Tuesday 12 October 2010

South Indian Vegetable Curry

This year has been a bit up and down for me health-wise, and so all things health have been on my mind of late. It will all be fine, but it's been a little emotionally and physically exhausting at times... In the spirit of good health I bookmarked this recipe in this month's Cookbook of the Month, 'Kitchen' by Nigella Lawson. It is a great way to pack loads of vegetables into a delicious curry.

Indian cuisines features regularly in the Ladybird household for two key reasons. First, Mr Ladybird and I both love indian vegetarian cuisine and all of its glorious diversity and, secondly, Mr Ladybird is Indian-Australian so indian food is close to his heart.

For me, dry roasting spices (cumin and coriander in this case) in a pan and then grinding them in the mortar and pestle is well worth the effort. It tastes so much better than packaged ground spices!

South Indian Vegetable Curry (serves 6)
Recipe adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson - items in italics are either new additions, or ingredients where the original quantity has been altered.

2 x 15ml tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, peeled, halved and cut into half moons
1 large garlic clove, chopped
sea salt flakes
1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
2cm chunk fresh ginger, peeled and cut into fine strips
1/4 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
good pinch mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
600ml vegetable stock
approx 2 teaspoons raw sugar
1 x 15ml tablespoon tamarind paste
350g cauliflower, broken into florets
100g fine beans, trimmed and halved
125g baby corn, halved
150g sugar snap peas
2 x 15ml tablespoons chopped coriander


1. Heat the oil in a thick-bottom casserole or large saucepan and add the mustard seeds. Once they have almost finished popping, immediately add the sliced onion and garlic sprinkled with some sea salt and fry until it begins to soften, then add the chopped fresh chilli and ginger strips and stir every now and again while cooking for a minute.

2. Now add the crushed chilli flakes, the turmeric, and ground cumin, coriander and ginger. Stir well and cook for another minute or so before pouring in the coconut milk, stock ,sugar and tamarind paste. Stir to combine.

3. Bring to the boil, add the cauliflower florets and baby corn first and cook for 10 minutes, then add the other vegetables. Check the vegetables after about 5 minutes or so to see if they are almost done, letting them cook for longer if they need it.

4. Once the vegetables are tender season well to taste with salt (and sugar if needed). Sprinkle with the fresh coriander, in a bowl on top of some basmati rice or with some warmed Indian flatbread on the side for dunking.

The Verdict
I tweaked this recipe quite a bit because I felt that it needed a bit more 'oomph'... not that it wouldn't have been nice otherwise, but because I personally found it slightly insipid without the extras. Everyone's palate is different though...

Till next time...

Ladybird x


  1. I havent have had curry in too long! THis looks delicious, especially with the baby corn.


  2. Mmmm..this looks delicious!! Indian food doesn't make its way onto our dinner table that much because my parent's aren't too fond of it. Nevertheless I occasionally cook some curries after reading about them on blogs- especially since I buy a whole heaps of spices everytime I make one, so I might as well make more to use them up! haha....This looks really yummy though- my family might just like this one! Although it might mean I'll have to buy...more spices!!

  3. Roasting and grinding my own spices is something I must do more often. Love a vegetable curry, and yes, the more oomph the better!

  4. look delicious. I would love to cook this my dinner but I don't think my toddler is ready for spices yet. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I haven't made a good curry (well, any curry) for ages, my kitchen has lost that spicy smell! Totally agree that roasting them yourself cannot be beaten. This looks delicious, and good on you for oomphing it up. I like my curries to bite me back.

  6. i love a vegetable filled dinner...even tho it is a bit of work (washing, chopping, spice grinding hehe).
    yea eating healthy is the way to go ;)

  7. I am always on the look out for delicious curries to feed my husband. Thanks for sharing this one. It looks fab!
    *kisses* HH

  8. Sorry to hear about your health problems! I hope that things get better for you. The vegetable curry sounds delicious.

  9. Definitely a yummy curry! I absolutely love the little tartness added by the tamarind! And of course, great fan of our mustard seeds friend!! ;-)
    Sending positive thoughts for your health.

  10. I find that with a lot of Indian recipes for Western palettes, you have to add more oomph...I'm sure your version of this curry was delicious. It looks really lovely and fresh.

  11. I'm sorry to hear you've had health problems, and I hope you will feel better soon! This curry sounds delicious, I really have to start experimenting with those Nigella recipes myself!


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