Leeks Kerala Style

This recipe uses all the leek!

Looking for a great mid-week supper? This Leek recipe is easy and delicious. Made just as it is, it is suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Add prawns for those who eat fish. The crispy leek topping gives a great contrast to the smooth leeks and potato. Not only are they delicious, it means you use the tops of the leek that you might usually throw away.

Recipes from Kerala in the south of India often include coconut. This recipe includes a fine blend of spices and chilli – flavoursome but not too hot.

If you can, seek out coconut milk powder – I usually buy the Maggi brand. I find it so useful in recipes. No more having to open a can of coconut milk for a small quanity of coconut.It has a long shelf life.

Crispy Leeks Recipe
Kerala style leeks with crispy leek topping

Try my Kerala Style Leek Recipe

Coconut Leeks

Kerala Style Leeks with Crispy Leek topping

Danielle Ellis
Try these leek and potatoes in a creamy coconut sauce topped with crispy leaks inspired by Kerala in southern India. The crispy leeks are made with the dark tops of the leaves which are often discarded. This delicious, warming dish is vegan, dairy and gluten free but you can add prawns if you wish.
If you have a microplane use it to mince the garlic and ginger, otherwise chop finely.
Curry leaves can be found both fresh and dried in many supermarkets. Coconut milk powder is available in most supermarkets. I like to serve this with black rice for a wonderful contrast. Basmati rice works really well too.
Course dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2


  • Saucepans
  • Microplane
  • Sharp knife
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Kitchen paper
  • Sieve to drain vegetables


  • For the sauce
  • 20 millilitres coconut oil
  • 2 grams mustard seeds about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped or minced
  • 1 chilli medium hot
  • 10 curry leaves dried are fine
  • 5 grams turmeric
  • 5 grams ground coriander
  • 2 grams black pepper about 1/4 teaspoon
  • 20 millilitres tamarind paste
  • 40 grams coconut milk powder
  • 10 grams fresh ginger grated or minced
  • 200 millilitres water approx
  • 5 grams salt or to taste
  • For the crispy leeks
  • Finely shredded leeks - dark leaves
  • 50 grams Chickpea flour
  • salt and pepper
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 100 millilitres Cooking oil approx
  • Vegetables
  • 3 medium leeks
  • 300 grams potatoes waxy potatoes are best such as Charlotte or Anya
  • 150 grams raw prawns OPTIONAL frozen are ideal, defrost first.


  • Coconut sauce
  • Heat the oil in a pan and when hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook until the seeds pop.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and sliced onions. Cook slowly until the onions are soft and not coloured. Using a lid on your saucepan will help stop it cooking too quickly.
  • Stir in the turmeric and coriander. Pour in half the water and the tamarind. Then add the coconut milk powder, remainder of the water and a pinch of salt.
  • Simmer until the sauce is thick. Add more water if it is very thick. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed. Remove the chilli.
  • Prepare the Vegetables
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 cm pieces. Clean the leeks, cut off the dark green leaves and set aside to use for crispy leeks. Cut the remainder of the leeks into 1 cm pieces.
  • Boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked. Drain and set aside
  • Cook the leeks gently in a little water until cooked. Drain really well and set aside.
  • Prepare the crispy leek topping
  • Finely slice the dark green leek tops. Cook in boiling water until softened. Drain well and pat with kitchen paper to remove most of the moisture
    Slice leek tops
  • Sprinkle 50 gr chickpea flour into a small bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Tip the leek tops in and mix with your hands to cover the leeks.
    Coat leeks in chickpea flour
  • In a small saucepan, add a few centimetres of cooking oil. Heat up. Test if it ready by dropping one piece of leek top in. It should sizzle. Add a couple of tablespoons of the leek and chickpea flour mixture and fry until crisp. Drain and place on to kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with the remainder of the leek tops. Set aside whilst you reheat the other elements of the dish.
    Crispy leeks
  • If you are using prawns, cook them gently in the sauce for a minute, then add the vegetables and ensure they are completely pink
  • If you are not using prawns, reheat the sauce and add the potatoes and leeks and heat through. Check the seasoning.
  • Serve in individual bowls topped with the crispy leek tops. Serve with black or plain rice.
    CLose up leeks in coconut sauce
Keyword Indian, Kerala, Leeks
Tried this recipe?Mention @Breadbakerdani or tag #SevernBitesBreadmaking!

Check out more recipes including a delicious savoury vegan tart.

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