The Taste Of Kerala
There is something about Kerala cuisine that is so so comforting. I love the subtle flavours of coconut in almost everything, the fragrant curry leaves, the tempering of crackling mustard and cumin seeds and just the multitude of dishes ranging from seafood delicacies, vegetarian delights and the traditional sadya.
The first time I had ever tasted Kerala style stew was at one of my mallu friends’ house. Her grandmother had come down from Kerala for Christmas. I was invited for dinner with her family. I cannot express in words how delicious the stew was. It was made in fresh coconut oil with precise flavours coming from every ingredient added to the stew, be it the spices or the tempering. That kind of inspired me to make Kerala stew this Christmas. I didn’t follow any specific recipe since the taste of the stew I had at my friends place still lingers on my taste buds. So I just decided to trust my senses and go with the flow:
Here’s the recipe. Hope you like it.
Prep Time: 10 mins l Cook Time: 30 mins l Total Time: 40 mins l Serves – 3-4
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 2 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Green Chillies – 1
Onion – 1 large
Cinnamon – 1 stick
Cloves – 4-5
Cardamom – 3 cloves
Pepper – 1/2 tsp
Chopped French Beans – 100 gms
Chopped Potatoes – 100 gms
Chopped Carrots – 10 gms
Green Peas – 30 gms
Thin coconut milk – 1.5 cups
Thick coconut milk – 1 cup
Curry leaves – 8-10
Salt – To taste
Water – 1/2 cup
1. Make a paste out of the garlic, ginger and chilli and keep aside
2. In a saucepan, add coconut oil.
3. Once hot, add the spices one by one and sautee until fragrant
4. Now add the garlic-ginger-chilli paste and sautee until cooked
5. Next you add the onions and sautee until translucent. Make sure you don’t brown the onions
6. Add the remaining vegetables one by one and fry them for about 2-3 minutes
7. Add 1/2 a cup of water to this and let the raw vegetables cook until half done
8. Add thin coconut milk and salt to the mixture
9. Cover the pan with a lid and let all the flavours infuse together in the sauce pan.
10. Once all the vegetables are nicely cooked, turn the flame off and add the thick coconut milk and mix well
11. In another pan, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil
12. Add the curry leaves to the oil.
13. Once it starts crackling and gets crisp, pour it over the stew.
14. Mix well before serving
Tastes best with freshly made appams or neer dosa.
1. Cut all vegetables in 1-1.5 cm cubes.
2. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use groundnut or vegetable oil.
3. You can avoid adding garlic if you wish.
4. Don’t miss adding that dash of coconut milk to the stew once you take it off the flame for that creamy, velvety texture
5. Instead of water, you can add vegetable stock for extra flavour
6. Make sure you don’t over heat the coconut oil as it isn’t a healthy practice