Cracking a coconut for the NEW YEAR !

Kerala Mixed vegetable stew- for JFI Coconut

I have my fair set of resolutions ready for the brand new year, nothing too ambitious, just simple plans, no froufrou. Along with other targeted self improvements, I will roll out chapattis thinner and will try to make idlis from scratch again in 2007. But no matter what ever I do, I cannot let this year go off without THANKING ALL OF YOU, for the unconditional support and encouragement you have been giving to this blog. Thank you.
We wish you all a very happy new year !

Food for thought is one of my favorite blogs, and to make things even better Ashwini, the immensely creative writer of that blog cracked a coconut for this month’s JFI ! Thank you, I am going nuts already. My home state in India, looks like a coconut tree forest from above, there is no wonder that along with air, water, light and rice I consider coconut as one of the prime life sustaining forces! Oh, yes I am indeed exaggerating, but my pantry is always well stocked up with cans of coconut milk, dried coconut flakes, and frozen grated coconut. Yet, picking a recipe for JFI-coconut was not very easy; too many choices can be too much on your brain sometimes. Right from the mundane to the festive, it is really hard to think of a traditional Kerala recipe without that obvious hint of coconut. But there are certain recipes which underscore the taste of coconut itself, using a fresh coconut in such a recipe can be extremely rewarding. Kerala style stew is a celebration of the finest spices and ingredients abundant in that piece of land, freshly squeezed coconut milk, dashes of fresh ground black pepper, crushed cardamom seeds and curry leaves blend together so well creating a stew with a characteristic dulcet aroma too complex to even describe. This stew’s best companion is appam , but you can enjoy it with rotis or breads. Whatever you decide to do with your bowl of stew, do take a moment to enjoy the delicate scent of this dish.

Potatoes diced into cubes – 2 cups
Carrots cubed – 1 cup
Green beans cut into 1 cm length – ½ cup
Onions, cut square shaped pieces – 1 cup
Ginger chopped – 1 tbsp
Garlic minced – 1 tbsp
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cloves – 3
Star anise – ½
Green chilly split lengthwise– 1
Black pepper, freshly ground – ½ to 1 tsp
Cardamom – 3-4 pods
Curry leaves – a sprig + 2-3 leaves
Oil (preferably coconut) – 1 1/2 + ½ tsp
Coconut milk (freshly squeezed or canned) – 1 ½ cups
Salt – to taste
Water -11/2 cup

Steam (~ for 5 minutes) or microwave (Mix with a tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt) green beans and carrots till tender. Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a thick bottomed pan, add cinnamon stick, one crushed pod of cardamom, star anise and cloves and fry for half a minute. Add onions, ginger, garlic, green chilly and a sprig of curry leaves, sauté with a pinch of salt till the onions are translucent. Add diced potatoes, mix well and pour in 11/2 cup of water and ½ cup of coconut milk. Cook covered in medium heat till the potato pieces are tender. Open the lid, add steamed vegetables, and stir in a cup of coconut milk. Sprinkle with remaining crushed cardamom and ground black pepper. Cook covered for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat. In a small bowl coat curry leaves with ½ tsp coconut oil, and slightly crush it with hand. Add it to the cooked stew, and keep the lid on for 5 more minutes. Open the lid, mix the stew and serve hot with appam, or bread.

* Green peas, cauliflower and other vegetables of your choice can be added to this stew.
Making lacy appoms- here and here


Anonymous said...

Happy new year Archana and Thomas. The aroma of this wonderful stew is reaching us here in CT. Thanks for linking to my sorry looking palappam:)
We mallus are nuts about coconut, aren't we? Coconut milk and grated coconut are a staple in our home too.
Made your puffs this weekend and was great. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,
Happy New Year to you and Thomas. It was great to see you over here and we look forward to seeing you again.

Shoma and Dhruv also conveys her new year wishes to you.

Ashwini said...

Perrrfect way to showcase the ingredients. Thanks so much for participating in JFI Archana. And a very very Happy New Year to you and your husband...may 2007 be filled with lots of happiness, fun and baking!!!

manju bansal said...

Wishing you and your family a Very Happy New Year. Tempting bowl of stew.

Gattina Cheung said...

You too, happy new year Archana!!! You're so sincere and tatlented, knowing you is one of my greatest joy in last year! Look at your charming coconut stew I can imagine how beauitful in the land of Kerala!

Anonymous said...

Archana, happy new year and all the bets for 2007!

Tanuja said...

Hi Archana,

Wish u and ur Family a Happy and a Prosperous New year.

Bong Mom said...

Happy New Year Archana to you and your husband
Heart warming bowl of stew

TNL said...

Wishing you all the health and good fortune for 2007...looking forward to some great recipe ideas from you.


Nidhi said...

Hey Archana,

I love your new year Resolutions.. they are really down to earth and I am sure you can do it. :)

Your JFI entry for coconut is nice and I really like they use of different vegetables and fresh coconut milk in it.

