Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sweet Potato Stew (Ishtu With Coconut Milk & Sweet Spices)

Sweet Potato stew is sweetly spiced with Indian cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves.  It is the perfect companion for Aapams, the spongy rice pancakes delicately flavored with coconut milk. It is good with rice, dosas, idli, or breads as well. I like using a combination of both the pale colored and the orange sweet potatoes for this stew. Other veggies that are delicious additions are, tender green beans, chayote squash, parsnips, and other tender summer squash.  Another delicious veggie I love to include is fresh fennel bulbs - they add a delicate yet delectable flavor to the stew.

As always, when using whole green chiles, please be careful to fish them out of the stew and discard before serving so that no unsuspecting victim accidentally chews on them thinking they are green beans! You may like to fish out the whole spices and herbs - cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf - as well.

Sweet Potato Stew

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 one-inch piece Indian Cinnamon bark
1 Whole green Cardamom, crushed
3-5 whole Cloves
1 Bay Leaf
5 thin slices fresh Ginger
2 Hot green Chiles, ends slit
1 large Onion
1 large Carrot
3-5 Assorted Sweet Potatoes
1 cup Corn, fresh or frozen
2 medium Zucchini
1 cup Edamame (green soy beans) OR peas, fresh/frozen
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 can Coconut Milk
2 stems fresh Curry Leaves
1 tsp Coconut Oil


Heat the oil in a large pan; add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon.  Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.

Add the ginger, bay leaf, and green chile; stir for a minute and then add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook stirring often until onions are translucent and begin to color slightly.

Stir in the carrots and cook for a minute.

Add about 2 cups of water along with 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and bring to a boil.

Stir in the sweet potatoes and corn, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender.

Stir in the edamame or peas, bring the stew back to a boil.

Mash a few of the sweet potato pieces with the back of the spoon.

Add the zucchini with the rest of the coconut milk, stir well, and bring the stew back to a boil again.

Remove from heat, add the crushed curry leaves, drizzle with the coconut oil and leave covered for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir well, and serve hot. Enjoy!!

Stew with Aapams

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