Veg Kholapuri recipe- Restaurant style at home
Veg Kholapuri is a popular Indian veg dish in all North Indian restaurant menus. It is a mixed vegetable that has thick gravy made with onions, tomatoes, and a special coconut-based paste. Many whole spices are used to make this dish, which makes the dish spicy but extremely flavorful.
While in a restaurant or dhaba, the dish can be enjoyed with any flatbread (Tandoori roti, Butter Naan, Rumali Roti) or jeera rice. At home, you can pair it with phulka, roti, plain parathas, jowar bhakri, or vegetable pulao. Aso, do check the easier version of the restaurant-style Matar Paneer recipe.
About Kholapuri Cuisine
Kholapur is located in Southern Maharastra. Kholapuri cuisine is known to use many, dry red chilies (Lavangi mirchi), dry spices, and coconut in their food. The combination makes any dish spicy hot, aromatic, blast of flavors and adds an authentic touch to Maharashtra cuisine.
This spice mix is called “Kanda Lasun Masala” and is commonly seen in every house. The spice mix is made in huge quantities. It is used for various purposes, add flavor to curries or just have with a bhakri.
About Veg Kholapuri
By the name, one can easily understand that the dish origin is Kholapur, right? But it’s not. Let me tell you how I came to know about it.
The first time I had this dish was while studying in Pune. Had visited a Dhaba along with friends. Among the group, the majority wanted to eat something spicy. When asked for a suggestion, the waiter suggested Veg Kholapuri. The dish had deep red color, thick gravy, and aromatic. The first bite brought tears in my eyes and smoke from my ears, my mouth was set on fire but it felt good. Each bite was an explosion of flavors.
A friend from Kholapur was surprised to see the dish on the menu, as Veg Kholapuri is not common in Kholapur’s restaurant menu. When asked the waiter about the dish, he too was not sure about its origin. But he said, as people in Kholapur eat spicy food, this dish may be named so.
It reminds me of the famous quote, What’s in the name? This dish is featured in the Restaurants and Dhabas menu and enjoyed by many.
About this recipe
Have tried this dish at different restaurants and dhabas. While every restaurant and dhabas have their secret recipe or different cooking process, I noticed one thing. The dish had a creamy texture at few places and at other places it was not.
This gravy dish is different from the onion-tomato Indian curries. So unlike Paneer Butter masala, Veg Kadhai, Veg Shahi Korma, cashews, and cream are not mandatory in this dish. In today’s recipe, I have used cream and cashew paste. Both the ingredients add richness, make the gravy creamier, and reduces the spiciness of the dish.
In today’s recipe, I am making fresh kolhapuri masala by roasting some spices and dry coconut in little oil. Next, grind to smooth paste.
The best thing about this dish is the special Kholapuri paste made with fresh ingredients. This makes the dish aromatic and flavorful. Next time you have a party at your place or guests, serve this delightful dish and I guarantee you praises.
Ingredients to make Kholapuri paste
To make this dish, a pre-prep of Kholapuri paste is made with dry coconut, dry red chilies, poppy seeds, and whole spices.
The main ingredients are dried coconut, dry red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin, and poppy seeds. There are other whole spices that are added but that depends on household, restaurant, and dhaba.
If you do not prefer a spicy dish but want to try the recipe, you cant adjust the spice level accordingly. Give it a try once and it will surely me family’s new favorite.
Vegetables in Veg Kholapuri
Common vegetables used in restaurants are Carrot, Cauliflower, French Beans, Potato, Green Peas, and Paneer. At home, you can add capsicum, sweet corn, baby corn, broccoli, mushrooms. The vegetables are either deep-fried or half-cooked and next tossed in the base gravy.
Kholapur region uses Lavangi chilies which are spicy. If it’s not available in your area, you can replace it with bydagi chilies or kashmiri chilies or kashmiri chili powder.
Vegetables deep-fried or boiled should be cooked till nearly done but each of them should hold its shape. If cooked till done, vegetables will turn mushy when cooked in the gravy.
The dry spices along with coconut should be roasted on low-medium flame.
The dry coconut should be roasted till it turns a golden color.
Allow the roasted spices to cool completely before grinding.
For this recipe, the spice mix is ground to smooth paste. You can grind it coarse or semi-fine powder and use it in any dry vegetable dish.
Use Bangalore tomatoes and not local variety which is sour in taste. An alternate is store-bought tomato puree.
So, without any more delay, here is the recipe. Give it a try and do not miss sharing your feedback in the comments section.
Vegetable Kholapuri | Restaurant style
- 1 tbspn Oil
- 1 Big Elaichi
- 1 Star Phool/Anise
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick/Dalchini
- 6-8 Cloves/Laung
- 4-6 Black peppercons/Kali mirch
- 1/2 tbspn Cumin seeds/Jeera
- 1/4 cup Dry coconut grated
- 1 tbspn Coriander seeds/Akha Dhaniya
- 1 tspn Poppy seeds/Khas Khas optional
- 1 tspn Sesame seeds/Till optional
- 7 Cashews
- 5-7 Byadgi red chillies or Kashmiri red chillies optional
- 1/2 cup French beans
- 1/2 cup Carrot
- 1/2 cup Cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup Paneer cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup Green peas fresh or frozen
- 3 tbspn Oil
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 2 Dry red chillies
- 2 medium Onions finely chopped
- 1 tbspn Ginger Garlic paste
- 2 medium Tomato finely chopped or grind to paste
- 2 tbspn Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Kasuri methi
- 2 tbspn Cream
- Salt to taste
- Corainder leaves to garnish
Pre-cook the vegetables
- Heat water in a vessel. When it starts to boil, add diced vegetables to the boiling water.Add a pinch of salt and sugar. It enhances the taste of vegetables.Do not over cook, they should be firm but cooked.Drain the water and reserve it for later use.Can soak the paneer pieces in the reserved water.
Kholapuri masala paste
- Heat oil in a pan and add the ingredients mentioned under Masala paste. Saute till coconut turns golden.Remove in a plate, let it cool and grind to a smooth paste by adding water.
Prepare Veg Kholapuri
- Heat oil in pan. When hot, add bay leaf and dry red chillies. Saute for 5seconds
- Add finely chopped onions and saute till light brown color.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes away.
- Next, add chopped tomato/puree and cook till it turns mushy and oil is seen on the sides.
- Turn the flame to low and add kashmiri chilli powder, kasuri methi, salt and give a good mix.
- Add 1/4 cup reserve water and on medium flame cook the masala well.
- Add kholapuri masala paste and mix well. Add 1 and 1/2 cup water and mix.
- Now, add the pre-cooked vegetables and paneer pieces.
- Saute for a minute till masala is aborbed by the vegetables.
- Add cream and give a gentle mix
- Lastly, add coriander leaves.
- Veg Kholapuri is ready to serve.