Kerala-Style Mixed Vegetables

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is the signature dish of the Nairs of Kerala. It is both a popular home-style dish and one served at weddings.

Coconut oil is available in Indian markets. If unavailable, use any oil you prefer.

Serves6 to 8

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Taste and Texturerich, savory, spiced, sweet, tangy

Type of Dishvegetable


  • 1 cup (250 mL) plain nonfat yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL) cornstarch
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) grated coconut, preferably fresh (or frozen, thawed, or dry unsweetened coconut powder)
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) minced green chiles, preferably serranos
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
  • 1 green plantain
  • 1 chayote squash (mirliton) or 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2-by ¼-inch (5 by 0.5 cm) batons
  • 10 green beans, preferably slender, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths
  • 1¼ tsp (6 mL) salt or to taste
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) turmeric
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) coconut oil (see Notes)
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves, stripped (12 to 15 leaves)


Stir yogurt and cornstarch together until creamy. Set aside.

In a blender, combine coconut, chiles, cumin seeds and ¼ cup (50 mL) of the yogurt mixture. Grind coarsely. Set aside.

Cut plantain, unpeeled, into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) thick disks. Cut each disk into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) strips, so that there is some skin on each piece.

Place plantains in a saucepan. Top with layers of chayote, carrots and green beans. Stir salt and turmeric into 1½ cups (375 mL) water. Pour over vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are half-cooked, 5 to 8 minutes.

Stir remaining yogurt and coconut mixture into vegetables and simmer until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. The sauce should be fairly thick.

Remove from heat. Stir in coconut oil and curry leaves. Serve over steamed rice.



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