Summer Vegetable Kurma

Time30 minutes
YieldsServes 4 to 6
Summer vegetable kurma recipe by Genevieve Ko.
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)
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This southern Indian curry is filled with the warming flavors of chile, curry leaves and mustard seeds but tastes refreshing and light with the combination of steamed vegetables and a coconut-yogurt sauce. (The Northern Indian version is known as korma.) You can prepare the vegetables using a steamer, but the microwave method below will keep your kitchen cool in the summer. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand and steam them until just tender. You can eat this on its own or serve it with rice and legumes or grilled meat.


Combine the coconut with 3 tablespoons water in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then let stand until the coconut is softened.


Meanwhile, toss the carrots with a pinch of salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add enough water to come an inch up the sides (about 1 cup). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a hole in the top. Microwave until the carrots are just starting to soften, about 5 minutes.


Toss the squash with salt, then spread over the carrots. Cover again and microwave just until the squash is starting to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Scatter the beans on top, cover again and microwave until bright green, about 2 minutes. Vent the plastic wrap a little on one side and tip the bowl to drain the water through that hole, then discard the plastic wrap.


While the vegetables cook, stir the yogurt, cayenne and a big pinch of salt into the coconut. Scrape the mixture over the drained vegetables.


Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and chile and cook until the seeds begin popping, about 15 seconds. Add the curry leaves, stir well and remove from the heat. Scrape over the yogurt mixture, then fold everything together. Season to taste with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Curry leaves are available at Indian markets.