Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ishtu-Traditional Potato Stew of Kerala!




Ishtu or Eshtu is a traditional potato stew of Kerala, India. Mildly spicy this creamy stew is served with Appam, Idiappam(steamed rice noodles) or Bread Rolls. Kerala, the south western coastal state of India has many unique dishes that are relatively unknown outside the state. Being a land of coconut trees, coconuts are used in preparing many dishes, varying from appetizers to desserts, either in the form of grated coconut or coconut milk or coconut oil.


Ishtu finds an important place in the cuisine especially during occasions like weddings, get together, religious gatherings etc. Cooked potatoes are stewed in mildly spicy creamy coconut milk where the base is first prepared with onions, ginger garlic and other aromatic spices. Here I have added carrots and capsicum to make the stew multi coloured since I personally feel that it makes it much more appetizing than the plain white stew.


Before going to the recipe I would like to give few pointers.For retaining the white colour of stew I have used white onions instead of red ones. While sauteing the onions do not allow it to change colour, rather it should be cooked till it turns transparent. The potatoes should not be overcooked to a stage where they would be mashed to small pieces on adding it to the curry(sauce). Do not make the curry too thick before turning off the heat as it would become thicker when kept for some time. For making the stew multi coloured I have used carrots and green bell pepper as I personally favour the taste imparted by the pepper to any dish.Its optional. Also the use of coconut oil for cooking imparts a special and unique flavour to the dish.Well I guess you are now prepared to make traditional potato stew. Lets all enjoy Ishtu :)

Ingredients:(Serves 4)
Potatoes - 1.5
Small Carrots - 2 sliced to small strips
Green Bell Pepper(Capsicum)- 1 chopped
Big white onion - 1
Garlic cloves - 3 chopped
Ginger chopped - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 2(2" sticks)
Cloves - 6-7
Cardamom seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bay leaves - 2
Curry leaves - 3 sprigs
Green chillies - 3 split
Salt to taste
Ground pepper - 1/2 tsp(or more)
Thick coconut milk - 1 3/4 cups
Thin coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Coconut oil for cooking

Method:
  • Peel off the skin of potatoes and chop into small cubes.
  • Cook in a pressure cooker with enough salt and water. Keep aside.
  • Cook the carrots in a microwave adding enough salt.
  • Crush the cardamom seeds using a mortar and pestle and then add cloves and cinnamon and gently crush again to release the flavours. Keep aside.
  • Crush the chopped ginger and garlic.
  • Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a pan and add crushed cinnamon, cloves, cardamom along with bay leaves. Saute for few seconds.
  • Add crushed ginger garlic and saute till raw smell goes.
  • Add sliced onions and green chillies and saute till onions turn transparent.
  • Add bell pepper and saute for few seconds.
  • Add salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Add the cooked potatoes along with water left after pressure cooking potatoes(if there is too much water left add little), cooked carrots and thin coconut milk.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for few minutes.
  • Add thick coconut milk.
  • Cook for few minutes more till the curry has attained a creamy consistency-neither watery nor thick.
  • Add freshly torn curry leaves along with few drops of coconut oil, mix well and remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with Appam/Idiappam/Bread rolls.
This goes to:

BSI-Potatoes hosted by Christo of Chez What?


AFAM Bell Peppers hosted by Priya & started by Maheswari.



Pooja.

Other Vegetarian Dishes:

Palak PaneerMushroom CurryPotato StewChole Paneer MasalaLobia Mushroom CurryKerala Kadala CurryPaneer Mushroom Masala

80 comments:

Sarah Naveen said...

Hey Pooja...
Nice meeting you in the bloggie world...thanks a ton for stopping by vazhayila and leaving your comment..
And not leave out stew looks yummy yummy........

rahin said...

looks ready to dive in pooja :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Sarah and welcome :) Nice to see you too :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Rahin :)

Bharti said...

I love coconut based curries. This one sounds delicious.

Ann said...

Wow Stew and idiyappam are the best heavenly combo :) looks Yumm Pooja

Pooja said...

Thanks Bharti :) Me too :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ann :)

Pavithra said...

Wow thats simply superb stew.. lovely with coconut and veggies..wish to have it with string hoppers

Padma said...

Looks so delicious Pooja... love to have with aappam and idiyappam's ... nice addition of bellpeppers ...loved it totally :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Pavithra :) I too love to have with Idiappam/Appam!

Pooja said...

Thanks Padma :) The idea was to make it multicoloured but went well :)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Looks divine dear...

Gita said...

The dish looks so creamy and colorful Pooja...this reminds of our traditional white kurma...looks so delicious with the idiyappam :)

Pooja said...

Thanks HCOF :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Gita :)

Smitha said...

I love ishtu. BEst combi is with vellai appam. It's been ages since I had nool appam. Felt homesick when I saw ur pic

Aysha said...

I jus love stew Pooja...Its been my all time favourite..Have't tried vegetable stew yet..Will surely try out this yummy dish..

