There have been days when I thought that making vegetable stew is very hard and time consuming, but once I learned how to make it, I realized that it is so simple to make. Making the vegetable stew takes no time at all and with the availability of canned coconut milk, it just makes it even easier.
The first time I made vegetable stew was some two years ago and my dear friend Sujai had passed on his aunt’s recipe for the stew. Ever since then, that is the only recipe I follow as it turns out perfect all the time. We had invited few families over for dinner during Navarathri and I had wanted to make Idiyappam and vegetable stew for dinner. I wanted to try to make it without onion as I try not to use onions during Navarathri. I almost followed the same recipe and skipped the onions.
To compensate the flavor of onions, I had added a couple of extra spices like cloves and pepper and it turned out just perfect. The flavor of ginger is something that is very important in the recipe and hence I would recommend not skipping it. I had wanted to blog it right then, but something else came up and the recipe went into the draft folder.
My little one has been asking me for more than a month to make the idiyappam and stew and I am planning on making it tomorrow. That is when I realized it is a good opportunity to post the recipe today. I had recently bought some red rice idiyappam flour from the Indian stores and simply loved the flavor of it. I usually make the Ragi idiyappam or the white idiyappam, but for the past couple of times, I have been using this red rice flour to make the idiyappams.
Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cooking time – 30 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Ingredients – (serves 4)
- Potato – 2 (peeled and cubed)
- Carrot – 1 (peeled and cubed)
- Beans – 10 (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- Green peas – ¼ cup
- Green chilies – 3
- Coconut milk – 1 can or 1 ½ cup thin milk and 1 cup thick milk
- Ginger – 1 inch (grated)
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cinnamon – ½ inch piece
- Cloves – 6
- Black pepper – 10
- Curry leaves – few
- Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- If using fresh coconut to extract milk, make the milk (thin and thick) and keep it ready. I used canned coconut milk and I usually remove ½ the can and dilute it one cup of water to make the thin milk. The remaining ½ the can, I add a little water and keep it aside as the thick milk.
- In a pan, heat the oil and add the dry spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and pepper). Fry it until the spices are aromatic and then add the green chilies, ginger and curry leaves. Fry it for 30 seconds.
- Add all the vegetables and let it cook in low flame until half cooked. Covering the pan helps in cooking the vegetables quicker.
- Now add the thin coconut milk and let it come to a boil. Simmer the flame and allow the vegetables to cook completely.
- Add the salt needed and the thick coconut milk and reduce the flame. Let the stew simmer until it all comes together. Do not boil the stew after the thick coconut milk is added as it could curdle and separate.
- Serve hot with idiyappam or Appam.