Kerala Style Vegetable Stew and How to extract Coconut Milk

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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!
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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!
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All you need is some fresh coconut, cubed and some hot water.
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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
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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)
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Season with salt.
Add the thin coconut water and cover and cook till vegetables are done but firm.
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(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.
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* 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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