Kerala Style Vegetable Stew and How to extract Coconut Milk

Kerala Style vegetable stew is a wonderful concoction of mixed vegetables gently simmered in aromatic whole spices and thin coconut milk.
I served the stew with appams and a bowl of chilled sweetened coconut milk. It made for an extremely satisfying meal!
This meal needs copious amounts of coconut milk. You can use store bought, but it is really simple to make at home. And preservative free completely!
All you need is some fresh coconut, cubed and some hot water.
Grinds a cup of coconut, add hot water and strain. This is the first extract/thick milk.
Add another cup of hot water to the precipitate and grind again. Strain to get the second extract/ thin milk.

The stew gets its flavour from the whole spices completely and needs no ground spices apart from black pepper really. You can add a dash of cumin- coriander powder if you like. The stew gets heat from green chillies and pairs beautifully with the mild flavoured appams.

You need
2 cups of mixed vegetables, cubed.
I used carrots, cauliflower, French Beans, potatoes, peas and onion
1 tsp ginger,grated
2-3 cloves of garlic,minced
2 large green chillies (or less if you want to reduce the heat)
¼  tsp black pepper powder
1 cup of thin coconut milk/water
1 cup of thick coconut milk
Salt, to taste
Whole spices-  2 bay leaves, a small stick of cinnamon, 4-5 cloves
1 tsp oil
5-6 curry leaves
In a pan (can use the pressure cooker) heat oil and add curry leaves.
Add the whole spices and roast for a few seconds.( I sometimes make it oil free and just dry roast the spices like I did here)
IMG_4516Add the vegetables, green chillies and black pepper powder.
Season with salt.
Add the thin coconut water and cover and cook till vegetables are done but firm.
(If making in pressure cooker, use water instead of coconut milk)
Take off the heat and add the thick coconut milk.
Stir well and serve hot.
* In case whole spices are not available, use some Garam Masala powder
* I always take the stew off the heat and then stir in the coconut milk so that the milk does not split.
* A tsp of mustard seeds can be added right after the curry leaves if desired.

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