April 30, 2009

Vegetable Kurma

About 12 years ago, I packed my bags and set out on this journey. I left the comfort and the protection that my parents' home offered and moved to a beach resort. Only, this beach resort had a slightly non-resort like name: Pondicherry University. Well, it was on the beach. You could see the Bay of Bengal from the hostel rooms and balconies. You could even see the beach from our classrooms. I think I hit the beach almost every evening for the two years that I was there. Maybe not the water everyday, but Puru's definitely.

Puru's is the name we gave this shack right opposite the University gate. The owner's name was Purushottam and hence we always called this place "Puru's". This place was famous for tea and parottas. At the time, you could get a cup of tea for Rs. 1.50 and a plate of parottas cost Rs. 6. That plate had not two, but four parottas. Quite a meal. And very easy on the pocket too. Puru's was a life saver. When the hostel seemed a little too far to trudge to for lunch (and one that wasn't exactly worth it) and the cafeteria was too crowded, we landed at Puru's for our meal.

This kurma isn't exactly how Puru made it. I wasn't into cooking all that much back then, even though we cooked big meals everyday for 2 weeks every semester until the mess opened. So, this is mostly from memory.

2 cups Mixed Vegetable
s, diced and cooked(I used potatoes, peas, carrots, beans and cauliflower)

2 Tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
Salt to taste

Grind to a paste:

1 Onion, chopped

2 Green Chillies

1" piece Ginger

3-4 pods Garlic

1 tsp Coriander Seeds

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp Chilli Powder

2-3 tbsp Coconut, scraped

Heat the oil in a pressure pan. Add the fennel seeds and the paste. Fry the paste for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped tomato along with the diced vegetables. Add the salt and about half a cup of water. Pressure cook for a whistle.

My favourite way to eat this vegetable kurma is with parottas. And before you ask, my parottas came from a bag of Sumeru's frozen Malabar Paratha. The other absolute favourite is kurma with idiyappam. I order this almost each time we go out for a meal when I visit Madras. It doesn't come close to food from a beloved shack called Puru's, but in a pinch, it will more than just do. I left the Pondicherry University exactly ten years ago and it has been a while since I last "chilled out" at Puru's. So when I want to take a trip down the memory lane, I make myself a plate of vegetable kurma and prepare to be magically transported to the sandy coconut groves of Pondicherry.


Deepthi Shankar said...

Nice Kurma .. I love dishes full of veggis

FH said...

Gorgeous color. I love Indian Badgi chillies, gives such a warm color. I get kashmiri mirch here, that's it! :)

chef and her kitchen said...

lovely kurma..nice color..

Cham said...

So u lived in Pondy too, Love the Kalapet area ! That is a great entry :)

luckysanjana said...

Nice korma Raaga..............

Anonymous said...

I studied in PEC and can connect to what you are saying :)

Priya Sriram said...

Kurma looks way too delicious Raaga! Love its color! :)

sra said...

Lovely post, with all the memories. I loved reading it.

Unknown said...

hat is a great post Raaga! Kurma looks delish and must be perfect with parottas!

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

delicious!! your hostel write up brought back memories of my hostel life.... "those were the best days of my life" :D

Lavanya Raj said...

Thank's for the entry Raaga.. Can u send me the link about your pondicherry visit..

Andy said...

Rmember how juniors were asked to meet in Puru's International for their welcome meal? said...

nice vegetable korma...interesting dish