Pattani Kurma| Peas In A South Indian Gravy

Pattani Kurma is a flavourful gravy made using peas, with a South Indian touch to it. It makes for a wonderful accompaniment to flatbread like rotis and pooris, and can also be served alongside ghee rice or plain steamed rice. In today’s post, I’m going to talk with you all about our family recipe for Pattani Kurma.

Pattani Kurma

#CurriesFromTheSouth At Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m sharing this recipe in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The group theme this week is #CurriesFromTheSouth, wherein all of us are sharing gravies from the South of India.

It was Narmadha, the talented author of the food blog Nams Corner. Narmadha’s blog is full of lovely traditional South Indian recipes, interesting bakes and kids’ special foods. Speaking of South Indian gravies, you should definitely check out her Vankaya Pachi Pulusu, a raw tamarind rasam with brinjals from the state of Andhra Pradesh.

How to make Pattani Kurma

Here is how we make it.
To grind:

  1. 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 2 green chillies
  4. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  5. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  6. 6-7 cashewnuts
  7. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (sombu)
  8. 1 teaspoon poppy seeds (gasa gasa)
  9. 1/4 cup fresh coconut pieces

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 cup dry yellow peas
  2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  3. A small piece of cinnamon (pattai)
  4. 1 star anise (lavanga poo)
  5. A small piece of stone flower (kalpasi)
  6. A small piece of mace (jaadipathri)
  7. 2 cloves (krambu or lavangam)
  8. 1 medium-sized bay leaf (birinji elai)
  9. 2 green cardamom (elakkai)
  10. 1 sprig of curry leaves
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  13. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  14. 1 teaspoon sambar powder or to taste
  15. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
  16. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder (optional)
  17. 1/2 cup milk, boiled and cooled (optional)
  18. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


1. Soak the dry peas in enough water for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. When the peas are done soaking, drain out the water from them. Transfer the peas to a wide vessel, and add in enough fresh water to cover them completely. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 6-7 whistles or till the peas are well cooked. Let the pressure come down naturally.

3. In the meantime, make the paste that is required for this dish. Peel the onion and ginger, chop roughly. Peel the garlic cloves. Remove the tops of the green chillies and chop roughly. Chop the tomatoes roughly too. Transfer the chopped onion, ginger, green chillies and tomato to a mixer jar, and add in the peeled garlic cloves. Also add in the cashewnuts, fennel seeds, poppy seeds and fresh coconut pieces. Grind everything together to a smooth paste, without adding any water. Keep aside.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Step 3

4. Now we will start making the Pattani Kurma. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cinnamon, star anise, stone flower, mace, cloves, bay leaf, green cardamom and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a few seconds.

5. Now, reduce the flame to medium. Add in the paste we ground earlier. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till the raw smell of the ingredients is gone. If the paste starts getting too thick, add in a bit of water – you can use the water that you cooked the dried peas in. Once the paste is thoroughly cooked, add salt to taste and turmeric powder. Mix well.

6. At this stage, also add in the cooked dried peas, along with the water they were cooked in. Mix well.

7. Add in the jaggery powder (if using), red chilli powder (if using), sambar powder and garam masala. Mix well. Cover and cook on medium flame for 4-5 minutes or till the water dries off and the gravy gets thicker. Mix in the milk (if using) and simmer for 2 minutes or so. Your Pattani Kurma is ready – garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander and serve hot with rotis, pooris, ghee rice or plain steamed rice.

Top left and right: Steps 4 and 5, Centre left: Step 6, Centre right, bottom left and right: Step 7

The essentials of a good Pattani Kurma

Well-made Pattani Kurma is rich without being overwhelming, neither too watery nor too thick. It is usually mildly spicy and utterly delicious!

The list of ingredients to make Pattani Kurma might seem long, but it isn’t a complicated recipe per se.

Here are some things you need to ensure, to make a finger-lickingly awesome Pattani Kurma.

