Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mom's Easy Potato Stew

Breakfast, as it name implies-breaking the fast, forms the most important meal of the day. A healthy and filling breakfast is absolutely essential to fuel one up with enough energy to do the daily activities. Studies have shown a direct relationship between having breakfast, learning ability, attention span and general well being. Also many studies have shown that people who eat breakfast can easily lose weight compared to those who skip the meal. Knowing well the innumerable benefits of a well balanced breakfast, at home, right from my childhood days great emphasis was given to it and I wasn't even allowed to leave to school without having breakfast irrespective of whether I had time for it or not!

Breakfast preparations at home sometimes started the day before especially when the batter for some item had to be fermented. Since my mom had to prepare breakfast quickly so that it would be ready before I left for school she had few recipes in handy that required minimum time and effort. I have mentioned one of her recipes here-Potato Stew. I have slightly modified her recipe to suit my taste.

This Potato stew is similar to Kerala Potato Stew or Eshtu with slight differences in the ingredients that imparts enough spiciness and rich creamy texture to the gravy. Moreover the entire dish is prepared using pressure cooking technique with little time needed for stove top cooking. So dump all your ingredients into the cooker, relax and let the cooker do its job!

Spices for dry roasting:
2 Cinnamon sticks - each 2" long(approx)
Cloves- 6
Cardamom seeds - few
Star anise - 1
Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
For pressure cooking:
Potato - 1 1/2 chopped into cubes
Red onion- 1 sliced thin
Tomato - 1 chopped
Fresh ginger minced - 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp
Ground pepper - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaves - 2
Salt to taste
3 cups water
For stove-top cooking:
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Dry red chillies - 2
Grated coconut - 1/3 cup(or more)
Coconut oil - 1.5 tsp

  • Dry roast the spices mentioned above(under dry roast) in a pan at medium heat until the colour slightly changes and you get the fresh aroma of roasted spices.
  • Remove from heat, cool and grind to a powder without adding water. Keep aside.
  • Add all the ingredients mentioned under pressure cooking except water, in a pressure cooker along with the ground roasted spices and mix thoroughly.
  • Add water and pressure cook till potatoes are cooked well. I followed this technique of pressure cooking- cook at high heat till one whistle is heard, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 12 minutes.
  • Open the cooker only when the pressure has been released.
  • Grind grated coconut to a smooth paste adding enough water. Keep aside. Instead of grated coconut you may add 1 cup of thick coconut milk. Since I prefer the thick texture imparted to the gravy by grated coconut I have used it here.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and broken dry red chillies.
  • Saute till curry leaves turn crisp and you get the aroma. Do not allow it to burn.
  • Add the pressure cooked ingredients and ground coconut. Check salt at this stage.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and cook till the gravy turns thick. During this cooking process you may add additional water if you wish to.
  • When the gravy has attained a creamy consistency remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with Appam/ Chapatis/ Idiappam.
This goes to


Serve with:


Other Vegetarian Dishes:

Palak PaneerMushroom CurryChole Paneer MasalaLobia Mushroom CurryKerala Kadala CurryIshtuPaneer Tikka RollsPaneer Mushroom Masala


Dhanya Ganesh said...

Wow,that stew looks so yummy and colorful. I luv potatoes.

Pooja said...

Thanks Dhanya :) I too love potatoes and enjoy hogging on those in any form :D

Sweta (My Indian Dietitian) said...

I can almost taste it with nice fluffy appams-my ideal breakfast dish(so long as someone makes it for me)!!

Pooja said...

Thanks Sweta :) I too prefer someone else making for me and I sitting n enjoying! How I cherish those childhood days!

Pavithra Elangovan said...

pooja thats looking cool and have to try it its somewhat diffe and sure it tastes good yah...Nice post

Pooja said...

Thanks Pavithra :) And do let me know your verdict too :)

Chef Jeena said...

Yummy potato dish I just adore the combination of potato and spices yum yum. :-)

Pooja said...

Thanks Jeena :)

Vrinda said...

This stew with all spices,is totally new to me..really liked it...will definitely try this out..

Priya Suresh said...

Wow potato stew looks fabulous Pooja!!

Pooja said...

Thanks Priya :)

VineelaSiva said...

Hai pooja nice curry.Hey how u got ur recipes back.I searched in my dashboard.When i open ur site it is closing the page so i left the msg in my blog dear.Anyway now i can see ur recipes dear.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

I love it... Yummy filling dish I am sure... I wonder how come our Moms had time to make such great stuff for us every morning! My mom also used to ensure that I had a proper breakfast everyday

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Vineela! The problem was with the customized feed that I created using feedburner to let readers subscribe. The google reader then took this feed instead of the defualt one. But the feed that I created overflowed and hence stopped indexing and hence my updates were no longer visible!

Pooja said...

Thanks HCOF! Yes I too ponder about it always!!

Pooja said...

yummy stew pooja..moms recipes are always special..

Pooja said...

Thanks Pooja :)