Cheers to the new year and I m looking forward for some more inspiring and delicious recipes from you.

Thanks, Nidhi.

sra said...

Happy New Year Archana! I can taste the stew, sigh!

Prema Sundar said...

Wish u and ur family a very happy new year Archana. perfect entry for JFI event.

Sri said...

Wish a joyous and prosporous New Year Archana. Beautiful stew!!!

starry said...


jayakarthik said...

hey archana
wonderful coconut dish u got there, will try it out
thanks for sharing it

Seema Bhat said...

Loved this stew. Happy New year buddy and wish to see many more beautiful and healthy recipes in 2007

Anonymous said...

That is one perfect recipe for this event. Looks gorgeous too.
Entho adichupolikkanundennu paranjittu?? ;)

Menu Today said...

Hi Archana,
Happy New year.
Very Good entry for JFI. Thanks for sharing.

FH said...

Love the picture and the recipe too,very appropriate for JFI!:))

sudha said...

Happy New Year Archana.
Wow what a coincidence..i happened to eat this stew made by a friend on NewYear's day and instantly i liked it. The only difference is she also added coriander and khus-khus powder.
Thanks for sharing.

metoo said...

Hi Archana,

Have a great and wonderful New Year!


Anonymous said...

Have A Blessed New Year to u n ur family.
Good daY!

Anonymous said...

Yum. I love anything made with coconut milk. And I'm jealous that you so much wonderful access to fresh coconuts. Enjoy them in the new year...

Vini K said...

Hi Archana,nice recipe.will try it soon and let you know.Thanks for sharing!nice entry for JFI.

Mahek said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Archana this is Rg. I've never tasted mixed vegetable stew, have tried only with potatoes and I love to have it with Idlis.

your stew sounds very interesting and yummy with more colorful vegetables and spices....will try it out for sure. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Archana, Wish you and your family a very Happy & Prosperous New year.


archana said...

Hope you enjoyed a happy beginning of another great year, thank you so much for your good wishes. Your palappam pictorial was very helpful, and it looked so good too.
Yes, coconut tribe! I am so happy that you liked the puffs. Thank you.

Vidhu & Shoma
Thank you so much, enjoy a happy New Year! Thank you so much for those happy days, we are so looking forward to seeing you again. Did you see my two resolutions? (Please do read between the lines!)

Thank you so much, wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! I loved this month’s JFI- theme, very appropriate to ring in a brand new year. Thank you for hosting, I am eagerly waiting for the round up.

Manju , Angie,Tanuja,Sandeepa, Trupti,
Thank you so much folks, we wish you all a splendid New Year filled with peace, happiness and prosperity.

Thank you dear, Kerala is, indeed ! Wish we could take you there to see it. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

You are a darling; I am keeping my fingers crossed to see what happens with those resolutions. WISH YOU AN INCREDIBLY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sra, Prema,Sri, Starry N, Jayakarthik, Seema,
Thank you so much for your good wishes, we wish you the same.

Thank you dear, ready ayi irunnolu.

Menu Today, Asha
Thank you, I am glad that you liked it. Hope you are having fun with the brand New Year!

Thank you Sudha. There are many variations for this recipe wide spread in Kerala and TN, what a happy coincidence.

Aparna, Bhargavi,
Thank you so much friends. Hope you are enjoying a happy New Year!

Thank you. I do too. I used to, not now. My fresh coconut is almost always frozen these days!!

Vini, Mahek
Thank you so much for the good wishes may this year be the best!

Hi Rg,
Potato stew is a staple in our house too, goes very well with almost everything isn’t it? Thank you so much for your good wishes, wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. Do come in often this year, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Perfect entry for JFI, Archana. Good looking, warm and comforting stew there..:). Perfect for the winter season!

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,

I always visited your blogs and drooled over the enticing recipes. I share your name and I am also from Kerala. I love appam and stew. My mom never added the spices for stew, and today I tried your version.. it was delicious. For appam, the easiest way was to get the frozen ones :), but recently in Kerala store here, I discovered the easy palappam mix, which come out real good. Thanks for the recipe and a very Happy New Year to you..


Sia said...

hi archana,
wishing u and ur family a hap-happy new year:)

Meena Kandlakuti said...

hi Archana,
wish u a very very happy new yaer to u and ur dear ones.And thanks for sharing such a simple yet delicious stew recipe.

Inji Pennu said...

I never can make good stew. The thing is I add too much spice esp while making non veg stew. Somehow I cant resist from adding a little this and that and finally it turns to an immature non-veg curry rather than a stew!

Stew - an excellent choice for JFI coconut. I think this dish also doesnt have its origins in Kerala and is imported i think. :(

Rajee said...

hi archana,

try my recipes in my blogs and send me ur feedback.

happy blogging,

kitchenrooster said...

Hi Archana,

i tried your mixed vegetable stew.
it came out very well
really yummy!!!


Anonymous said...

We made this for breakfast today and was delicious. Tasted so authentic. Thanks for the recipe
- Gini and Satish


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