Tag Archives: Coconut gravies

Vellai Kuruma – White Kuruma

Kurma or Korma is basically a gravy dish where vegetables or meat is cooked or braised in a  sauce with different combinations of spices to go with steamed rice or chappathi. It is made quite spicy and colourful with tomatoes, garam masala and ground coconut paste in tamilnadu. For main courses like Idiyappam or Aappam, chicken or mutton kurma are considered the best combination. I named this white kurma because this was quite different from other kurmas which are red or orange in colour.

When we visited Tamilnadu, one of our friends Shanti served us this dish with ‘very simple’ in looks but ‘can’t stop licking the fingers’ kind of taste.  She offered this kurma with hot idlis or steamed rice cakes. I could’nt really come to a conclusion to whether the colour of it or the subtle taste of the vegetables cooked in coconut paste and spices made it so appealing.

This goes well with aappams or idiyappams too!


  • Cubed carrots, beans, potatoes – 1/2 cup each
  • Green Peas – 1/2 cup
  • Cauliflower florets – 1/2 cup
  • Chopped onion – 1 no.
  • Ginger – Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Freshly Grated Coconut – 5 tsp
  • Cashewnuts – 7 nos
  • Fennel seeds (perunjeeragam – saunf) – 3 tsp
  • Green Chillies – 2 nos ( according to the spicce of chilly)
  • Lemon Juice – 3 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Cardamom, cloves – 3 nos. each
  • Cinnamon – 1 small twig
  • Salt  – to taste
  • Coriander leaves – to garnish

Method of preparation

  1. Pressure cook or steam all the vegetables till done
  2. If pressure cooked, use the vegetable stock while cooking
  3. Blanch cauliflower separately
  4. Grind grated coconut, cashewnuts, fennel seeds and green chillies to a fine paste
  5. Make a paste of ginger and garlic separately
  6. Take oil in a wide chatti (cooking pan)
  7. Add the dry masalas and ginger garlic paste and fry
  8. Add the chopped onions and fry for a moment
  9. Next, let the cooked vegetables go in
  10. Add in the ground paste and mix well
  11. Add stock if vegetables were pressure cooked or just water
  12. Adjust water according to the consistency
  13. Add salt to taste and bring it to boil
  14. Simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes
  15. Juice of lemon should be added after turning off stove and just before serving
  16. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

Kaaikari Sodhi – Vegetable Stew (Maapillai Sodhi -The Son-in-law Stew)

Kaaikari Sodhi – Vegetable Stew

In Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi – the down south districts of tamilnadu, kaaikari sodhi or vegetable stew is a special recipe. Speciality lies not only in its preparation but also in the occasion. The hindu marriage is held in the morning hours of the day. Evening is the reception with nalangu and simple games between bride and groom.  Next morning also has small and simple ceremonies with only close family members. Though the marriage is done by the bride’s family, this next day meal is hosted by the groom’s family which is Rice and Vegetable Stew.

From now on, the Stew travels hand in hand with the son-in-law. At least for the first few years, whenever the groom and bride visit relative’s places, they are always offered rice and vegetable stew with more delicacies.  As stew is cooked with coconut milk, for easy digestion it is always accompanied by ginger chutney.


  • carrots, beans, potatoes – cut into rectangular pieces – 1 cup
  • green peas – 1/4 cup
  • cauliflower – cut into small florets – 1/2 cup
  • small onions – 6 no.s
  • garlic – cut vertically – 6 cloves
  • cooked yellow lentil (peeled broken greengram – moong dal)  – 1/2 cup
  • cooking oil – 2 tsp.
  • salt – to taste

coconut milk: 

  • i. 1st milk – thick milk extracted  with less water – 1 cup
  • ii. 2nd milk – thinner than first with more water added while grinding – 1 cup
  • iii. 3rd milk – thinnest of all – 1 cup
  • coriander leaves – to garnish
  • lemon juice – 5 tsp


  1. mustard seeds  – 1tsp
  2. curry leaves – a few
  3. green chillies – slit into halves – 3 no.s

Method of preparation

  1. Cook all the vegetables except cauliflower in the third milk until tender
  2. Blanch cauliflower separately
  3. Keep aside the cooked yellow lentil
  4. Heat oil in a heavy pan and add mustard seeds. let them splutter.
  5. Fry the onions, garlic cloves, green chillies and curry leaves. If small onions are not available, normal onions can be cut and used
  6. Add the cooked vegetables and the milk used for cooking and the cauliflower florets into the pan
  7. Add salt and bring it to boil
  8. Simmer and add the 2nd milk and stir
  9. Add the cooked lentil. Make it a little pulpy by adding some water. Or else lumps might be formed
  10. When this comes to a boil, add the thick 1st milk. Simmer for a while. Do not let it boil too much or else the coconut milk might curdle.
  11. Little water or thin coconut milk can be added for the right consistency
  12. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and mix well
  13. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice

This stew is always had with Inji Thuvayal or Ginger Chutney. See inji thuvayal-ginger chutney for the recipe.

Tip: To make stew faster, vegetables can be steamed and thick 1st milk/canned coconut milk can be added instead of 1st, 2nd and 3rd milk. Though taste might differ a little, it is less time consuming.