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Vegetable Korma

February 3, 2010

One of my favorite dishes at an Indian restaurant is vegetable korma, that subtly spicy coconut milk curry full of

vegetable korma

vegetables.  It’s one of those reliable dishes that’s always good for soping up with a lot of paratha or naan bread.  I found a recipe for it in an old binder full of recipes I pulled years ago, and modified it a bit.  The original recipe from Delia Online made a small serving, and I wanted a larger batch.  You can customize this with whatever vegetables you like.  While I don’t love cooked carrots, they’re crucial to an interesting looking dish- otherwise it’s all green and white.  Serves 4 as part of a larger meal with rice.


1 T vegetable oil

1 1/2 t black or brown mustard seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 t grated ginger

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper (such as a Serrano or jalapeno), seeded and sliced, or a pinch red pepper flakes

1 1/2 t ground cumin

1 t ground coriander

1 t garam masala

1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3/4″ slices

1 potato (I used Yukon Gold), cut into 1/2″ dice

1 1/2 c green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

10-12 okra pods, cut into

1/2 c peas, fresh or frozen

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 14 oz can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight so the cream and milk are separated

Additional water, as necessary

1 heaping teaspoon cornstarch, optional

salt and pepper to taste


Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add mustard seeds and cover pan.  Let pop for 30 seconds, then add garlic, ginger, onion and sliced pepper.  Saute for 7-10 minutes, until onion is soft.  Add cumin, coriander and garam masala and stir to mix.  Add carrot and cook for 2 minutes, then add potato and cook for 2 more minutes (add a little water if the potato starts to stick, but just a little so that it cooks off again).  Add the green beans, okra, peas and cauliflower and stir to coat in the spices.  Spoon in the coconut cream (the thick stuff at the top of the can), then add enough of the coconut milk to make enough sauce to coat the vegetables and some extra for the rice (probably the entire can).  You should have 1/2″  of sauce in the pan, and add some water if you think it will be skimpy on the sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 5 minutes, then stir vegetables and cook uncovered, until cauliflower and potatoes are tender (about 5-10 more minutes).  You want the sauce to be thickened enough to coat the vegetables.  If it’s too thin, remove the vegetables and bring to the sauce to a boil.  Cook, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened.  (Depending upon the brand of coconut milk you use, the sauce may not have enough fat to really thicken on its own.  If this is the case, whisk in a heaping teaspoon of corn starch to thicken the sauce).  Return the vegetables to the pan and serve with steamed basmati rice.

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