Vegetable stew recipe is side dish for appam and idiyappam. It is a coconut milk base, mild spiced flavourful dish.
You can prepare this for breakfast or dinner when ever you prepare appam or idiyappam.
We always eat appam with sweetened (with jaggery) coconut milk. But when we had our dinner last month in Mango tree restaurant here in SG, for appam we ordered Vegetable ishtu from their menu.
Till then I have not tasted any stew. It was so simple, plain, pure white, with veggies and only the ginger flavour that wafted from the stew.
For me it was smelling like the potato masala we make for poori, but with the richness of coconut milk and onion, it was just tasting and smelling divinely.
So I tried at home, with recipe partially adapted from Divya’s blog, as well as keeping in mind of what I had in the restaurant. I could not get the pure white they had, but tasted the same.
- Green chilli
- Curry leaves
- Coconut milk
See recipe card for full list and quantities.
I have updated this recipe with corn flour in it. The first time I tried, made without corn flour.
Had no issues in coconut milk splitting. It was probably because my second extract is very thin and diluted with less fat.
I used the Malaysia coconut which is different from the Indian ones. The second milk itself will be very very thin.
While in Indian coconut, we can take 3 extracts. So the second milk also is pretty much fatty. It makes it easily split. That's why I have updated the recipe with corn starch.
Even though I added after the veggies got cooked, I suggest to add along with the thin coconut milk step.
This gives smoothest texture to the stew. Nonetheless in case you forget, add it like me later if you miss.
- Do not add lots of oil as it will affect the look of the stew (texture too). Coconut milk have enough fat, we do not want more extra, haha!
- You can have the boiled vegetables separately ready and add to the stew instantly. This gives most whitish stew.
Can we use coconut milk powder or readymade coconut milk in cartons?
Definitely yes. If using coconut milk powder (or coconut cream powder), prepare milk as per package instructions. For thin coconut milk, use it diluted with water.
Same way, for carton coconut milk, dilute and use for thin coconut milk.
Hint: While choosing carton coconut milk, avoid ones with thickening agents and go for organic and additive free by reading the ingredienst carefully.
Vegetable stew recipe
- 3 cups Grated coconut from 1 large Indian coconut
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Potato
- 7 Beans
- 8 Cauliflower florets small bite size pieces
- 1 teaspoon Corn flour corn starch
- 1 tablespoon Ginger grated
- 2 Green chilli slit
- 1 sprig Curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon Oil I used coconut oil
How to extract coconut milk for vegetable stew
- Firstly grind the coconut with ½ to ¾ cup water in a mixie, till smooth.
- Place a bowl with large metal strainer on top. Transfer the ground paste to it.
- Squeeze the milk in small portions to collect thick extract. Set aside.
- Transfer the squeezed coconut back to the mixie. Add 1 cup luke warm water to it. Blend again.
- Again repeat the process to extract thin coconut milk. Set aside separately.
- Cut the veggies to thin stripes as shown in the picture. Slit the green chillies and slice onion.
- Heat pan with oil, add ginger, green chillies ,curry leaves, followed by onion.
- Cook in medium flame, taking care, not to turn the onion colour. It should just be transparent.
- Add the vegetables to it with 1 cup water, required salt and the thin coconut milk.
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon corn flour (corn starch) in 1 tablespoon of water and add to it. This gives smooth texture to stew without coconut milk split. I added in next stage but recommend at this stage.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let the veggies cook (without over cooking).
- Then add the thick coconut milk, just keep in low flame for a minute and put of the stove.
- Garnish with few torn curry leaves.
- Try not to change the colour of onion as it will change the stew colour too…
- I added the veggies that I saw in the restaurant, it had cauliflower. You can make it with just boiled potato as well.
Vegetable stew method
- First grind the coconut with ½ – ¾ cup water and grind till smooth and extract the thick milk using a strainer.
- Again add 1 cup warm water to the coconut gratings and grind for a minute.
- Collect thin coconut milk from the above.
- Cut the veggies to thin stripes (I used baby beans) as shown in the picture. Slit the green chillies and onion. Heat pan with oil add ginger,green chillies ,curry leaves,followed by onion.( I tried adding bay leaf and cardamom, but took it off in the middle as it dominated the other flavors. So I omitted in the ingredients)
- Cook in medium flame, taking care, not to turn the onion colour. It should just be transparent. Boil the veggies with salt and the thin coconut milk along with this fried onion. Add corn flour dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water at this stage.
- Let the veggies cook (without turning the veggies mushy),then add the thick coconut milk.
- just keep in low flame for a minute and put of the stove.
Stew is ready to enjoy with aapam! The onion, ginger and curry leaves along with coconut milk makes the stew smell divinely!