Rich & Delicious South Indian Vegetable Kurma made in Instant Pot. Vegetable Kurma is a lip-smacking South Indian Gravy made using mixed vegetables and a mildly spiced coconut and cashew paste. Learn how to make this creamy vegetarian gravy in under 30 mins in Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Vegetable Kurma
Vegetable Kurma has been one of my favourites since childhood. The rich South Indian version served in hotels as a side dish for parotta is one of the best I have ever had! Actually, making a hotel-style kurma at home is not that difficult. With just a handful of ingredients and the Instant Pot in hand, making this gravy is actually a breeze.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Vegetable Kurma
Vegetables – I have Used Potato, Peas, Beans, Cauliflower and Carrot.
Onion, Tomato – Important for the base of the gravy.
Spice Paste – This spice paste is ground using some flavourful ingredients. This is where the whole taste comes from. This Masala includes shredded coconut, roasted gram dal, poppy seeds, cashew nuts, yogurt, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, clove. Also, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder is added for spice and flavour. The use of poppy seeds, yogurt and cashew nuts gives a rich taste and consistency to this gravy.
Other Ingredients – Coriander Leaves, Curry Leaves, Bay Leaf, Ghee.
Kurma is a rich gravy filled with vegetables! But it’s also not so heavy on the stomach. In South India, Parotta Kurma is one of the most famous combinations. This rich kurma can also be served with rice, rotis, paratha, mild pulao, dosa or idli! Frozen Parathas are a great option for busy days.
Also, Leftover kurma can be used while preparing Kothu Parotta or Kothu Roti. This is a popular South Indian street side dish!
Why I love this Vegetable Kurma
- Rich, creamy and delicious.
- Flavourful, Nutritious & also Colourful!
- Filled with Vegetables! True Delight for a veggie lover like me.
- Vegetables can be adjusted based on what is available on hand
- Can make the kurma spicy or mild according to your taste
- Ready in under 30 minutes. Perfect for a busy weeknight or lunchbox!
- Instant Pot lets me relax while the whole cooking process is done. No babysitting!
Though vegetables are the hero of this dish, Kurma can also be prepared with just one vegetable. I have made this recipe with just cauliflower & peas. It tastes so good. Along with the above vegetables, you can use the ones you have in hand as well! You can also use Chayote, Turnip, Corn, Bell Peppers, Paneer, Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes or just Soya Chunks in this Kurma.
How to prepare this Vegetable Kurma in Instant Pot?
First, wash & chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Soak cashews in warm water for 10 minutes. Next, take all the ingredients needed for the coconut cashew paste in a mixer jar and make a fine paste. Now, in the inner pot of the Instant Pot, add ghee. Keep Instant Pot on Saute mode. Once hot, add bay leaf & curry leaves. Saute for a minute. Then add onions. Saute the onions. Once cooked, add tomato.
Add vegetables & salt. Saute for a few minutes. Now add the ground paste. Let it cook for a few minutes. Add water. Taste for salt. Close the Instant pot. Turn off the saute mode. Close the lid with the vent in the sealing position. Cook for 4 mins on pressure cook or manual mode. Release pressure immediately. If the gravy is watery and you want to adjust the consistency, keep it on saute mode for a few minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Can I make this Vegetable Kurma in a Stovetop Pressure Cooker?
Yes of course! Vegetable Kurma can be prepared using the Stovetop pressure cooker. The method remains the same. While cooking in the stovetop pressure cooker, cook on a medium flame for 2 whistles.
How to avoid the vegetables from getting too mushy?
The vegetables should be cooked well but not turn mushy. Also, it is a personal preference. Some people like overcooked vegetables while some don’t. I personally like to have well cooked but not mushy vegetables. The following tips can be kept in mind while making Kurma in Instant Pot.
Pressure Cook Time – The time set for pressure cooking determines the way in which Vegetables are cooked.
Chopping of Vegetables – If vegetables are chopped into small pieces, they may get mushy fast. Chop them into bite-sized pieces. Especially cauliflower & Potato.
Water Quantity –More water leads to mushy vegetables. Adjust the water quantity according to your requirements.
Pressure Release – You can either let the pressure release naturally ( vegetables may be overcooked) or release pressure immediately.
Tips & Suggestions
- Make sure to cut the vegetables in small-medium inch cubes.
- Skip ginger garlic for a no ginger garlic version!
- Skip the shredded coconut & use coconut milk for making this Kurma!
- Make a fine paste of spices for best results.
- Oil can be used instead of ghee
- Green chillies can be used instead of red chilli powder.
- This is not a very thick kurma. But, it can be altered to one. Just the cook time & water quantity will differ.
Other Recipes to try
Instant Pot Vegetable Kurma
- Instant Pot
- 1 Carrot small
- 15 Beans
- 1/2 cup Cauliflower Florets
- 1 Potato medium
- 1/4 cup Frozen Peas
For making the coconut paste
- 10 cashewnuts
- 2 tsp roasted gram dal
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 inch ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 clove
- 1 cardamom
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- salt as needed
For the kurma
- curry leaves handful
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato finely chopped
- 1 tsp ghee/oil
- 2 tsp coriander leaves finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- salt as needed
- Soak the cashews in warm water for 15 minutes
- Cut all vegetables needed for kurma and keep them aside. Cut the potato and keep it immersed in water till you cook. This is to prevent the potato from turning black.
- Cut the onions, tomatoes and keep them aside
- Drain the water from the cashews. Add all the ingredients needed to make the coconut paste in a mixie/blender and make a smooth paste. Add little water if needed.
- Now keep the instant pot on saute mode. Add ghee / oil.
- Add bay leaf. Add curry leaves. Once they splutter, add onions.
- Cook till onion becomes transparent. Add tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes become mushy.
- Add the chopped vegetables and a little salt. Saute for few minutes.
- Add the ground paste and let it cook for few mins.
- Add 1&1/2 cups of water. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Close the Instant pot. Turn off the saute mode.
- Close the lid with vent in sealing position.
- Cook for 4 mins on presssure cook or manual mode.
- Release pressure immediately.
- If you want to adjust the consistency, keep it on saute mode for few minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.