Light Lockdown Lunches..The Kerala Style Stew with Mini Millet Neer Dosas
It was always a treat for us to eat 'South Indian' food . Delhi had a handful when were growing up like Dasaprakash, or Saagar , and we would always look forward to a dosa- idli lunch or dinner.Our menu , like our knowledge was limited to these items . We clubbed all the dishes that were not North Indian as South Indian! As cities grew, migration increased , the menu and our knowledge increased and the benefit passed on to our taste buds . We discovered a delicious and light dish originating from Kerela , called the Vegetable Stew with Appams . I remember relishing these at one of my favourite restaurants, the Konkan Cafe at the President Hotel when I was working in Mumbai . Wholesome and very nutritious , well balanced and loved by all, it was a perfect choice for....the lockdown lunch.
Instead of appams, I have prepared light savory Banyard millet ( samvat ke chawal ) pancakes or dosas as an accompaniment to the Vegetable stew.
The Vegetable Stew
11/2 small to medium sized carrots, peeled chopped
1 ½ potatoes or 1 large potato or about 150 grams potato, peeled and chopped
½ cup peas
50 grams french beans
¾ large onion . thinly sliced
2 nos. garlic cloves - freshly crushed into a paste
1/2 inch ginger, juliennes
2 green chilies, slit
1 inch cinnamon
3 nos.cloves - crushed or kept whole
3/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
2 -3 green cardamoms - crushed or kept whole (optional)
1 ¾ cups water
¾ cup thick coconut milk
8 to 10 curry leaves
11/2 - 2 tablespoon coconut oil
salt as required
sugar as required (optional)
I added a few cauliflower florets
1. Heat coconut oil. Add the whole & crushed spices - cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, black pepper. Saute them till the oil becomes fragrant.
2.Then add the ginger, garlic, green chilies, sliced onions and curry leaves. Saute till the onions become translucent, without browning them.
3.Add the chopped vegetables and stir well.
4.Add water and cover the pan and cook the vegetables.
5.The vegetables should be cooked till they are tender and done. If you want to cook the vegetables earlier in water ,do so.
6.Lastly add the thick coconut milk. Stir well and simmer for just half a minute. I prepared the coconut milk at home by churning freshly grated coconut with hot water. After this you will have to strain it to get a smooth texture but I left it as is .
7. If you want, you can also heat a few teaspoons of oil and fry curry leaves in it till crisp. Then add this curry leaves tempering from the top before serving the veg stew.
Serve Kerala style vegetable stew with Millet dosas(recipe in an earlier post under Millet neer dosa ) and chutney.