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Chettinad Vellai Kurma

 - Submitted by Dahlia on 10th May 2014

(White Vegetarian Kurma, White Kurma)

Vellai Kurma is a famous curry which is part of the Chettinad cuisine. Navaratna Kurma is a variation in which specifically chosen 9 vegetables are added to make the kurma. It is a rich and creamy curry with a mild flavor of spices. It can be commonly seen paired up with tiffin items like chapatti, parotta, idiyappam and appam in restaurants.

Each household has their own variation for making kurma. Here is my recipe for navaratna kurma or chettinad vellai kurma.  The same recipe can be modified to make Kozhi kurma or mutton kurma.

You can make the kurma with any vegetables of your choice. Since we want a creamy white gravy, please avoid vegetables like beetroot, tomato etc which will change the colour of the gravy. We will not be adding turmeric powder and chilly powder also to keep the gravy white. If you are a person who loves colourful gravy, please check out the recipe for Mixed Vegetable Kurma.

Chettinad Vellai Kurma


  • Onion - 1 (chopped)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Coconut Oil (or Ghee) - few drops
  • Corriander Leaves - for garnish (optional)


  • You need a total of about 1.5-2 cups of chopped vegetables. These are the vegetables that I have chosen to make my Navaratna Kurma.
  • Carrot - 1 (cubed)
  • Potato - 1 small (cubed)
  • Beans - 6 (chopped)
  • Peas - 1/4 cup
  • Cauliflower - 5-6 florets (cut into small florets
  • Pumpkin - 1/2 cup (cubed)
  • Capsicum - half
  • Black eye beans (or any other type of beans soaked) - 1/4 cup
  • Knol Khol - 1 small (cubed)

To grind

  • Green Chillies - 6-7
  • Ginger - a small piece
  • Garlic - 6 pods
  • Curd - 1 cup
  • Coconut grated - 5-6 tblsp
  • Cashews (or almonds) - 10 (soaked in water)
  • Roasted gram  or Pottukadalai - 2 tsp (soaked)
  • Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Kas kas - 2 tsp
  • Corriander Powder - 2 tsp
  • White Chilli Powder - 1 tsp (optional)

For Seasoning

  • Oil - 1 tblsp
  • Bay Leaf - 1
  • Cinnamom Stick - 1
  • Cardamom - 1
  • Cloves - 2


  1. Heat oil in a kadai and season with bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
  2. Add the chopped onion and saute till it becomes transparent.
  3. Next add the vegetables one by one according to its cooking time. Add enough water and salt to cook the vegetables. This is how proceed. First I add the soaked beans and let it cook for about 10 minutes. When it starts becoming soft add the potatoes followed by the rest of the vegetables. Cook till all the vegetables are soft. You can also use a pressure cooked but be careful not to over cook.
  4. While the vegetables are getting cooked, grind all the other ingredients under 'For Grinding' to a smooth paste.
  5. Once the vegetables are soft, add this ground masala. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add water and salt as required.
  6. The yogurt will impart the required sourness. If it is not sufficient, add a few drops of lemon juice.
  7. Switch off. Sprinkle some finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish. Drizzle a few drops of coconut oil or ghee for some added flavor.

Yummy!.. Chettinad Vellai Kurma is ready to be served.

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve with tiffin items like chapatti, parotta, idiyappam and appam

Chettinad Vellai Kurma

Other Vegetarian Gravies & Curries

Paruppu Urundai Kulambu Methi Matar Malai Zucchini Curry Lotus Root Pulikulambu
See More...

Other Chettinad Recipes

Chettinad Mushroom Banana Dosai Poondu Vengaya Kulambu Kadalai Kuzhambu
See More...

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