Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Istu - Traditional Coconut Milk Stew
Istu - Coconut Milk Stew, is my contribution to Jihva For Ingredients: Coconut. This simple kerala dish is one of my favorites.
Potato - 4 medium size
Onions - 4 medium sized - white or yellow
Green Chilli - 2, 3 to 4 if small variety
Ginger - 1" piece
Curry leaves - 6 to 7
Coconut Milk - from 1 1/2 coconut or 3/4 of the canned coconut milk .
Salt to taste
Coconut Oil - 1tsp
Cut Onions into thin long slices and potatoes into big cubes. Wash and put into pressure cooker, if you don't have a pressure cooker a deep pan with a lid will also do. Add the crushed ginger, chilli, 1/2 the curry leaves and salt. Add the second milk (this is for when you manually strain the coconut milk from a coconut - first milk is the thick milk that is first removed, the second milk is then then remain thin milk that is remove by adding water and removing the remain juice) and pressure cook for 15 minutes ( 3 whistles on low flame), if you are using the pan then cook for 30 minutes until the potatoes are 3/4 cooked. Open the cooker / remove lid and cook till water is almost dry. Add the remaining coconut milk , curry leaves and coconut oil. Serve hot with vellappam.
If you are using the canned coconut milk pour half in the beginning and the rest in the end. You can thin the milk by adding 2 cups water the first time.
If using a cooker wait for 5 to 10 minutes before you open the cooker - make sure that there is no steam left.
This recipe is the basic simple stew most families in kerala make, you would find that there are variations found from place to place, like more veggies and spices are added, but these basic ingredients remain the same.