Vegetable Stew (4 Servings)

veg stew

A healthy simple Keralite dish that goes well with Aappam, dosai or even idly. G prefers it with rice and I normally make it with Jeera rice or plain peas rice.

Often known as Ishtu in many parts of Kerala, this dish can be made with potatos alone.

Ingredients

Cauliflower  (cut to small florets)  2 cups

Potato  (2 medium-sized) cut to small cubes after peeling

Fresh peas  (shelled) 1 cup

Onion 2 (medium-sized)

Green chillies  3 slit

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar ½ tsp

Coconut oil 1 tbsp

Coconut milk 1 cup

Curry leaves from 2 or 3 sprigs

For the spice bag

Pepper corns crushed  1 tsp (about 15)

Cinnamon 2″ piece

Cloves 5 or 6

Ginger grated 1 tsp

Bay leaves 2

Method

  • Crush all the spices mentioned coarsely in a mortar with pestle and make a spice bag with them.
  • Add ½ cup water to pressure pan and add the salt n sugar to water. Transfer the cut vegetables to the water in the pan and place  the spice bag and chillies among the vegetables. Place a small plate on top of the vegetables and place the onions on the plate. Close the pan and pressure cook the vegetables for two whistles.
  • Mash  the cooled onions or puree as per preference. I prefer to puree them.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion puree for a minute or two. Transfer the cooked vegetables (after removing the spice bag) to the pan and add a little water if too thick. If you are using freshly extracted coconut milk, add thin coconut milk from second extraction instead of water.
  • When it starts boiling add thick coconut milk and leave on low flame for two or three minutes. As soon as it starts boiling  garnish with curry leaves and switch off the flame. DO NOT boil after adding coconut milk.

Chef’s Note  If you like other vegetables such as carrot, beans or bell pepper you can add the same to the mix of vegetables and pressur cook.

  •  Similarly if like to get the crunchy feel of onions, you can slice them thin and saute them instead of pureeing and saute in oil  before  adding veggies.
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