South Indian coconut curry

by - 11.5.16

This is one my favorite things to make and the photo and recipes above are from the beautiful website Lazy Cat Kitten, one of my favorite blogs.

serves: 4 preparation time: 30 min cooking time: 30 min

So here is my version of this delicious meal. enjoy!


For the curry paste, you need ...

  • 1 inch / 2.5 cm cinnamon bark: get a nice dark one, not those faded old poor looking barks that have been sitting around for so long begging for someone to use them but everyone skips them and goes for the powder! Oh lazy people make cinnamon barks not taste quite good when they sit around for so long :)
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds: the quite underestimated seeds of the spice world. Chia and flax are the celebrities of seeds these days and don't even have a taste! Try these beauties, they are so delish you will use them for everything. I think of them as the "sexy seeds" :)
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds: the exotic seeds that a lot of people know but few dare to buy! They remind us for every county but the US! So we think they are exotic, well don't be shy, just try them out and you will be exotic too
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds: the mysterious seeds. Not many know what they look like or even what they taste like. Try to be adventurous in this recipe and learn something new. Go to the store and look for these seeds 
  • 3-5 dry chillies: we are not going to discriminate here, any chilies pepper that suits your fancy are welcome for this recipe!
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 green cardamon pods
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 large tomato, skinned and diced
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 aubergine, cut into slices and then quarters
  • ¾ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup / 160 g cooked chickpeas (½ cup dry)
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • chopped coriander, to serve


Heat up a dry pan or skillet. Put all the paste spices in and gently dry roast them until fragrant. Remove from heat, set aside.

In the same pan, gently roast grated coconut until it turns golden – be sure to stir it often as it burns quickly.

In a pestle and mortar* (or a spice grinder if you have one) pound all the curry paste spices until you get a powder. Add in roasted coconut and pound some more. Add ½ cup / 120 ml water to make it into a paste. Set aside.

making spice paste

Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and gently fry mustard seeds until they start crackling.
Add in finely diced onion and fry until translucent.

Add in grated ginger and pressed garlic and fry them off gently stirring the whole time. Fry until raw garlic smell goes away.

Add finely chopped tomato, turmeric, bay leaf and fry for a few minutes until the tomato flesh disintegrates.

Add in curry paste, fry it gently until the oil starts leaving the sides of the paste.
Add in 1 cup / 240 ml water and aubergine pieces. Put the lid on, cook aubergine in the curry broth until it is soft (about 10 mins).

Add in coconut milk and cooked chickpeas to warm them through. Season with salt and lime juice. Let the sauce simmer gently so that it thickens a bit.

Serve with cooked rice and/or some vegan naan bread.


This recipe is based on a recipe for South Indian Chana Masala from this fabulous blog
*If you don’t have a spice grinder, an old-fashioned pestle and mortar works very well too. One obvious difference is that with a spice grinder your paste will be finer. If you use pestle and mortar there will be a few stubborn bits that will be too hard to turn into power (bits of tough chilli skins and cardamon skins). Simply discard them before adding in roasted coconut and water.

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