Veg Kolhapuri recipe with step by step photos – this spicy and tasty 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. 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 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 temple.
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.
How to make veg Kolhapuri
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.
Making Kolhapuri masala
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.
Making veg Kolhapuri
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 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 do not come through.
23. Lastly add chopped coriander leaves and give a final stir. You can also garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
24. Serve veg Kolhapuri with soft phulkas or parathas or bhakris. You can also serve this spicy curry with bread and steamed rice.
More Veg curry recipes
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for kolhapuri masala
- 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds (safed til)
- ½ teaspoon poppy seeds (khus khus)
- 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut
- 4 to 5 whole black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 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 cobra saffron (nagkesar) - optional
- 1 green cardamom
- seeds of 1 black cardamom
- 3 dried red chilies byadgi or bedgi or Kashmiri red chilies
- 1 medium bay leaf (tej patta)
other ingredients for veg kolhapuri
- ½ cup potato sticks or batons or 1 medium size potato
- ¼ cup French beans batons or 8 to 10 French beans
- ⅓ cup chopped cauliflower florets
- ⅓ cup green peas
- ⅓ cup carrot sticks or batons - about 2 small carrots or 1 medium carrot
- ⅓ cup chopped bell pepper about 1 medium green capsicum or red or yellow bell pepper
- 1 medium tomato or ¼ cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 large onion or ½ cup finely chopped onions
- 5 garlic + 1 inch ginger - crushed to paste in a mortar-pestle, about ¾ tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric 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 vegetables into thick strips or batons. Place them in a steamer pan.
- Then steam the vegetables in an electric cooker, steamer or pressure cooker.
- The vegetables have to be completely cooked and yet retain their shape.
- While the vegetables are steaming, gather all the ingredients required for making Kolhapuri masala.
making kolhapuri masala
- Heat a pan on low heat and dry roast the spices - cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, stone flower, mace strands, pinch of nutmeg powder, bay leaf, cobra saffron, red chilies, green cardamoms and black cardamom seeds. Skip stone flower, cobra saffron 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 turns 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 and coconut will release oil while grinding. Make sure to keep scraping the sides of the grinder jar and grind further. If you are finding it difficult to grind, add some water to make a fine paste.
making veg kolhapuri
- Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions.
- Sauté the onions till they turn light golden or golden.
- Add ginger-garlic paste.
- Stir and then add chopped coriander leaves. Stir and sauté till the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic goes away.
- Next, add chopped tomatoes.
- Sauté till the tomatoes soften and you see oil leaving the sides of the pan.
- 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 sauté till the bell pepper is half cooked and yet have a slight crunch. About 5 to 6 minutes on a low heat.
- Add the ground Kolhapuri masala.
- Stir and sauté 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 vegetables.
- Stir and simmer the gravy for about 2 minutes.
- Lastly, add chopped coriander leaves and give a final stir. You can also garnish with the coriander leaves.
- Serve Veg Kolhapuri with soft chapatis, phulkas or parathas. You can also serve this spicy curry with bread and steamed rice.