Vegetable makhanawala

I remember this lovely rich vegetable curry from years ago in Goa on the menu of the Reef restaurant at the Ronil beach resort in Baga. I always love to eat it, and I am just as interested in the pronunciation of makhanawala – I just find it a very pleasing name. I think it means ‘with lots of butter and cream’. I’ve made this with potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, peas and have kept all the vegetables except the potatoes slightly al dente, a happy contrast to the spicy, buttery tomato sauce.

Ingredients for Vegetable makhanawala

Serves 4-6

- 800g mixed vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower and peas, chopped into 4–5cm pieces

For the curry sauce

- 50g ghee
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 25g/5 cloves garlic, finely crushed
- 25g/5cm ginger, finely grated
- 400g tomato passata
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp Garam masala
- 1 tsp desiccated coconut
- 1½ tsp salt
- 25g cashew nuts
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 75ml natural yogurt
- 4 tbsp double cream
- Handful of chopped coriander leaves, to finish

How to make vegetable makhanawala curry

1) Cook the potatoes and carrots separately in boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until just tender, then drain.

2) For the sauce (also available in a jar from our deli in Padstow), heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until softened and golden, then stir in the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato passata and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add all the spices, coconut, salt and 100ml water, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

3) In a mini food processor, or using a pestle and mortar, blend the cashew nuts to a paste with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir this into the sauce, followed by all the vegetables, apart from the potatoes, another 100ml water, and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. Stir in the potatoes, sugar, yogurt and cream and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve with your favourite rice.


If you're using a jar of the curry sauce, you simply need to follow step one of cooking the vegetables before stirring through the jar of curry sauce until hot and topping with some coriander.

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