THEME: #257 MEE MARATHI
RECIPE : VEGETABLE KOLHAPURI
This Week’s Theme on FoodieMonday/Bloghop Group:
This week, the group is visiting the state of Maharashtra in India. Well, virtually at least. Priya suggested we make a dish from the Maharashtrian Cuisine. Initially, I wanted to make Kothimbir Vadi but made Vegetable Kolhapuri. Check out Priya’s blog Sweet Spicy Tasty for South Indian cuisine and more. Yes that’s the unique name of the blog.
A bit about the Kolhapuri Cuisine
Kolhapur is a district in South West Maharashtra. Incidentally, the main city too is called Kolhapur. Kolhapur is a foodie’s paradise. Most people think that Kolhapuri Cuisine is fiery hot but that is not true. Definitely hot peppers are used for some dishes but not all. Typically, flavors come from the freshly homemade made spice mixtures. Kolhapur is also well known for its dry and wet non veg curries like mutton, chicken. Food from this region is not restricted to meat only. They have Kolhapuri Misal, Kolhapuri Bhel, Kolhapuri Vada Pav, etc. In fact, I hear these dishes taste different from the rest of Maharashtra.
While compiling my post on different Indian Curries, none of my blogger friends had a Kolhapuri Curry recipe on their blog. Subsequently, that got me wondering how come this aromatic and delicious curry has not been blogged by any of them? Priya gave me the right opportunity with the Maharashtrian Cuisine theme.
Kolhapuri curries may not feature on an Indian restaurant menu abroad. However, it definitely is there on the menus in India, especially in the North and West. On several occasions I’ve had the opportunity to taste this curry at the ISCKON temple but without any onion or garlic. Its one of the most aromatic and delicious way to include a variety of vegetables in one curry.
Homemade Kolhapuri Spice Mixture
For this spice mixture, the main ingredients are dried coconut, dry red chillis and coriander and cumin seeds. Addition of other spices vary from household to household. Commonly, the Kolhapuri Lavangi (chilli peppers) are used but they can be replaced with less fiery hot chillis. I mixed and matched the spices and came up with a version that suits my family’s taste. Obviously, did away with the lavangi chillis and replaced them with dry Kashmiri chillis.
Two Types of Homemade Kolhapuri Spice Mixture:
- One is the dry one – all the spices and coconut are roasted and ground into a coarse powder. This spice mixture can be stored. Shelf life is about a week as its got coconut and stays longer in the fridge.
- Wet Version – in the wet version, the onion, bell pepper or capsicum and tomato are all sautéed and cooked. The dry spice mixture is added. This paste can be frozen for future use.
I made the dry version and used half of the spice mixture to prepare Vegetable Kolhapuri. I’ve stored the remaining spice mixture in the fridge to use it later to make paneer kolhapuri or egg kolhapuri.
What Vegetables do you use for Vegetable Kohlapuri?
Actually, any. The vegetables are cut into thick strips or left chunky. You may use peas, carrots, French beans, cauliflower, potatoes. These days broccoli, sweet corn, baby corn, mushrooms too are added.
Some dishes from the Maharashtrian Cuisine you may want to check out:
- Priya’s Masala Bhaath
- Pithlu/ Pithla – a curry made from chickpea flour and spices only. A great recipe when one doesn’t have any veggies in the house.
- Misal Pav – famous Maharashtrian dish served as breakfast or as a snack.
- Dhapate – a multigrain flatbread
- Zunka – A chickpea based dryish preparation served with bhakri
- Sabudana Vada – delicious fritters made from tapioca pearls and potatoes.
- Gulachi Podi – a sweet flatbread usually made during Makar Sankranti.
- Thalipeeth – a savory flatbread
- Pav Bhaji – no one ever leaves Maharashtra without enjoying this famous street food.
- Vada Pav – I prepared mini ones to serve as starter
- Ladi Pav – famous soft bread rolls from Mumbai. Known for their soft buttery texture and served with pav bhaji, vada pav, misal.
