Oriya Ghanta Tarkari

Vegetable curry with panch phoran, cumin, chilli and coriander

Regional dishes across India are diverse and full of flavour. It the sheer variety of the cuisine that makes it exciting including the spices used, techniques of cooking as well as ingredients used based on diet, weather as well as what is grown locally. When it comes to vegetarian Indian cooking there is an abundance of recipes that are easily adaptable for day to day meals. The key is to include variety of lentils, pulses as well as fresh vegetables. From breads to curries, chutneys, snacks and pickles there is so much to choose from!

This vegetarian recipe hailing from the east of India has influences from the state of Orissa (Odisha). The use of five spice mix is a winning ingredient that lifts the overall flavour of the dish. I have added almond paste which thickens the gravy and gives it a creamy consistency. You could opt of cashewnut paste as well if you prefer.


  1. Add the garlic and ginger to a blender with a splash of water and blitz to a fine paste. Set aside

  2. Add the ground almonds with 40mls water to a blender and blend to a smooth paste and set aside

  3. In a heavy bottom non stick large sauce pan heat the ghee or oil over a low heat. Add the panch phoran and fry for 20 seconds. Add the onions and fry for 6 minutes as they begin to soften

  4. Add the garlic and ginger paste fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes soften with the back of the spoon


  5. At this stage add the cumin and chilli powder along with the potato and carrots. Turn the heat to a medium setting and fry for 4 minutes with the lid on. Stir halfway through

  6. Now add the green beans and cauliflower and fry for 5 minutes. Season to taste and add the water. Lower the heat and simmer for 12-14 minutes with a lid on. Add the almond paste and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve warm with rice or bread.