Today was yet another weekend and when Friday comes (yes, Friday!), it’s time to be in the kitchen early in the morning, rustling up something ‘different’.
And the ‘difference’ today was Appam Stew, Kerala style. The Appam mix we got from the store down the road and just had to fry it in a curved pan but for the vegetable stew, I chose to follow a recipe from, where else, but Google (http://www.cheenachatti.com/recipe/kerala-vegetable-stew/).
Though it did not come up as was shown, it resembled the picture somewhat. But, all said and done, it tasted awesome, particularly the coconut milk flavor, which really took the cake!
The Vegetable stew is a global dish made from a mixture of vegetables like Carrot, potatoes, green peas etc., which goes well with the appam, bread or rice. These ingredients can include any combination of vegetables. The usage of coconut milk as an ingredient gives it a typical Kerala flavor.
Carrot: 1, Potato: 1, Green Peas: ½ cup, Nutmeg (finely sliced): ½ tsp., Onion finely sliced: 1, Green chilly (slit): 5, Crushed Ginger: 1 tbsp., Crushed garlic: 1 tbsp, Cardamom: 3, Powdered black pepper: 1 tsp., Cinnamon: 1 piece, Cloves: 3, Thin coconut milk: 1½ cup, Thick coconut milk: ½ cup, Curry leaves: 1 sprig, Salt: as needed, Butter or coconut and oil: 2 tbsp.
Slice the vegetables into cubes of 1/2 inch and clean them well. In a deep bottom frying pan, heat the butter or coconut oil. Add the onions to it and sauté it till the onions become transparent. When the onions become transparent, splutter the crushed spices. Add ginger, garlic, curry leaves and the green chilies and sauté it for a few more minutes. Add the sliced vegetables and sauté well. Now add the coconut milk, salt and bring it to boil.
Lower the flame, cover and cook it till vegetables are soft. This will take around ten minutes time. Now add the thick coconut milk (first) and cook for another five more minutes. Remove from stove and transfer it into a serving bowl. Garnish with curry leaves fried in coconut oil or ghee.
You can serve this vegetable stew with chapathis, pathiris, puris, appams, rice or bread.
The stew gravy will be thick and if you want to make it thin add 1/2 cup of plain milk to this. If you want the gravy to be very thick soak 7-8 pieces of cashew nuts in warm water and grind them into a smooth paste and add it in the last. Mix with the thick coconut milk and add to the stew.