veg kolhapuri recipe with step by step photos – this spicy mixed vegetable based dish has its origin in kolhapur, a historical city in south maharashtra. kolhapuri cuisine is known for its hot, spicy and pungent flavors. however, not all the food from the kolhapuri cuisine is spicy & robust.
i have been to kolhapur many times and have got the opportunity to savor the authentic vegetarian kolhapuri cuisine. from the spicy vada pav on the roadside to chili pitla (spicy gram flour based dish) and the famous & fiery kolhapuri misal (sprouted moth beans curry). we have also had kolhapuri dal and it was a spicy dal. one of the best lentil dishes, i had there was whole masoor (called as aakha masoor). on occasions we even had kolhapuri thalis there.
last time, on a visit there, i got the kolhapuri kanda lasun masala (onion-garlic masala). this spice blend is so good that it simply perks up the flavor of the recipe in which it is added. i have added it many times to vegetables and dal (lentils) dishes.
in kolhapur, i never came across vegetable kolhapuri. at least in the restaurants and hotels we stayed and went, there was never a mention of this particular dish. though, i have seen veg kolhapuri mentioned in the menu of north indian restaurants.
this recipe of veg kolhapuri is inspired from one of the hot dishes from the kolhapuri cuisine – tambda rassa. tambda means ‘red’ and rassa means ‘thin curry or gravy’. tambda rassa is actually a non vegetarian dish which make use of the bold and fiery kolhapuri masala. one of the ingredients of the authentic kolhapuri masala is red chili powder made from lavangi chilies. these chilies are small, but very hot.
for this veg kolhapuri recipe, i have toned down the fieriness by not using lavangi mirchi. instead i have added byadagi chilies, which give a deep color and are low in heat. you can also add kashmiri red chilies. so depending on the type of red chili added, you can increase or decrease the elements of heat and pungency in this dish.
the kolhapuri masala is freshly made for the curry. so you don’t need to have ready made store bought kolhapuri masala. though, if you have it, i have mentioned the amount in the notes section of recipe details, towards the end of the post. for the kolhapuri masala, i referred to some of the cookbooks, which i got from kolhapur.
add any veggies of your choice. vegetable kolhapuri is best served with chapatis, bajra bhakri or jowar bhakri, phulkas and even parathas. we even had it with bread. the recipe is spicy and has some heat which most indians can tolerate. but if you do not prefer spicy food, then cut down on the dry red chilies, garlic and ginger. you can also check this paneer kolhapuri recipe which is adapted from this recipe and also not made very spicy.
on a side note, whenever you visit kolhapur, do make a point to visit the most revered mahalakshmi temple, which is one of the shaktipeethas in maharashtra. you can also visit siddhagiri or kaneri math, kopeshwar (lord shiva temple), narsobawadi (lord dattatreya temple on the confluence of rivers krishna & panchganga), jyotiba temple and rankala lake. we visited all except kopeshwar.
please note that some of the pics are taken in tungsten lighting in the kitchen. hence you will see a yellow hue on some pics.
veg kolhapuri recipe below:
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds (safed til)
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus)
- 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut (nariyal ka boora)
- 4 to 5 whole black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
- 2 cloves (lavang)
- 2 single strands of mace (javitri)
- 4 to 5 fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- 1 pinch grated nutmeg (jaiphal)
- 1 small stone flower (patthar phool or dagad phool) - optional
- 1 nagkesar (cobra's saffron) - optional
- 1 green cardamom (hari elaichi)
- seeds of 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
- 3 byadagi or bedgi red chilies or kashmiri red chilies
- 1 medium tej patta (indian bay leaf)
- ½ cup potato sticks or batons Or 1 medium sized potato (aloo)
- ¼ cup french beans batons Or 8 to 10 french beans
- ⅓ cup chopped cauliflower florets (gobi)
- ⅓ cup green peas (matar)
- ⅓ cup carrot sticks or batons - about 2 small carrots Or 1 medium carrot (gajar)
- ⅓ cup sliced bell pepper (shimla mirch or capsicim) - about 1 medium bell pepper (green or yellow or red)
- 1 medium tomato Or ¼ cup finely chopped tomatoes (tamatar)
- 1 large onion Or ½ cup finely chopped onions (pyaaz)
- 5 garlic + 1 inch ginger - crushed to paste in a mortar-pestle, about ¾ tablespoon ginger garlic paste (adrak lahsun ka paste)
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania ke patte)
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (lal mirch powder)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi powder)
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 to 1.25 cups water Or about 250 ml to 275 ml water
- 2 to 2.5 tablespoon oil
- some coriander leaves for garnishing
- salt as required
- first rinse, peel and cut the veggies in thick strips or batons. place them in a steamer pan.
