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