Vegetable Kurma

A mild vegetable coconut curry recipe in Instant Pot

A vegetable kurma to South Indians is like the Thai yellow curry to the Thais. A myriad of vegetables cooked in a coconut base and mildly spiced so as to highlight the coconut and vegetable flavors. Absolutely yummy ! Pair it with rotis, parotta, poori, Luchi, steamed rice, string hoppers, dosa, jeera rice, idlis or even toasted bread..yes…M eats it with toast! He saves the leftovers carefully and more often pairs curries with toast for a quick brunch on a busy day.

Our absolute favorite way to eat it is with store bought frozen parottas, that we thaw and then heat it up on a griddle. Add a little ghee or oil and cook it on a hot griddle until it is mildly crispy and flaky. Our favorite brand is the Daily Delight (found in most Indian Grocery stores) or the Malabar Parotta from Trader Joe’s. This recipe is a mix of my mom’s and nana’s recipes. So many wonderful memories of relishing this with poori !!


  1. To make this vegan, use coconut cream and tofu instead of paneer and heavy cream. Everything else can remain the same. Vegan version is mind blowing too !
  2. Use canned coconut milk instead of grinding coconut with water.
  3. Use almond meal to thicken it instead of the roasted gram dal, if you can’t find the roasted dal. Chickpea flour or rice flour work too, but not more than 1/2 teaspoon.
  4. Cooking it in coconut oil is idea but not compulsory.
  5. Using curry leaves is very typical but you can add 2-3 mint leaves instead for a unique twist in flavor.
  6. Add whole spices so that you can keep that beautiful subtle yellow color.
  7. Use any veggies you have on hand like zucchini, broccoli, squash, sweet peppers, etc.,.
  8. I have used a 3 quart IP for this, you can cook it in an open pot as well. Follow the same steps and in the end cover and ket cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until veggies done to your liking and no raw smell of the masala remains.

Veg Kurma in Instant Pot

Prep time : 15 minutes Cook time : 15 minutes Spice level : 🌶🌶

Ingredients :

  • Mixed veggies chopped – 2 cups – carrot,green beans,potato,cauliflower
  • Red onions – 1 medium- thinly sliced
  • curry leaves – 4 or 5
  • green cardamom – 2 pods
  • cinnamon stick – 1 inch
  • turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • paneer – 300 grams
  • heavy cream – 2 tablespoon
  • cilantro for garnish
  • coconut oil for cooking ( use any neutral flavor oil)
  • salt to taste

Make a paste :

  • coconut – fresh/frozen/desiccated – 3 tablespoon
  • raw cashews – 2 or 3
  • white poppy seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kashmiri dry red chili – 2 – use paprika alternatively
  • black peppercorns – 2 or 3
  • roasted gram dal – 1 teaspoon

Purée these:

  • tomato – 1 small
  • ginger – 1 inch piece
  • garlic – 3 cloves
  • Thai green chili – 1 small

How to :

  1. In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for making the paste and soak it in hot water for 5 minutes, while it is soaking, prep the veggies and puree tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chili.
  2. As you start prepping the veggies, turn on the Instant Pot to Saute mode, add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Let it heat up.
  3. Thinly slice the red onions, chop all veggies into bite sized chunks, cut a few cauliflower florets and set aside.
  4. Once the coconut oil heats up, add cinnamon and cardamom ,then the onions and saute for 3 minutes or until onions turn translucent. Add a pinch of salt to speed this up. Then add the tomato purée.
  5. While the onions and purée are cooking, make a smooth paste of all the ingredients soaking in the hot water and set aside.
  6. Saute the puree for about a minute and then throw in the veggies, some salt and the turmeric powder.
  7. Now add the paste to the veggies, turn off the saute mode; add 2 cups of hot water to your Instant Pot. Check for salt and adjust if needed.
  8. Cover the IP, set the valve to seal and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes for veggies with a crunch and 7 minutes for softer veggies.
  9. Once the timer goes off, wait for 2 minutes and release pressure slowly (by turning the valve to venting) and open the lid.
  10. Add the cream and paneer and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to your serveware and garnish with cilantro.
  11. Cook the frozen parotta and enjoy this mild curry/kurma.
Store bought parotta
  • To make this lower in calorie : use almond milk, tofu, cut down coconut oil to 1 teaspoon , skip poppy seeds and shredded coconut and use low fat coconut milk, serve over a bowl of cooked yellow quinoa.
  • Modify it to suit your taste and enjoy !!

Thank you for stopping by !

2 thoughts on “Vegetable Kurma

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