- then steam the vegetables in an electric cooker, steamer or pressure cooker.
- the veggies have to be completely cooked and yet retain their shape.
- when the veggies are steaming, gather all the ingredients required for making kolhapuri masala.
- heat a pan and on a low flame dry roast the spices - cinnamon, cloves, black peppers, coriander, cumin, stone flower, pinch of nutmeg powder, tej patta, nagkesar (cobra's saffron), red chilies, green cardamoms and black cardamom seeds. skip stone flower, nagkesar and poppy seeds, if you don't have these.
- once the spices become fragrant, then add poppy seeds, sesame seeds and desiccated coconut.
- stir continuously and dry roast till the desiccated coconut gets golden.
- once the spice mixture cools, then take them in a dry grinder or coffee grinder.
- grind to a fine powder. a slight semi fine powder is also fine. the sesame seeds & coconut will release oil while grinding. so you have to scrape the sides of the masala and grind. if difficult to grind, then add some water and make a fine paste.
- heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions.
- saute the onions till they are light golden or golden.
- add ginger and garlic paste.
- stir and then add chopped coriander leaves. stir and saute till the raw aroma of the ginger garlic goes away.
- next add chopped tomatoes.
- saute till the tomatoes soften and you see oil leaving the sides.
- add turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida.
- stir and then add chopped bell pepper/capsicum. you can also skip capsicum if you prefer.
- stir and saute till the capsicum is half cooked and yet having a slight crunch. about 5 to 6 minutes on a low flame.
- add the ground kolhapuri masala.
- stir and saute for some seconds.
- then add water. season with salt.
- bring the curry to a simmer.
- when you see some oil floating on top, add the steamed veggies.
stir and simmer veg kolhapuri gravy for about 2 minutes.
- lastly add chopped coriander leaves and give a final stir. you can also garnish veg kolhapuri with the coriander leaves.
- serve veg kolhapuri with soft chapatis, phulkas or parathas. you can also serve this spicy veg curry with bread and steamed rice.
if you have ready kolhapuri kanda lasun masala or just the kolhapuri masala, then add about 2 to 2.5 tbsp of it.
lets start step by step veg kolhapuri recipe:
1. first rinse, peel and cut the veggies in thick strips or batons. place them in a steamer pan.
2. then steam the veggies in an electric cooker, steamer or pressure cooker.
3. the veggies have to be completely cooked and yet retain their shape.
4. when the veggies are steaming, gather all the ingredients required for making kolhapuri masala. listed below all the ingredients for pictorial purpose only. please note if you don’t have stone flower (patthar phool) and cobra’s saffron (nagkesar) then its fine. you can also skip poppy seeds (khus khus) as its not available in some countries.
5. heat a pan and dry roast the spices first – cinnamon, cloves, black peppers, coriander, cumin, stone flower, tej patta, nagkesar (cobra’s saffron), red chilies, nutmeg powder, green cardamoms and black cardamom seeds.
6. once the spices become fragrant, then add poppy seeds, sesame seeds and desiccated coconut.
7. stir continuously and dry roast till the coconut gets golden.
8. once the spices mixture cools, then take them in a dry grinder or coffee grinder.
9. grind to a fine powder. a slight semi fine powder is also fine. the sesame seeds & coconut will release oil while grinding. so you have to scrape the sides of the masala and grind. if difficult to grind, then add some water and make a fine paste.
10. heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions.
11. saute the onions till they are light golden or golden.
12. add ginger and garlic paste.
13. stir and then add chopped coriander leaves. stir and saute till the raw aroma of the ginger garlic goes away.
14. next add chopped tomatoes. saute till the tomatoes soften and you see oil leaving the sides.
15. add turmeric powder, red chili powder and asafoetida.
16. stir and then add chopped bell pepper/caspiscum. you can also skip capsicum if you prefer.
17. stir and saute till the capsicum is about cooked and yet having a slight crunch.
18. add the ground kolhapuri masala.
19. stir and then add water. season with salt.
20. bring the curry to a simmer.
21. when you see some oil floating on top, add the steamed veggies.
22. stir and simmer for two minutes. the consistency of the veg kolhapuri curry is slightly thin. check the taste and add more salt if required. if there is less salt, the flavor and taste of the spices does not come through.
23. lastly add chopped coriander leaves and give a final stir. you can also garnish vegetable kolhapuri with the chopped coriander leaves.