Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Ishtu (Vegetable Stew In Coconut Milk)

Mixed Vegetable Ishtu
Here is a delicious variation on the wonderfully fragrant stew from Kerala. It is as flavorful a combination of veggies to please the palate as it is a colorful delight for the eyes! Feel free to experiment and find your own special combination of veggies according to the season or your family's preference. The corn on the cob is a very tasty addition when you have a chance to get them fresh.


1 medium Onion
4 - 8 slices Fresh Ginger
2 - 4 hot Green Chilies
1 medium Potato or a handful of tiny New Potatoes
1 fresh corn on the cob
2 Parsnips
2 Carrots
A handful of Green Beans
1 Large Red Bell Pepper
2 slender Zucchini
1 cup Peas, fresh or frozen
1 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 can Coconut Milk
3 Sprigs Fresh Curry Leaves
1 Tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil


Wash all the veggies and drain. Peel carrots, parsnips and potato; cut the potato into quarters; thinly slice all the veggies (if using new potatoes, cut in half). Cut the bell pepper into halves and discard stems, ribs and seeds; cut into quarters; slice crosswise into thin strips. Snap off the ends from the green beans and snap into bite size pieces. Cut the corn on the cob into chunks without removing the core.

Leave the green chilies whole (for easy removal) or cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes (you might want to wear gloves for this); slice thinly.

Mash the ginger into a paste using a mortar and pestle.

Place the onions in a large pot with the chilies, ginger, and the salt; add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil; cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are softened.

Add all the veggies (except the zucchini and peas) and the coconut milk; bring to a boil again; reduce heat and simmer covered until almost tender - about 15 minutes.

Stir in the zucchini and peas and cook for about 5 minutes or until just tender.

Turn off the heat, sprinkle the black pepper, place the crushed curry leaves on top of the stew and drizzle the coconut oil over the curry leaves; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with rice, roti or dosa, as you wish. Enjoy!!

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