Veg Kolhapuri | Restaurant style Veg Kolhapuri at home
Veg Kolhapuri, a fiery and hot vegetable dish is popular on 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.
About Kolhapuri Cuisine
Kolhapur is located in Southern Maharastra. Kolhapuri 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, adding flavor to curries or just have it with a bhakri.
What is Veg Kolhapuri?
By the name, one can easily understand that the dish’s origin is Kolhapur, 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 Kolhapuri. The dish had deep red color, thick gravy, and was aromatic. The first bite brought tears to 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 Kolhapur was surprised to see the dish on the menu, as Veg Kolhapuri is not common on Kolhapur’s restaurant menu. When asked the waiter about the dish, he too was not sure about its origin. But he said, as people in Kolhapur 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 on the multi-cuisine Restaurants and Dhabas menu and is enjoyed by many.
About Veg Kolhapuri recipe
The Veg Kolhapuri recipe may seem the same as mixed veg, but the special masala paste is the differentiator.
Have tried this dish at different restaurants and dhabas. While every restaurant and dhabas has its secret recipe or different cooking process, I noticed one thing. The dish had a creamy texture in a few places and in 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 cashew and muskmelon seeds paste. Both the ingredients add richness, make the gravy creamier, and reduce 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 Kolhapuri paste made with fresh ingredients. This makes the sabji aromatic and flavorful. Next time you have a party at your place or guests, serve this delightful dish and I guarantee you praises.
At fine-dining restaurants, the cream is not added to this dish. But, at home, you can add cream to make the gravy creamier.
About Kolhapuri masala paste
To make this dish, a pre-prep of Kolhapuri paste is made with dry coconut, dry red chilies, poppy seeds, and whole spices. This masala paste gives the dish its Kolhapuri touch.
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 the household, restaurant, and dhaba.
If you do not prefer a spicy dish but want to try the veg kolhapuri 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 Kolhapuri
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.
In restaurants or dhabas, the vegetables are either deep-fried or half-cooked and next tossed in the base gravy.
Make the freshly ground kolhapuri masala paste by roasting the spices. It imparts an aroma and adds flavors.
Kolhapur 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 into coarse or semi-fine powder and use it in any dry vegetable dish.
Use Bangalore tomatoes and not the local variety which is sour in taste. An alternate is store-bought tomato puree.
Ingredients to make Restaurant style Veg Kolhapuri
For Masala paste
Whole spices: cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, poppy seeds (khus khus), coriander seeds, sesame seeds, dry coconut/desiccated coconut, powder, star anise, mace, and dried red chilies.
You can substitute dry coconut with frozen or unsweetened shredded coconut.
For the curry
Oil: any neutral flavor oil.
Base: onion, tomato, and ginger-garlic paste.
Spices: turmeric powder and red chili powder.
Cashews and magaz: The paste adds richness and thickness to the gravy which is a typical restaurant-style preparation.
Mixed vegetables of choice.
Dry Fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi): a key ingredient in the dishes made at restaurants and dhabas.
Other ingredients: dry red chili, cumin, bay leaf, and coriander leaves.
How to make Vegetable Kolhapuri
Kolhapuri masala paste
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the ingredients mentioned under masala paste.
Saute on low flame util aromatic and coconut turns light golden.
Remove to a blender jar, let it cool, and grind to a smooth paste by adding water. Keep it aside.
Vegetable Kolhapuri curry
5. Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot, add bay leaf, dry red chilies, and cumin. Saute for 5 seconds.
6. Add finely chopped onions and saute till light brown color.
7. Add ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder. Saute till the raw smell goes away.
8. Next, add the ground masala paste.
9. Saute till it turns dry and oil is seen on the sides.
10. Meanwhile, grind the tomatoes, cashews, muskmelon seeds, and coriander stems to a smooth puree.
11 &12. Add the puree and saute until moisture reduces and oil separates.
13 & 14. Turn the flame to low. Add chilli powder and salt. Saute for a few seconds.
15 & 16. Add the vegetables and mix well with the base gravy. Saute for 5 minutes.
17 & 18. Add 1.5 cups of water (preferably hot) and mix well.
19. Let the water come to a boil.
20. Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
21. Open the lid and add paneer pieces. Give a good mix and continue to simmer on low flame until oil floats.
22. Lastly, add coriander leaves.
23 & 24. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a small pan. Add green chili, onion and capsicum cubes, kasuri methi. Saute on medium-high flame until the edges char.
25. Add to the curry, and mix well.
26. Cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes or until the is seen on the sides.
Restaurant-style Veg Kolhapuri is ready. Serve hot with bread or rice.
What to serve Vegetable Kolhapuri with?
The dish pairs the best with butter naan, rumali roti, or tandoori roti. At home, you can pair it with chapati, poori, phulka, plain parathas, bhakri made with rice flour, or jowar flour.
As the gravy is made with coconut, you can relish it with basmati rice too.
More restaurant-style recipes
So, without any more delay, here is the Veg Kolhapuri recipe. Give it a try and do not miss sharing your feedback in the comments section.
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Vegetable Kolhapuri recipe Restaurant style
- 1 tspn Oil
- 1 Elaichi (black or green)
- 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
- 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)
- 4-5 tbsp Oil
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 1-2 Dry red chillies
- 1/2 tsp Cumin (jeera)
- 2 medium Onions (finely chopped)
- 1 tbspn Ginger Garlic paste
- 2 medium Tomato (grind to paste)
- 4-6 Cashews (kaju)
- 2-3 tbsp Muskmelon seeds (magaz)
- 2-3 Coriander stems
- 1 tbspn Kashmiri red chilli powder (skip if using whole dry red chilies)
- 1-2 tsp Red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- Corainder leaves to garnish
- 1/2 tbsp Oil
- 1 small Onion (cubed and separated layers)
- 1 small Capsicum (cubed)
- 1 tsp Kasuri methi
Kolhapuri masala paste
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the ingredients mentioned under masala paste.
- Saute on low flame until aromatic and coconut turn light golden.
- Remove to a blender jar, let it cool, and grind to a smooth paste by adding water. Keep it aside.
To Prepare Veg Kolhapuri curry
- Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. When hot, add bay leaf, dry red chilies, and cumin. Saute for 5 seconds.
- Add finely chopped onions and saute till light brown color.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and turmeric powder. Saute till the raw smell goes away.
- Next, add the ground masala paste. Saute till it turns dry and oil is seen on the sides.
- Meanwhile, grind the tomatoes, cashews, muskmelon seeds, and coriander stems to a smooth puree.
- Add the puree and saute until moisture reduces and oil separates.
- Turn the flame to low. Add chili powder and salt. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add the vegetables and mix well with the base gravy. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add 1.5 cups of water (preferably hot) and mix well. Let the water come to a boil.
- Cover the pan and simmer on low flame for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
- Open the lid and add paneer pieces. Give a good mix and continue to simmer on low flame until oil floats.
- Lastly, add coriander leaves.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a small pan. Add green chili, onion and capsicum cubes, kasuri methi. Saute on medium-high flame until the edges char.
- Add to the curry, and mix well.
- Cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes or until the is seen on the sides.
- Restaurant-style Veg Kolhapuri is ready. Serve hot with bread or rice.