Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe

Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe, a Tamil Nadu hotel style vegetable curry served with parotta, chapati, idiyappam, dosa, or puri

saravana bhavan kurma recipe
saravana bhavan kurma

“Veg kurma”, the very mention of the word conjures up warm memories of delicious aromas emanating from my aunt’s kitchen. Those special dishes she cooked to celebrate special occasions remain etched in my heart and soul. One such vegetarian fare of her’s is the popular Tamil Nadu Hotel Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe. I have diligently copied one of the best kurma recipes in my handwritten treasured recipe notebook. During her stay at Tirupati, she employed a Tamil speaking maid whose husband was a cook at Hotel Saravana Bhavan kitchen.

Hotel Saravana Bhavan is a very popular restaurant in Tamil Nadu. In fact, there is a chain of Saravana Bhavan restaurants both in Tamil Nadu, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, a couple of other cities and abroad. I have been visiting their outlets for a couple of years now since I am fond of quite a few of the Saravana Bhavan menu items. I have visited their outlets in different cities during our road trips and temple tours. Honestly, I must admit that the authentic flavors of Tamil Nadu cuisine maintained by them has dropped down in recent times. Only one or two outlets served the best quality vegetarian fare.

My aunt learnt a few Hotel Saravana Bhavan recipes from the restaurant cook. She collected quite a few hotel style recipes and traditional regional recipes. She prepares a variety of kurma recipes, like idiyappam kurma, parotta kurma, the simple potato kurma, tomato kurma, chapati kurma and vegetable kurma for rice. Each has a special flavor of its own. I try my best to replicate the authentic flavors of my aunt’s kitchen. I reminisce those precious nostalgic moments while working in the kitchen. The homemade flavor of this South Indian mixed vegetable kurma recipe is very very close to the hotel style kurma.

saravana bhavan veg kurma recipe
saravana bhavan veg kurma

The secret of Hotel Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe that gives it an irresistible flavor and aroma

Saravana Bhavan kurma is so much more than just another kurma. This dish appears almost like your everyday kurma but with a difference. It is the addition of dried bay leaf, few fresh mint leaves, along with a unique spice in the tempering which gives kurma its irresistible aroma and deep flavor. This spice is the black stone flower (a species of lichen). It goes by the name kalpasi in Tamil, dagad ka phool or pathar ka phool in Hindi and kallupachi in Telugu. In fact, it is an essential ingredient in the Maharashtrian Goda masala preparation. It’s like a very light dried paper like spice that can be torn before adding it to the oil. It releases a strong aroma when tempered and gives the mixed vegetable kurma an addictive flavor. You will find this spice in most grocery stores.

kalpasi – black stone flower (a species of lichen)

Key steps to follow for a delicious hotel style kurma

You should partially steam cook the chopped mixed vegetables while the cauliflower florets should be blanched for a few minutes in salted boiling water.

The ingredients which give body and flavor to the kurma are fresh coconut, green chilies, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, cashew nuts and fried gram dal. They have to be ground to the fine paste by adding a little water. The cashew nuts add a rich flavor as well as lend body to this veg kurma restaurant style. Usually, cashew nuts tend to be the go-to for creamy gravies though fried gram dal or khuskhus seeds are equally effective.

Finally, you should add a spoonful of beaten curd or lemon juice at the end which brings sharpness to veg kurma flavors. This is an important key step to follow for Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe. So, do not skip the step. Vegans can use lemon juice.

saravana bhavan vegetable kurma recipe
saravana bhavan vegetable kurma – a perfect side for parotta

You can serve Saravana Bhavan kurma with idiyappam, chapati, parotta, dosa, and puri. It is a versatile vegetable kurma for rice too or and any flavored rice. I served it with vegetable pulao and it made for an outstanding combination. I urge you to give the awesome vegetable kurma recipe a try. Your family will give rave reviews for sure.

Learn how to make Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe

Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 5

 Main Ingredients:

  •  carrots
  •   potatoes
  •   beans
  •   green peas
  •   coconut


  •   Potato - 1, large, peeled and cubed
  •   Carrot - 1, large, peeled and cubed
  •   Beans - 8-10, stringed and cut into 1" pieces
  •   Cauliflower florets - 3/4 cup
  •   Fresh green peas - 1/4 cup
  •   Onion - 1, large, peeled and chopped
  •   Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  •   Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  •   Tomatoes - 2, medium sized, chopped
  •   Red chili powder - 3/4 tsp
  •   Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  •   Kasuri methi – 1/2 Tsp
  •   Kalpasi - 1" piece
  •   Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  •   Bay leaf - 1
  •   Star anise - 1
  •   Mint leaves - 6-7
  •   Salt as required
  •   Lemon juice - 1 tbsp or beaten curd
  •   Oil – 2 1/2 tbsps
  •   To grind to a paste adding 2 tbsps water:
  •   Green chilies - 3
  •   Grated coconut - 1/3 cup
  •   Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
  •   Fried gram dal - 1/2 tbsp
  •   Cardamom - 1
  •   Cinnamon - 1 inch
  •   Cloves - 3
  •   Cashew nuts - 4-5

Method for making Saravana Bhavan kurma recipe

Place chopped carrots, potatoes, beans and green peas in a pressure cooker. Add a cup of water, pinch of turmeric powder and 1/4 tsp salt and pressure cook up to two whistles. The vegetables should be partially cooked,
Boil 1 1/2 cups of water in a vessel and add 1/4 tsp salt. Add the cauliflower florets and cook partially, Drain the water and set aside.
Heat the cooking oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, star anise, bay leaf, black stone flower (kalpasi) and allow to sizzle for a few seconds.
Add the chopped onions and saute for 5 to 6 mins on medium flame. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for another 4 mins.
Add the curry leaves and mint leaves and saute for a min.
Add the turmeric powder and red chili powder and mix. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on medium flame for 7-8 mins.
Add the ground coconut paste and salt to taste. Cook on medium flame, mixing once in a while, for 5 mins.
Finally, add the partially cooked vegetables along with the leftover water and the drained cauliflower. Mix to combine.
Cook for 3 mins on low to medium flame. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Add kasuri methi, mix. Place lid, reduce flame and allow to simmer till the gravy thickens and a nice aroma emanates the kitchen.
Add the lemon juice and mix. Turn off flame and remove to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
You can serve Sarvana Bhavan vegetable kurma with idiyappam, parotta, roti, pulka, chapati or dosa.


  •   You can use a tbsp of beaten curd/yogurt instead of lemon juice.
  •   Use at least three of the mixed vegetables. If you do not have green peas on hand, omit it. Or you could use dried green peas which need pre-soaking for a couple of hours.
  •   If you do not have Kasuri methi on hand, you can omit it.
  •   Adjust the green chilies to suit your taste. I have used a variety of green chilies that are of moderate heat. If using an intensely hot chili, I'd suggest you use only one and use 1/2 tsp red chili powder instead of 3/4 tsp.


Saravana bhavan kurma recipe, a tasty Tamil style vegetable kurma served with parotta, idiyappam, chapati & puri.Hotel Saravana Bhavan recipes at their best