A Clean-Up-Your-Fridge South Indian-Style Curry

We all have those days when all we have in our refrigerators are a little bit of this and that, and we are at a loose end as to what to make with them. There is this one carrot, half a capsicum, a couple of tomatoes, one potato and a lone onion, making you wonder how you could possibly put together a full meal from all of this? Well, you can. This recipe, taught to be by one of my aunts, does just that.

This is a curry that you can be cooked in minutes, which is nutritious and delicious, and goes extremely well with plain, white rice. We like having it with rotis, too, but then, that might be a bit of an acquired taste, since the curry is made in South Indian style. It is a regular in our house, and makes an appearance on the clean-up-my-fridge days, just before I need to head out vegetable shopping.


Here is how I make it.

Ingredients (makes a large bowlful):

1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and chopped

1 medium-sized potato, peeled and chopped

1/2 of a large capsicum or 1 small one, chopped

2 medium-sized onions, chopped finely

10-12 French beans, chopped

4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped (Don’t skimp on this – this is what gives the curry its flavour)

A small cup of cabbage, chopped

A few florets of cauliflower

A handful of green peas

A handful of moong dal, washed, water drained out

Salt, to taste

2 teaspoons oil

Red chilli powder, to taste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

A pinch of asafoetida

A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped finely


  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker bottom. Add the mustard seeds, and let them crackle. Now, add the asafoetida.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables, except the tomatoes and coriander. Mix well. Cook for a minute or two, till the vegetables shrink a bit in size.
  3. Now, add the moong dal, tomatoes, coriander, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and just enough water to boil the vegetables.
  4. Mix well. Cover the pressure cooker, and cook for about 4 whistles.
  5. When the pressure has released entirely, open the cooker. If you feel the curry is too watery, you could cook it, without a cover, on a medium flame, till the water evaporates further and the curry reaches a thicker consistency. Stir intermittently, to ensure that the curry doesn’t stick to the bottom of the cooker. If you feel the curry is too thick, you could add some more water, and let it cook for a few minutes on a medium flame. Serve warm.


  1. The above is, more or less, a list of the vegetables I usually put into this curry. If you do not have all of the vegetables mentioned above, you could omit the ones you do not have. This curry is very forgiving, that way.

2. My aunt taught me to use only ‘English vegetables’ to make this curry, and I prefer keeping it that way. If you want to, you could add other vegetables to the curry too – like beetroot, brinjals, drumsticks and so on.

3. I have arrived at the above quantities of vegetables after much experimenting, and they suit us perfectly. Please do tweak the quantities of the vegetables as per your family’s tastes and preferences, if at all you wish to do so.

Do you like the sound of this curry? Do let me know if you decide to make it!

Do you make something similar to this, to use up the odds and ends of vegetables in your fridge?


8 thoughts on “A Clean-Up-Your-Fridge South Indian-Style Curry

  1. I made something very similar once and to reduce the work of making rice I added all this with rice in a cooker and it came out like Kichdi πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s