Vegetable Stew

Vegetable Stew

There is something really special about coconut milk stew served in an earthen pot along with appam. It is rich, aromatic and full of flavor. The authentic Kerala stew is heavenly and the one that I had in Kochi was delicious. This vegan stew has a host of veggies. Not any traditional regional vegetables, but the very universal ones like carrots, potatoes, french beans and green peas. The rich regional influence comes in with the addition of coconut milk and spices such as bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom. The first stew that I ever had was prepared by mom. She always prepares coconut milk at home and the freshness adds a new dimension to the stew.

If you have store bought coconut milk, then there isn’t much prep apart from cutting the vegetables. But I prefer to prepare the coconut milk just before starting the stew. The freshness gives a nice feel to the stew. Preparing coconut milk requires a little amount of work in grating the coconut. Then it is just soaking it in hot water.

This stew comes out best when it is slow-cooked. But over-all making the vegetable stew is quite easy. It is just frying the spices with onion, adding the veggies and coconut milk and cooking. It is just prep and cook.

Vegetable Stew Recipe

Ingredients

  • Carrot: 2
  • Potato: 1 large
  • French Beans: 6
  • Coconut: 1
  • Onion: 1 large
  • Cinnamon bark: 2
  • Bay leaves: 2
  • Pepper cones: 1 tsp
  • Green chillis: 4
  • Curry leaves: 8
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt

Coconut Milk Prep:

  • Break open a coconut and grate the flesh with a coconut scraper
  • Add the grated coconut flesh to two cups of hot water, mix well and set it aside for 10-15 minutes
  • Pass the coconut milk through a strainer or muslin cloth to remove the grated coconut. Squeeze out all the liquid from the coconut shreds

Preparation

  • Peel the carrots and potatoes. Clean the beans. Cut the veggies into medium sized pieces
  • Chop the onion into long fine pieces
  • Cut off the heads & tails of the green chilies and slit them
  • Clean the garlic and cut them into halves

Cooking

  • Heat oil in a thick wok
  • Reduce the heat to minimum and add the bay leaves, cinnamon bark and pepper cones
  • Add the onions and mix well. Let the onions cook for a minute then add the curry leaves and the green chillies
  • Add the veggies & mix all the contents. Place a lid on the wok and while keeping the heat low, let the veggies cook for about 8-10 minutes or until they are half cooked
  • Add the coconut milk and mix well
  • Add salt and allow the stew to cook
  • The veggies will be cooked in about ten minutes. Turn off the heat
  • Serve with rice or appams or chapatis or bread

Note:

  • Store bought coconut milk can be used. If the milk is creamy then dilute it. If it is slightly sweet then adjust the spices accordingly



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