Friday, December 21, 2007

No Frills Friday - Mixed Vegetable Ambat

A Konkan curry.

The focus on fungi.

Cauliflower and potatoes, easy add-ins, clutter up a
cup of mellow, deep heat and natural sweet.

Pappadum flashed in a microwave makes
some waves of its own.

Mixed Vegetable Ambat (Curry) - Heavily adapted from the beautiful Almbe Garam Masale Ambat recipe from Aayi's Recipes for entry in the Grindless Gravies event (see details below recipe.)


2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 heaping cup cauliflower florets (1/2 head of cauliflower)
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup dessicated, unsweetened coconut
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon tamarind extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
2 heaping tablespoons dried red chili flakes
2 tablespoons oil



In a large pot, combine the vegetables with 1/2 cup of water and bring to a slow boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower and potatoes are tender.

In a large skillet, heat the oil then fry up all the ground spices until they darken in color and begin to sizzle. Remove from heat. Add the dessicated coconut, coconut milk and tamarind extract, mixing well. Add the boiled vegetables to the spices, mashing a few of the potato cubes with a fork to help thicken the gravy. Add enough water (from 1-2 cups) to suit your preference for gravy consistency. [I started with 1 cup and wound up adding another as the gravy boiled down and thickened further.] Simmer on very low heat for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Serve with rice, bread or pappadum. Serves 4. --

This post is being submitted to Sra of When My Soup Came Alive, creator of Grindless Gravies, an event featuring recipes of minimal effort and uncompromising maximum flavor. No appliances nor tools outside of a knife and fork were abused when adapting this recipe. All spices were purchased individually ground, approximating the measures vis-à-vis the whole spices. Dessicated coconut was also used to avoid having to grind anything into a paste. Though not as velvety smooth as a traditional sauce, the texture was pleasantly textured and satisfying.


  1. Nice entry, Susan, thanks a lot. I can't see the pics, though, Blogger's up to its usual caprices, I guess. You bought the spices ground? You probably have other recipes up your sleeve to finish them off.
    Just an academic question - could you have done without the dessicated coconut? I opted for a recipe with it yesterday but ended up grinding it because I didn't want the bits to get under my teeth.

  2. Ambat is my favorite too! Looks yummy Susan. Enjoy. Merry Christmas and happy new year! See you next year!:))

  3. Looks good, Susan.

    Merry X'mas :)


  4. Very nice and so inviting. A perfect dish for a day like today (read: rain, rain, rain!)

  5. Man you're really showing off on us now with your curries. I love it.

    Happy Holidays!

  6. Fabulous dish. Really nice. I bought some mushrooms this morning, wondering what to do with them. It is 24th Dec here, and so time for me to wish all of my blog friends a wonderful time with family and friends tomorrow. May it be a peaceful and blessed day for you, where each of us can give a lot of joy to those around us. Have a great day.

  7. Hi, Sra. Glad to participate in Grindless Gravies. Yes, I could have forgone the dried coconut, but I didn't want to make it too easy on myself; I little challenge was called for. I found, though, that the leftovers next day softened up the coconut even more, leaving the gravy smoother than I expected it to be over time.
    Thank you, Asha. A very happy December to you, too!
    Hi, Shn! Thanks for your well wishes and kudos! I hope you are enjoying your last days of the year.
    Thanks, Simona. It's raining here again, too. No "White Christmas," but plenty of precipitation, nonetheless.
    Thanks, Cynthia. I could eat curry everyday; I recall you saying something similar. : ) I'm on a roll, here, so you can expect more as the weeks go by.
    Thank you, dear Vegeyum, for your well wishes and compliments. A happy December summer to you! Very good to see you.

  8. Thanks for letting me know, Susan.:-)
    That sure does look good, and I don't even like mushrooms!
    I can imagine how good it tasted with the coconut milk, tamarind extract and the medley of spices.
    If that wasn't good enough, it's a grindless gravy too! :D

  9. I have a question... a silly one, Susan.:(
    How did u add the link to this post in the comment u left me? I am not very tech-savvy. I've been meaning to put a pic/pics in my header for so long now but don't have the time or the patience to read all the stuff to figure it out.:-)

  10. That's a great pic of the Pappadam popped in a microwave.. Thanks for sharing the idea and even more your photos have convinced me to make them in the microwave from now on!!