Vegetable stew remains my favorite from my school days when my mom makes it by taking thin and thick milks from coconuts and making homemade idiappams.I and my brother used to compete for the delicately flavoured vegetable stew while eating our idiappams for breakfast. It has very few ingredients yet the coconut milk adds a unique and nice flavor and taste to this dish.But unlike my mom,sometimes due to laziness I buy this nestle coconut milk powder (small sachet) from the store to prepare the coconut milk and the results are pretty decent and yum,though the traditional way of extracting milk from fresh coconuts always yields the best outcome.By using the store brought coconut milk powder the dish is much more easy to prepare and reduces our effort and time without compromising on the taste.
Preparation time:30 min
Mixed vegetables(carrot,potato,peas etc.,)-250 gms
Green chillies-3 no
Fennel seeds-1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Thick coconut milk-2 cups(I used one small sachet maggi coconut milk powder)
Chopped onion-1 big
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coconut oil-1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - to garnish
1.Grind ginge,garlic,fennel seeds and green chillies to a fine paste.
2.Boil all the vegetables till they are soft and succulent.
3.In a pan ,heat the coconut oil and add the cloves,cinnamon and cardamom.After a minute,add the chopped onion and saute well.
4.Once the onions turn transparent ,add the ground pate and saute well till the raw smell goes off.Then add the boiled vegetables.If you feel the mixture is too thick you can optionally add 3-4 tbsp of water along with the vegetables(or you can add the vegetable stock i.e the water in which the vegetables boiled).
5.When the mixture starts boiling add the thick coconut milk.If you are using coconut milk powder from store then prepare thick milk according to the instructions on the pack.But using a little less water than specified on the pack for thick milk yields a much more rich and creamy thick coconut milk.
6.After adding the coconut milk ,make sure you don't cook in high flame as it will curdle the milk.Cook in a low flame for 5 minutes and then switch off.Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with idiappam or appam.This stew tastes great even with uthappam or dosa.
*Using thick coconut milk is mandatory.
*If you are preparing fresh coconut milk at home then you can use the thin milk or second coconut milk to boil the vegetables.
*Do not cook the stew for too long after adding the thick coconut milk as it will curdle on high heat.