Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce

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Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce

Regular readers will know that I like to experiment with various types of Indian cooking. I use different spice mixtures and ingredients, and also enjoy trying dishes from various regions of India. This vegetable korma is a fusion of Northern and Southern cooking styles. Starting with a South Indian dish in mind based on the idea of coconut blended with cumin, I then shifted to ingredients common to North Indian dishes and so made the paste with cashews, coriander and chilies along with the coconut. The dish ended up tempered South Indian style.

I wanted a legume component, so chana dal got incorporated into the korma, and I added some hot dried red chilies because I wanted more heat. This is one of the tastiest kormas I have ever made and a fine way to get your vegetables on the table.

Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce

Serve with rice for a healthy and balanced vegetarian meal.

Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato SauceSpicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on May 18, 2009

Mixed vegetable, coconut and chana dal korma simmered in a spicy tomato sauce

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

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  • 2/3 cup dried chana dal or yellow split peas, soaked in water for at least 3 hours
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • handful of dried curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried grated unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 to 4 dried whole red chilies
  • 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
Tadka (tempering):
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 teapoons split skinned urad dal, rinsed
  • pinch or two of asafetida
  • 2 to 3 dried whole red chilies
  • Begin by making the paste. Soak the coconut in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, and drain. Meanwhile, soak the cashews in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, and drain.

  • While the coconut and cashews are soaking, toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and dried red chilies over medium heat in an unoiled saucepan or skillet for a few minutes until the seeds darken a few shades and become fragrant.

  • Transfer the coconut, cashews, and roasted seeds and dried chilies to a food processor or blender. Add the green chilies and ginger. Process until you have a fairly smooth paste. Add a bit of water if too thick.

  • Make the korma by heating the ghee, butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or until they thicken into a sauce-like consistency.

  • Drain the chana dal or yellow split peas and add to the saucepan. Pour in 2 1/4 cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the chana dal or split peas are just tender. Add the potato, carrots, peas (if fresh), turmeric and cayenne. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. You can add more water to achieve your desired consistency.

  • Now add the paste and the sea salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Add the curry leaves and the peas (if using frozen) a few minutes before the end of the cooking time.

  • To prepare the tadka, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds, urad dal, asafetida and dried red chilies. Stir for 60 seconds or until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the urad dal turns a reddish colour. Immediately pour into the korma, stir, and cover and let sit for 5 minutes to let the flavours blend.

Makes 6 servings

Spicy Vegetable Korma with Chana Dal in a Cashew Coconut Tomato Sauce

If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
Curried Indian Vegetable Soup
Chopped Cabbage with a Crumbly Chana Dal Sauce
Scalloped Potatoes with Coconut Milk and Mushrooms


Parita said...

Thats delicious vegetable korma..love the cashew, tomato and coconut gravy..

Suparna said...

Hi Lisa,
That's a gorgeous looking dish :D
wonderful thought of incorporating chana dal in the korma.... It's a rarity to see coconut and cashew combination ....I can imagine the richness in flavour and aroma of this combined with the spiced masala paste ...hmmmm cooking the veggies n chana dal in this sauce oooooo...lisa my mouth's watering now I better book mark it leave ...lol :)

Núria said...

Hi Lisa!
I never cooked Indian and never went to an Indian restaurant... A virgin in this area :D. But love to see and learn about spices! Great pics!

Want to dive into an Omelet sea?

Parita said...

Hi Lisa..got something very special for you on my blog..pls do visit dear :)

Indhu said...

yummy korma... and I love the addition of chana dhal... make it much healthier :)

Thanks for trying out this dish!

Laavanya said...

That sounds delicious and i've always appreciated the bite and nuttiness from channa dhal :)

Pooja said...

Wow yummy korma! Love the addition of dal with veggies..awesome!

eatme_delicious said...

I've never made anything like this before! It looks and sounds so delicious.

Finla said...

I love kurma, adding the channa is new to me, but really clever.
This looks really yummy delicous.
I can just imagine eating them with rice or acooping up with roties.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Channa dhal with the korma mmm thats new and sounds interesting!!! looks great and definitely healthy too!!!

Ricki said...

This does sound delicious! I'm sure I'd love it--the coconut, the spice--sounds great.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I love the meals that you cook. This is a delicious korma.

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks for the encouragement!

Deepthi Shankar said...

love the addition of cashew & coconut. makes it rich

Unknown said...

hummm interesting mix vegetables with channa dal and coconut flavor looks like a very aromatic kurma yum yum will give a try nice pic.

nath said...

as usuall delish and healthy ;)

christine said...

Hi Lisa,
Just discovered your site, and feel sure I'll be visiting often!
This looks lovely, and sounds tasty. I invariably make a dahl of some sort when I make an Indian inspired meal, but have never combined it like this. I love to get new ideas. Thank you :-)

Gattina Cheung said...

Great try Lisa, and it looks splendid! your creation just combines the best of both worlds!

Anirtak said...

With the coconut rice I made this Korma and it went down very well at my dinner party! Although I left out a couple of chilli's as my New Zealand palate can't cope with too much spice! Cheers.

Amy I. said...

Hello! Just wanted to let you know that a friend and I made this tonight and it was absolutely wonderful. Our first journey into Indian cooking, and certainly not our last! Many thanks!!

Monty said...

This recipe is a masterstroke!! Thank you so much!!