Ingredients required for Kolhapuri Spice Mixture
- Dried Coconut – its best to use the coconut that dries up naturally. If you don’t have that then replace it with desiccated coconut but the taste will differ.
- Coriander Seeds – dhana, dhaniya ke beej
- Dry Red Chillis – use any of your choice, depending on how hot (chilli wise) you want the curry.
- Cumins seeds – jeera, jeeru
- Poppy Seeds – khus khus. Optional if you don’t have any. Use 2-3 cashew nuts instead.
- Sesame Seeds – tal, til. Use the white variety, but not husked.
- Cinnamon – taj
- Cloves – laving
- Peppercorns – mari
- Black Cardamom – Elcho, badi elachi
- Asafetida – hing
- Turmeric Powder – if you have whole dried turmeric then use a small piece and roast it with the spices. If you don’t have like me, then add the powder at the end.
Ingredients for Vegetable Kolhapuri
- Kolhapuri Spice Mixture
- Vegetables of your choice – I have used peas, carrot, French beans, potatoes.
- Bell Pepper – capsicum, sweet bell pepper. I used sweet pepper but you can use the green capsicum.
- Onion – sliced
- Garlic – sliced or paste
- Green Chilli – chopped or paste
- Ginger – paste or cut into thin strips (julienne)
- Tomato – chopped or puree
- Fennel Seeds – saunf, valiyari
- Milk – optional – replace it with coconut milk or water
- Gluten Free – use gluten free asafetida or omit it.
- Vegan – for vegan version add vegan friendly milk or water
- For Satvik friendly version – omit adding onion and garlic
VEGETABLE KOLHAPURI / HOMEMADE KOLHAPURI SPICE MIXTURE
FOR THE KOLHAPURI MASALA / SPICE MIXTURE:
- ½ cup sliced dried coconut
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2-3 dry red chillis
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 6 - 8 peppercorns
- 1 balck cardamom
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp asafetida
FOR THE VEGETABLE KOLHAPURI
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into sticks
- 1 large potato peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 cup french beans cut into 1½ inch pieces
- ½ cup peas
- 1 large onion peeled and sliced
- 1 medium bell pepper cut into long sticks
- 1 cup fresh tomato puree
- 2 tbsp oil
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- ½ - 1 tsp green chilli paste
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1¼-1½ tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- PREPARATION OF KOLHAPURI MASALA /SPICE MIXTURE:
- In a wide pan over low heat, roast the coconut till you get the aroma. Don't allow it to burn. Keep stirring it all the time.
- Add all the remaining whole spices except asafetida and turmeric powder.
- Roast till the coriander begins to crackle or pop. Remember to stir all the time.
- Remove the spice mixture into a plate and allow it to cool down completely.
- Once its cool, grind to a coarse or fine powder.
- Add the asafetida and turmeric powder. Mix well.
PREPARATION OF VEGETABLE KOLHAPURI:
- Steam or boil the vegetables. I steamed them to retain the nutrients.
- Heat oil in the wide pan you used for roasting the spices, over medium heat.
- Add fennel seeds. As soon as the seeds begin to sizzle add the chopped onion.
- Stir fry the onion for a minute.
- Add the chopped bell pepper or capsicum.
- Stir fry till both appear soft.
- Add ginger, garlic and chilli paste. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the tomato puree. Mix well.
- Cover the pan and allow the mixture to cook for 5 minutes.
- The mixture should be thick and tomato puree is cooked.
- Add half of the kolhapuri masala or spice mixture.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Add the steamed mixed vegetables and water.
- Mix well and lower the heat. Let the curry simmer for 5-7 minutes or till it becomes hot.
- Add coconut milk and mix well.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with roti, paratha, naan or bhakri.
- The amount of water or milk you add depends on how watery or thick you prefer the curry to be.
- Use gluten free asafetida.
- Add dried red chillis to the spice mixture according to your taste.
- Use vegetables of your choice.
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