October 23, 2008

Kerala-style Vegetable Stew

I am feeling extremely lazy having to adjust again to the life here with just the three of us. The in-laws left last week, so I was pretty busy having to do everything by myself again! So the little free time I get is spent lazily, either relaxing or reading. I wish I could share the recipes with you all, without spending time typing the recipes! ;-) I guess I need a little more time to get to actively blogging again! I browsed through some of my friends' blogs and was blown away by the array of recipes and events on all the blogs. I wish I hadnt missed these recipes and events, and know that I have a lot of catching up to do. Awesome job on your blogs, you all! Hope you all are having a blast! Anyways, here's another one of my Mother-in-law's recipe contributions.

The Kerala-style vegetable stew is a sweet, decadent gravy made with coconut milk as the base, which also have vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and peas. The spices are added whole to this stew, which maintains the light color of the gravy but still lends its fragrance and flavor. This delicious and rich stew is classically paired with appam, which is a pancake made with soaked rice ground into a fine batter with coconut and fermented with the aid of yeast. The appam - stew combo is a staple in the Christian homes in Kerala. It makes a greatly welcomed "special-occassions" breakfast and also seen served as a meal course in the wedding parties in Kerala. The stew is usually garnished with fried cashews and raisins and makes for a filling wholesome breakfast.The hardest part of making the stew in Kerala is the grinding and milking of the grated coconut, but since we get canned thick coconut milk in the US, the work is reduced significantly and hence can be easily prepared. Eventhough the best pairing of the stew is with appam, it also goes well with chappathi or even bread.


Recipe:

Potato - 1, cooked, peeled and cubed
Carrot - 1, cooked and cubed
Onion - 1/2, quartered and cooked
Peas - 1/2 cup, cooked
Whole peppercorns - 15
Cinnamon - 1", broken
Cardamom - 3
Cloves - 5
Star anise - 1, broken
Ginger - 1/2" sliced
Onion - 1 small, sliced
Green chillies - 2, split lengthwise
Coconut milk - 1 cup

Garnish (optional):

Cashewnuts - a handful
Raisins - a handful


Method:

Heat oil in a skillet.

Toss in the whole spices (peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and anise) and saute until fragrant.

Add the ginger, sliced onions and green chillies.

Saute until the onions are cooked and tender.

Cook the vegetables in a microwave or on the cooker. Cut the vegetables into bite sized pieces.

Add the cooked vegetables to the onion mixture in the skillet and saute.

Season the vegetables by adding salt to taste.

When the vegetables are uniformly cooked, add the coconut milk.

Stir well until well mixed.

Allow to remain on the flame and stir continuously, until heated through.

DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.

Garnish with fried cashewnuts and raisins.

Serve hot.

Tips:
  1. The potato can be cooked quickly in the pressure cooker. Halve the potato and cook along with a bit of water for 3 whistles, and then remove from heat. The carrot can also be placed whole along with the potato, and cut after cooking. If any of the vegetables appear undercooked, it can be cooked in the microwave.
  2. The vegetables can directly be cooked in the microwave, after cutting into bite sized pieces.
  3. We used frozen peas which were cooked in the microwave.
  4. If the gravy appears too thick, add water to make it to the desired consistency.

Have a great day. Do visit often for more delicious recipes!

14 comments:

Happy cook said...

For me with appam pleas.
Love the veggie stew. Reminds me of the sunday morning breakfest back at home when i was still living at home

Asha said...

You must be missing them like anything!! Feels empty at first but you will get back to routine quickly. Veg stew is the best, I made it for the first time folling shn's recips, we loved it. Looks delicious but unfortunately I can't cook it now!:))
Take care, hugs.

Cham said...

Love stew with paal appam, looks delicious :)

Sujatha said...

Nice to see you back, JZ! Veg stew looks super delicious! I love kerala veg stews especially with idiappam and appam. Those cashews give a very rich look for the dish :)

Waiting to see more yummy recipes from you with your same amazing presentation :)

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

O O... U must must be missing those times with ur in-laws. Hope u will get back u normal soon dear...

Vegetable stew looks so good. Nice recipe. Have booked marked it. Will try it soon...

Laavanya said...

Aapam and stew are a match made in heaven :) Looks absolutely tempting. All of us experience quite a bit of inertia when getting back to blogging after a break. Take your time JZ.

Ivy said...

Love veggie stews and yours sounds delicious.

Uj said...

Stew looks delicious.. :)

meeso said...

Spices and coconut milk, veggies... YUM!

Rachel said...

Cashewnuts in a stew..That I got to try!!! Welcome back...

Sangeeth said...

wow!yummy JZ! I have been missing ur posts lately...

TBC said...

This is something I make at least once a week. Thank god for canned coconut milk! :D

BTW, your pizza looks fantastic!!!

Vandana Rajesh said...

Yummy looking stew jz...generally make it with chicken to go with the appams.

Mansi said...

wow, this would be great with Tarla Dalal's Appams recipe that I posted today!:) it looks so enticing, but I think your pizza is calling out to me!:)