– You can use fresh green peas or dried yellow or green peas in this gravy. Make sure the peas are well cooked before using them in the gravy.

– Whole spices like fennel seeds, cinnamon, stone flower, cloves, mace, green cardamom and bay leaves are what make kurma kurma. Make sure you use good-quality whole spices. Do not overdo them, though, for they are meant to be used in little quantities only.

– Fresh coconut goes a long way towards making an excellent kurma. The same goes for flavourful sambar powder and garam masala.

– A bit of jaggery and milk make the Pattani Kurma extra special. These are not absolute essentials, but are hugely recommended.

– This recipe necessitates making of a paste, which is then used to make the kurma. Make sure the paste is completely cooked, and that the raw smell of the ingredients is fully gone.

Is this Pattani Kurma vegan and gluten-free?

This is a completely vegetarian recipe. Skip the milk in the recipe above to make it vegan (plant-based). The sambar powder I have used here contains asafoetida (which typically has wheat flour in it), due to which this recipe is not completely gluten-free. Use a gluten-free version of sambar powder if you prefer it that way.

I have used home-made spice blends in this dish. If you are using store-bought versions, please don’t forget to check out the list of ingredients on the package to ensure that they are in line with your dietary requirements.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used dried yellow peas here, which take a longer time to cook as compared to dried green peas. Make sure the peas are completely cooked before using them in the kurma. You may add a pinch of cooking soda to the peas while they pressure-cooking them to ensure that they don’t stay hard.

2. You may use dried green peas in this recipe instead. Soak them the same way, for 8-10 hours or overnight, then pressure cook in fresh water for about 5 whistles.

3. Fresh green peas can also be used in this recipe, in place of the dried yellow peas. In that case, pressure cook them with a little water for about 2 whistles.

4. I have used home-made sambar powder and garam masala here. You may use store-bought versions instead, too.

5. Using the red chilli powder is completely optional. The sambar powder and garam masala I use are moderately spicy, so a bit of red chilli powder is warranted. However, if you feel the heat from the green chillies, sambar powder and garam masala is enough, you may skip the red chilli powder completely.

6. Whole spices like green cardamom, cinnamon, mace, stone flower, cloves and bay leaf are essential to give the Pattani Kurma a beautiful flavour. However, if you don’t have one or two of these whole spices, you may omit them.

7. It is recommended to not use the water in which the dried peas were soaked. So, I use fresh water to pressure cook them.

8. Here, I have added the cooked peas to the pan along with the water they were cooked in. There was about 1 cup of water. You may add the water a little at a time, too. You may add in more fresh water if you feel the gravy is too thick.

9. A mix of coriander powder and red chilli powder can be used in place of the sambar powder.

10. Pottu Kadalai (aka fried gram) can be used in the paste in the above recipe, in place of the Khus Khus (aka gasa gasa or poppy seeds).

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

10 thoughts on “Pattani Kurma| Peas In A South Indian Gravy

  1. Pattani Kurma is bursting with flavours with so many fresh spices being used. Family recipes are such a keeper. Just need some phulka to polish it off. Loved the tips and tricks.


  2. Pattani Kurma looks so creamy and utterly delicious ! With fresh coconut , whole spices and milk going in, I am sure it is a flavorful and aromatic treat.


  3. Pattani kurma looks very creamy and colorful. Can imagine the taste of this kurma, liked the aroma of fennel seeds in it. Loved the way you use jaggery in your recipes. My dad use to prepare very tasty kurma, he too use to add milk in kurma 🙂


  4. Kurma sounds so flavorful and mouthwatering. All the whole spices with fennel seeds, poppy seeds and mildly sweetened with jaggery wow, I can imagine the aroma and heavenly taste. I would love to try it sometime.


  5. Pattani kurma is bursting with full of flavors and looks absolutely scrumptious. Would love to eat with some hot phulkas. Love your touch of using jaggery and now I am intrigued to try next time when I make kurma.


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