mearl223 On August - 9 - 2011

Kerala-style Creamy Veg Ishtu

In the south of India, Kerala to be specific, they make this smooth, creamy veg stew, called ‘ishtu’ with boiled veggies in coconut milk and they have it with leavened rice pancakes called appams or  just plain rice – its truly unique & special!


PrepTime 10mins – CookTime 25mins – Serves 4




2 big potatoes – peeled & cubed
2 carrots – cubed &/or 1 cup cauliflower pieces
1/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
2 big onions – sliced
2 cloves of garlic – finely sliced
1″ ginger – finely sliced
2-3 slit green chilies
2 sprigs of curry leaves
2 1″ cinnamon sticks
4 cardamoms
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
4 cloves
2 cups thin/light coconut milk
2 cups thick coconut milk
cooking coconut oil
salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

Cooking Instructions

1. Boil the vegetable pieces till almost done.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan & fry all the whole spices in it for a minute on medium heat.
3. Add the onions, green chillies, ginger, garlic and 1 sprig of curry leaves.
4. Saute until the onions turn transparent.
5. Drain & add the boiled veggies, along with the thin coconut milk, turmeric & some salt.
6.  Cover & cook on low heat for 15mins, stirring occasionally.
7. Pour in the thick coconut milk, mix well yet gently & allow it to come to a boil.
8. Simmer for 2-3 mins, add the remaining curry leaves and turn off the heat.
9. Close the lid and let it stand for 5- 10 mins.
10. Serve hot with Appam or plain rice, or like they do down-south, with Idiappam, Puttu or Idlis.

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