you do, the seeds will escape into the kuruma, making it spicy hot. Remove the chillies before serving to reduce heat.
  3. If you do not like ground coconut, add half a cup of thick coconut milk. You can add ground coriander leaves and sombu powder separately.
  4. Always keep homemade ginger-garlic paste in your refrigerator. Equal amounts of ginger and garlic ground in a mixie or blender without adding water will keep in the refrigerator for almost 10 days.
  5. Do not pressure cook for more than 5 minutes. If you do, the kuruma will be mushy.
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