April 11, 2013

Potato Stew

Potato Stew or ‘Ishtu’ is a traditional dish of Kerala. A dish with potatoes seldom goes wrong. It’s one of the most versatile vegetables and my most favourites too! Potato Stew is quite easy to prepare. Mornings, when there is no stock of coconut for chutney, I make this stew for dosas – an excellent combination :)  Appam-stew (rice hoppers), Idiyappam-stew (string hoppers) are marriages made in heaven and superhit combos.

This particular recipe is Ishtu - my way. In a normal Kerala household (call me abnormal – Mine is more of Kerala + Mumbai + Mangalore household), chopped potatoes, onions, crushed ginger, green chillies, salt – all together is pressure cooked, then curry leaves, coconut milk and coconut oil is added into it. Voila – simple, easy and fast. My version is quite an updated one and I would term it tastier too 🙊

Potato Stew


Potatoes – 2
Coconut milk powder – 2 tbsp (Maggi brand or any other) (or you can make coconut milk at home-given below)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 7-8
Ginger – small piece finely chopped
Green chillies – 3 slit
Onion – 1 large sliced
Coriander leaves – 5 sprigs chopped

Before you begin:
Boil potatoes. (or Pressure cook upto 4 whistles).

How to make Coconut milk: 
Grind grated coconut with sufficient quatity of water and squeeze out the milk to a bowl. Repeat the process again until the milk starts thinning. Fresh coconut milk is ready!
I take all this efforts only on special occasions due to –  one, because I am lazy; two, because I hardly find the time and patience!  So mostly I have a stock of coconut milk  powder.  Heat a cup of water and add in 2 tbsps of coconut milk powder. Mix well and your coconut milk is ready.

How I prepare:
  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add ginger, plenty of curry leaves and green chillies.
  3. Add sliced onions and fry till translucent.
  4. Next Peel and mash the boiled potatoes and add into the pan.
  5. Now pour the coconut milk (coconut milk powder mixed in one cup of hot water) and mix well. Add salt to taste.
  6. Let it boil for a minute and garnish with coriander leaves.

For authentic Kerala Potato stew, use coconut oil. However, not everyone is used to the taste of coconut oil in food. Just like not everyone is excited with the smell of mustard oil in cooking.  Another thing is you need not worry about left-over stew, because it will be lip-smacking and over in that very meal!
Another one of my coconut milk recipe: Olan