I was going to make chappathis for dinner on Saturday and that got me into thinking about a different side dish to go with them. I was reminded of the white colored kurma (I call it white kurma just to differentiate it from the regular kurma :-)) that is usually served with aappam in most of the restaurants in Tamil Nadu. I used to like it with chappathis a lot more than with aappam. So, I googled for "hotel kurma" and got a lot of hits, of which I was tempted to follow this as I had a hunch that it would come out well (oh yeah, I get these visions at times ;-)). I used the same ingredients from that link, but changed the proportions to suit my taste. The end result was exactly what I had in mind and was simply superb :-).
Ingredients (about 3 - 4 servings):
Veggies of your choice - about 3 cups (using a measuring cup) cut into uniform size for them to cook evenly
(I used carrots, peas, potatoes, chayote squash (called chow chow), corn, lima beans and green beans)
Green chillies - 3 to 4 slit into half
Onion - 1 small finely chopped
Cooking oil - 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Fennel seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Bay leaves - a few
Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Plain yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Milk - 1/4 cup (using a measuring cup)
Chick pea flour (besan) (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon mixed with little water
Cilantro - 2 teaspoons finely chopped
To grind into a paste:
Grated/powdered coconut - 3 to 4 tablespoons
Cashews (raw or roasted... doesn't matter) - 2 to 3
Green chillies - 3 to 4
Poppy seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon - 1/4 inch stick
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 1
1. Grind grated/powdered coconut, cashews, green chillies, poppy seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom to a fine paste. Mix the paste with plain yogurt thoroughly so that there are no lumps in the yogurt and set aside.
2. Boil the veggies separately such that they become soft (but NOT too soft and mashed) and set aside.
3. In a vessel, heat some cooking oil, add bay leaves, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, sliced green chillies and chopped onions and fry until the onions turn light golden brown in color.
4. To the onions in step 3, add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Add the softened veggies to step 4 and mix everything well. Add the paste from step 1, coriander powder, some salt and bring it to a boil.
6. Once it starts boiling, you can add the milk to it and boil for about 7 minutes on medium heat. If you feel that the kurma is too thick, you can add some water to get it to the right consistency. If otherwise, you can add the chick pea flour mixed in water to thicken it.
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy the white kurma.
Absolutely NO turmeric or chilli powder in this. The spiciness of this recipe is derived ONLY from the green chillies. Adding red chilli powder or turmeric will not yield the so called "white kurma" ;-).
The tanginess from the yogurt, the sweetness from the coconut and the spiciness from the green chillies gives it a good blend of flavor. This goes very well with aappam, paratha, idiappam and chappathi. Well, I just made it to go with chappathi and it tasted great! How about you try the rest and let me know your opinion, huh???? ;-)