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Vegetable Stew – Kerala Style (without coconut milk)

>> April 22, 2011

Vegetable stew has a prominent place in a Malayalee breakfast. It goes well with appam (hoppers), idiyappam (string hoppers) or chappati. You can have this vegetable stew with puttu (steamed rice cake) or whatever you like.

When I mentioned a Kerala style, I wanted to imply that stew of any kind in Kerala is usually prepared with oodles of coconut milk . Since we are in the age of busy lifestyle, grating coconut and extracting milk is a tedious task. Though coconut milk or coconut powder is readily available in the market, I wanted to create something that comes in even more handy. Therefore this vegetable stew is gravied with milk, a dash of rice flour for thickening and a pinch of sugar to bring in the sweet taste which the coconut milk would have added to the stew. This is a quickie recipe which can be prepared in about 30 minutes.

the recipe

potato – 2
carrot – 3
beans – 12
oil – 1 tbsp
onion – 1
green chilly -1 or 2
garam masala – ¼ tsp
salt – ½ tsp

for seasoning

oil – 1 tbsp
ghee or butter (optional) – ½ tsp
onion – 1
curry leaf – 1 sprig
cinnamon – ¼ inch piece
cloves – 3
cardamom – 4 medium sized

other ingredients

milk – ½ cup
rice flour – 1 -1 ½ tbsp
sugar – a pinch
raisins, fried – 4 tbsp
cashew nut or almonds, julienned – 2 tbsp
pepper powder (white or black) – ½ tsp
turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
salt to taste

the method

In a pressure cooker add 1 tbsp oil and sauté 1 chopped onion and green chilly. When the onions turn translucent, add the chopped vegetables and salt. Saute for two minutes. Add garam masala and stir for few second. Add 1 ½ cup water and pressure cook the vegetable for 2 whistle (as per Indian standard pressure cooker). Turn off heat.

In another pan, heat the oil and ghee. Add chopped onion and curry leaves. Add the whole spices, turmeric and stir well. Add the cooked vegetables. Bring it to boil. Mix the rice flour in 4-5 tbsp water at room temperature. Pour it into the stew and stir. Make sure that the rice solution does not form lumps. In medium heat keep stirring and bring it to boil. Add sugar. Turn to low heat and add milk. Check salt. When bubbles are seen at the side of the pan, turn off heat (overboiling will curdle the milk). Add the fried raisins and almonds. Serve hot as you please.


Soya Chunk Pulao

Soya Chunk pulao is a one pot meal for any time of the day. It is quick to prepare and very tasty. The only accompaniment you need is a salad.

the recipe

Basmati Rice (long or short grain)  – 1 ½ cup (around 600 – 700 gms)
Cinnamon   - ½ inch piece
Cloves – 3
Green cardamom – 4
Black cardamom  (optional ) – 2
Oil – 2 tbsp
Water – 3 cup

Soya chunks – 200 gms

ingredients for the green paste

Green chilly – 2 or 3 (adjust to taste)
Coriander leaves – 1 ½ cup
Mint leaves – 1 cup
Garlic – 10 – 12 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch piece

Grind all the ingredients into a fine paste.

other ingredients

Oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 2
Garam masala – 1 ½ tsp
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Chilly powder – ¾  tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Tomato – 2
Carrot, chopped- 1
Curd – 4 tbsp
Salt to taste
Raisins and cashewnuts, fried – as much as you need
Ghee (optional) – 2 tbsp

the method

Wash the rice 3 – 4 times. Drain the water and keep it aside for about 15 minutes. This is to slightly dry the rice.

In a heavy bottom pan, add 2 tbsp oil and the whole spices. When the spices stop sizzling, add the rice. Use a wooden spatula and fry till the rice turn translucent. Keep it aside.

Soak the soya chunks in adequate hot water (boiling hot) for 15 minutes. Squeeze the water from soya chunks and wash it in fresh water. Keep it aside.

Heat a pressure cooker and add 2 tbsp oil. Saute the chopped onion till light brown. Add the turmeric, powder, garam masala, pepper powder and chilly powder. Stir for few seconds and add the tomatoes and carrot. Stir till the tomato turns soft. Pour the green paste. Stir well and add the curd. Stir in the cooked soya chunks and stir well for about a minute or till the soya is fully coated with the masala. Simmer for minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rice and mix well. Add 3 cups water. Add salt. Add the fried raisins and cashewnuts. Pour the ghee. Close the cooker and cook till the 1 whistle blows. Turn off heat. Open the cooker after 20 minutes or when the pressure is fully released. Soya Chunk Pulao is ready. Serve with onion and tomato raita.


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