Jenn said...

Delicious stew. All the flavors in them sounds very good.

Pooja said...

Thanks Smitha :) Yes Appam is the best combo!

Pooja said...

Thanks Aysha :) Stew is my favourite too! I'm too happy to have veg/non veg stews any time!

Pooja said...

Thanks Jenn :)

doggybloggy said...

I would so love to have some of this delicious potato stew right now - thus looks great Pooja

Sailaja said...

i love stew....i learned it from my kerala friend....

Pooja said...

Thanks DB :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ms.Sailaja for dropping by! I too love any stews :)

Preeti Singh said...

Great traditional patato stew...looks very creamy and healthy...I am drooling over idiappam too :)..

Prathibha said...

wow that looks really amazing dear..I love this with appam..

A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Wow pooja very creamy ishtu and lovely idiappam. Can sense the aroma from your photo.

My Experiments with Cooking said...

Your description is killing us. I love the color!

Priya said...

Wow Potato Stew looks divine Pooja...i was planning to prepare this delicious stew from a long, wish to have rite now with those idiyappams;.

Parita said...

Ok I have everything in my pantry other than coconut milk,I am so making this tonight for dinner, will let you know how it turned out :) thanks a bunch for sharing, it looks heavenly, creamy and delicious!

Sushma Mallya said...

Thanks for visiting my blog ....potato stew looks very good and mouth watering....

Lore said...

Looks so creamy, I'm sure it tastes heavenly! Thanks for the tips :)

Bergamot said...

The ishtew looks really yummy.. I would love to have this with appam.

aquadaze said...

love it, love it love it!!

Vrinda said...

Yummy ishtu Pooja..i like this with Appam...

Purva Desai said...

this looks really healthy stew...

5 Star Foodie said...

Wonderful flavors for this delicious potato stew!

ARUNA said...

wow this is simply delectable dish Pooja!I was unable to open your blog for a long time!!!

Pooja said...

Thanks Preethi :) Will post the recipe for idiappam soon!

Pooja said...

Thanks Prathibha :) Appam is also my first choice with stew :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Sadhana/Muskaan :)

Pooja said...

Thanks My Experiments With Cooking :) Do give it a try some time!

Pooja said...

Thanks Priya :) Its easy to make and doesnt require much effort. Makes it even more easy if you have store bought coconut milk!

Pooja said...

Thanks Parita :) Would love to hear your verdict! And if you are using store bought coconut milk, that makes the prep lot more easier, do dilute it with little water to make the thick milk. Enjoy :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Sushma for dropping by :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Lore & welcome :) Felt it was sufficient to make a perfect stew :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Bergamot :) Appam is my first preference too!

Pooja said...

Thanks Aqua :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Vrinda :) Me too :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Purva :) Frankly it isnt much dear, coz it has coconut milk. But best suited for occasions and on days when you dont feel much health conscious!

Pooja said...

Thanks Natasha :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Aruna :) Oh wonder why!! Do try changing the browser. I had a similar prob when viewing some blogs. But its temporary and changing browsers does help!

Dhanya Nambirajan said...

Delicious stew Pooja:).

Ashwini said...

looks creamy and yum...perfect pic...

Priyameena said...

Wow...Love to have the whole plate..Best combo..

Pooja said...

Thanks Dhanya :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ashwini :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Priya :) Go ahead n grab it :)

Varsha Vipins said...

one of the classic nadan combo's..looks awesome..reminds me lot of ma mom,back at home..:(

Ashwini said...

Wow looks delicious. Love anything with coconut.. Yumm.

Pooja said...

Thanks Varsha :) Yes I too miss mom's cooking :(

Pooja said...

Thanks Ashwini :) Me too :)

Valarmathi said...

Wow looks so yummy....

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow.......love that creamy and colorful looking curry.....

Kalaivani said...

Delicious stew and I never tried it.
will try it ... nice pictures.

Mangala Bhat said...

wow! nice pics ...love this ..looks soo delicious :)

Varunavi said...

Nice snap,i love this and i get to eat this here at kerala rest :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Valar :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Lubna :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Kalai :) Do let me know ur verdict too :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Mangala :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Varunavi :) Oh thats great! You may try this out some time. And there is more joy in having home cooked food right ? :D

rekhas kitchen said...

hummmmm yummmy looks so delicious and creamy love to have this with hot Appams yum yum.

Pooja said...

Thanks Rekha :) This is my favourite with appam too!

Angie's Recipes said...

What a nice flavourful potato stew!

Angie's Recipes

Pooja said...

Thanks Angie :)

Parita said...

Hey Pooja dearie, as promised i tried your ishtu and guess what loved loved loved it, i used store bought coconut milk and added little water, i cant imagine how easy and delicious this is, thanks for this fantastic recipe:)

Pooja said...

Wow I'm so happy to hear this Parita! Thanks a ton for trying out and letting me know :)