Vegetable Stew is a Kerala Style Veg Curry where veggies are cooked in coconut milk and very mild spices. It goes great with Appam, Neer Dosa, and Rice. Here is how to make it.
About This Recipe
When it comes to comforting, satisfying, and simple meals, South Indian is one of the cuisines that instantly comes to my mind. And my absolute favorite in it is this Vegetable Stew.
Vegetable Stew or Veg Stew is a popular vegetarian curry from Kerala where vegetables are cooked in a coconut-based curry. Not only in Kerala, but it is also made in most of the South Indian households for their everyday meals.
This Stew is loaded with vegetables and gets its spiciness from the use of green chilies. This one is mild when it comes to spices and tastes just heavenly when eaten with appam or rice.
Vegetable Stew is vegan and gluten-free, so if anyone looking for an easy option like this here is your dish.
It is also a great way to use up your leftover vegetables in the fridge. I often make this vegetable stew when I have a few of everything in my fridge.
This Vegetable Stew is,
- Hearty and Rich
- Low Carb
- Loaded with vegetables
- Perfect to serve with Appam and Rice
- Apt for your everyday meals
Coconut Oil – For an authentic taste, make sure to make this stew in coconut oil. If you do not have coconut oil, you can use any vegetable oil of your choice.
Vegetables – This dish is a great way to use up your leftover vegetables. I have added Potato, Carrot, Beans, Peas, and Cauliflower, but you can go ahead and add vegetables of your choice.
Some more options are Mushrooms, Broccoli, Potato, Yam, Snow Peas, Drumstick, etc.
Spices – It has whole spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and bay leaf, which adds a subtle spice to the curry.
These spices adds a subtle heat in the curry, when added to heated coconut oil.
Coconut Milk – Both, thin and thick milk are used in the curry to get the right consistency of the gravy. It also makes the curry super-rich and creamy.
You can either use homemade milk or if you have less time on your hands, you can even use the store-bought one.
Cashew Nut Paste – This gives richness and creaminess to this curry. It is optional, but I must recommend this ingredient. Just soak the cashews in warm water for a few minutes and then grind it into a fine paste.
For Tadka – Lastly, we will temper the stew with a simple tadka of onions and curry leaves in coconut oil.
Other Ingredients – You will also need Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies, Curry Leaves, and Salt.
You can adjust the amount of green chillies, as per the spice level you need in the stew.
Step By Step Recipe
Heat coconut oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn, and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds.
Add onion, ginger and garlic and fry until they turn translucent.
Add green chilli and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
Now add the veggies, thin coconut milk and salt. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
Add cashew nut paste and thick coconut milk and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Switch off the stove.
For tempering, heat coconut oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add onion and curry leaves and fry until golden brown.
Pour the tempering over the stew. Serve hot with Appam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both these dishes belong to the South Indian cuisine and have coconut in it, but the preparation is very different from each other.
While the base of Vegetable Kurma is just made with coconut milk and is flavored with whole spices, the base of Veg Kurma is made with fresh coconut, poppy seeds, fresh coriander, tomatoes and also uses everyday spices powders.
Vegetable Stew is white in color, while Vegetable Kurma has a yellow orangish hint to it. Also, Vegetable Kurma is spicy when compared to Vegetable Stew, as stew has a very mild spice due to only green chilies.
Add the freshly grated coconut and hot water in a blender and let it sit for about 2 minutes so that the coconut will soften a bit.
Now, grind both the ingredients until you get creamy milk consistency. Strain the milk and you will get thick coconut milk.
Now add the remaining pulp back into the mixer and add in more water. Grind it once again and strain it.
Repeat this twice and you will get thin coconut milk. You can store this in a glass bottle or container for about 3 days in the refrigerator.
This Vegetable Stew is vegan and gluten-free, plus it is loaded with the goodness of lots of vegetables, making it super healthy. You can add as many veggies as you want in this South Indian Stew, and make this nutritious curry for your everyday meals.
Instant Pot Recipe
To make Vegetable Stew in Instant Pot, turn on the saute button of your IP. Add coconut oil in the Pot. Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn, and bay leaf. Fry for a few seconds.
Add onion, ginger, and garlic and fry until they turn translucent. Add green chili and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Now add the veggies, thin coconut milk, and salt.
Close the Instant pot with locking lid. Turn off IP. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for about 3 minutes with a pressure valve in the sealing position.
Once the Instant Pot beeps, turn it off and quickly release the pressure. Open the Instant Pot and give it a mix.
Now, add prepared cashew paste and thick coconut milk. Mix everything well and turn on the saute button and cook it for 1 to 2 more minutes. Switch off the IP.
Add the tadka on top and serve hot.
This South Indian Vegetable Stew can be stored in an airtight container for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
I would not recommend you to freeze it, because the curry will be grainy once you thaw it and won’t taste that good.
Traditionally, Vegetable Stew is served with Appams for breakfast or even for meals.
Pro Tips By Neha
If possible prepare coconut milk at home using fresh coconut, as it provides a fresh and authentic taste to the curry.
You can also use store-bought coconut cream for the same. You can add in water to thin out the consistency of the same, before adding in the curry.
Add as many veggies as you want. Just make sure that the vegetables complement each other and go well with the coconut base.
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Vegetable Stew Recipe
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 Green Cardamom
- 2-3 Clove
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 3-4 Black Peppercorn
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 cups Onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 tsp Ginger (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp Garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 Green Chilli (Slit into half)
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
- 1 cup Thin Coconut Milk
- Salt (to taste)
- ¼ cup Potato (peeled and cubed)
- ¼ cup Carrot (peeled and cubed)
- ¼ cup Beans (chopped)
- ¼ cup Peas
- 1 cup Cauliflower (cut into florets)
- 2 tbsp Cashew Nut Paste
- 1 cup Thick Coconut Milk
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 4-5 Pearl Onions (sliced)
- 10-12 Curry Leaves
- Heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn and bay leaf.
- Fry for a few seconds.
- Add onion, ginger and garlic and fry until they turn translucent.
- Add green chilli and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
- Now add the veggies, thin coconut milk and salt.
- Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Add cashew nut paste and thick coconut milk and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- For tempering, heat coconut oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add onion and curry leaves and fry until golden brown.
- Pour the tempering over the stew.
- Serve hot with Appam.