Saturday, February 1, 2014

Coconut Stew

                                      This is a very popular and a very tasty delicacy from Kerala. Coconuts are available in plenty there and used invariably in almost all the dishes, giving them a unique flavour.This stew is called as Ishtu by the Keralites.This gravy is a good combination for Idiappam and Appam.

                               As such the word and the dish, Stew, I believe must be a legacy left by the Britishers as Potatoes form a part of their meal.Their butlers must have tried a gravy with the potatoes and coconut milk.

                              Sodhi,a special and a favourite gravy of Tirunelveli Saiva Pillai community made from coconut milk is a slightly different version of this Stew.

Ingredients :

Grated coconut    2 cups
Potatoes  4 to 6
Big Onions  3
Green chillies  4

Method :

1. Mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of the coconut in the mixer and take a thick extract of
   cocnut milk.Repeat this with the other 1 cup of coconut.Put all the used coconuts
   together again the mixer, add 3/4 cup of water and take the extract.So there will be 2
   cups of thick coconut milk and 3/4 cup of thin milk.Slice the onions.

2. Cube the potatoes and slit the chillies. Cook them with little salt and the sliced onions
    in the thin milk for  or 2 whistles in a small pressure cooker.

3. Later add the thick coconut extract ,salt and simmer till it starts frothing like milk. It is
    very important to switch off immediatey. If it is allowed to boil, the coconut milk gets
   diluted.The tasty stew is ready.

Note :

1. Carrot and Beans can also be added. Some people like to season with Cinnamon and
   Cloves. Ginger and garlic paste is sauted with the onions and added by a few people.
   Coriander leaves can also be added in the end. My choice is always the plain coconut
   Stew only with the potatoes, Onions and chillies. I feel in this combination, the flavour
   of the coconut milk is predominating.

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