(at top, vegetables await their cooking in coconut milk and ginger/chilies -- the most delectable combination)

When we fist got to India, 3 months ago, we spent about 10 days in Kochi, Kerala. Amidst days of walking, chatting up fishermen, drinking chais, and spice tours, I stumbled onto a cooking demonstration by Jasmine. Dressed in a coral orange sari, gold jewelry and flowers in her hair and a can-do attitude, she was a force. I can still see her, a total goddess, in repose on her royal-blue velvet chaise lounge. I aspire to her color palate, cooking skills and ease in her own skin and sumptuous figure.

For some reason, I noted this recipe in my journal and completely forgot about it . . . But I was craving a light and tangy dinner, after ordering a heavy lunch at the Veg Food Court in the park. This really fit the bill! It's almost a Thai-style coconut soup in consistency and bright flavor, but it has that mellow Kerala Coconutty vibe too. The state of Kerala relies heavily on the coconut for food and other goods -- in Goa, where we are now, they still love their coconut (different, bigger variety of the rich fruit) but they usually use it just for fish curries -- and we're just not about the fish curry.

The Kerala veg curry was perfect with plain rice and will be even better tomorrow, after a night in the fridge of flavor-melding.

Cheers to Jasmine-- the coconut queen!

Kerala Veg Curry
(serves 4 - 6 as a main dish)

3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cups green beans (about 1 pound), cut in half
5 large carrots, cut in half and then in 1/2 inch strips
1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
4 small onions, roughly chopped
2 inch nub of ginger, minced
5 large garlic cloves, minced
8 green chilies, top stem removed -- but leave chilies whole (the seeds can really burn in you start to cut into them and you are using the intact chili for flavor, not heat)
10 cardamon pods, pounded with a knife to open them slightly
3 cinnamon sticks, broken into a few pieces
1/2 tsp turmeric (for color)
1 1/2 cans coconut milk
1/2 can water
juice of 2 limes
2 tsps salt

for garnish:
extra lime wedges

In a large pot, heat oil on medium. Add onion, chilies (leaving them whole!), cinnamon, cardamon and salt and saute until onions become slightly translucent. Add remaining ingredients and cover. Cook on high heat about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove lid and let curry cook down for another 2 - 3 minutes. Serve with rice and lime wedges for all. The dish is even better the next day.


  1. Yum...I am definitely going to try this recipe!!
    Sounds delectable.

    I am always wanting to make amazing curries, but they never seem to add up to my expectations. I am certain this recipe will help me perfect my curry making abilities!!

    Thank you Leela

  2. 3 Researches REVEAL How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you literally burn fat by eating Coconut Fats (also coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medical journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!