I like anything and everything with coconut milk. Whats not to like about it?! It’s creamy, fragrant and adds such richness to the dish. One of my most favorite recipes using coconut milk is Kerala style vegetable stew. This is something we have been making at home for more than a decade now, from a recipe that was saved & shared by our neighbors.
Vegetable Stew is traditionally served with Idiyappam/String Hoppers or with Appams/Lacy gluten free pancakes. I absolutely love gulping downs bowls of the stew with appams. Whenever I make appams at home, there would be a debate by default as whether Thengai Paal (sweetened coconut milk) or the Veggie Stew served as a side. Between the husband and me, we love completely different things and hence, I end up making both sometimes 😀
Vegetable Stew is very popular in Kerala, a Southern state in India. Given my love for Kerala cuisine, I end up trying a lot more than what I get to post here. But this one recipe that I adore too much and can’t miss updating my blog with. The flavor combinations are subtle but at the same, the stew tastes absolutely delicious.
To make Vegetable Stew | Kerala Style Veg Stew
What I used –
- Onion, 1 large
- Carrots, 2 medium
- French Beans, 5-6
- Potatoes, 2 medium
- Fresh Green Peas, ¼ cup
- Dried Bay Leaf, 2
- Cloves, 2
- Cinnamon, 2” piece
- Curry Leaves, a few
- Green Chillies, 2
- Thin Coconut Milk, 5 cups
- Thick Coconut Milk, 1 cup
- Coconut Oil, 1 tbsp
- Salt, as needed
Prep Work –
1. Chop onions finely length wise. Cut carrots, French beans and potatoes length wise too. Set aside.
How I made –
1. In a pan, heat coconut oil. Add cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon. As they are roasted, add fresh curry leaves and slit green chillies. Add chopped onions and fry until translucent making sure it is not brown/burnt. Add chopped vegetables and stir fry on low heat for 3-4 mins.
2. As the vegetables are slightly cooked, add salt needed for the veggies. Add thin coconut milk and cook on low flame until the veggies are cooked half.
3. Add fresh green peas and continue boiling the gravy on low flame until the veggies are almost done. Add thick coconut milk and as the gravy heats up slightly, remove from heat.
4. Serve hot with Appam/Idiyappam or even rotis.
- The choice of vegetables is as per preference. Cauliflower, potatoes, French beans, carrots and green peas can be used as per availability.
- Onions can be skipped for this gravy to make an onion-free version too.
- Adjust the amount of green chillies as per preference.
- Additional to the whole spices, finely chopped ginger/garlic and black peppercorns can be added too.
- The veggies should not be cooked mushy and should retain a bit of crunch.
- To make coconut milk at home, add 1 cup of water to 2 cups of grated coconut. Blend until smooth – strain and that becomes thick coconut milk. Add 1.5 cups of water and blend again. Strain – that is the thin coconut milk.
- After adding coconut milk, always cook the gravy on low flame to avoid curdling/splitting of coconut milk.