Showing posts with label Stews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stews. Show all posts

Friday, November 23, 2012

Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Vegetable Stew

Coconut Mylk Vegetable Stew is a hearty dish that hails from the state of Kerala, in South India. It is usually served as a combination with Appam Dosa, a kind of pancake made in a special, concave pan. The batter is poured into the hot pan, swirled around, drizzled with oil, covered and roasted for half a minute. This results in a soft, fluffy center and crispy sides. A piece of Appam, dipped in stew does all kinds of yummy things inside your mouth before melting away. :)

My mom usually makes Appam batter and gives it to me, so when I make the batter myself I'll share the recipe here on my blog. For now, here's a coconut mylk based veggie stew with an interesting twist and an added boost of health.

Coconut Mylk Pumpkin Vegetable Stew

The veggies that are usually stewed in the coconut mylk are carrot, beans, peas and potatoes. But this time when I made the stew, I wanted to use up some week-old vegetables - a large slice of sweet pumpkin, a couple of half-dried radishes, one partially wilted chow chow (chayote) and a sweet potato that was in perfectly good condition. I diced the sweet potato with the carrots, beans and potatoes but the chow chow, radish and pumpkin, I decided to put into the sauce. It ended up making the stew extra creamy and absolutely delicious!

I liked it so much that from now on, whenever I make Coconut Mylk Stew for Appams, I'll be blending some cooked pumpkin into the sauce and maybe some radish too. :D

If you don't use a microwave, the vegetables can be steamed or boiled instead. It'll take a little longer and the texture will be slightly different, but other than that, I'm sure it'll taste just as yummy. :)

Coconut Mylk Pumpkin Vegetable Stew

2 Carrots
10 Beans
1 Potato
1 Sweet Potato
1/2 C Frozen Peas
1 large slice Red Pumpkin (500 gms)
2 Radishes
1 Chow Chow
1/2 C Thick Coconut Cream/Mylk
2 tsp Coconut Oil
2 Green Chillies
1 inch Cinnamon
4 Cloves

Scrub and wash all the vegetables well (do not peel them).
Cut the pumpkin, radish and chow chow into chunks and place them in a microwave safe dish.
Sprinkle some salt over them, add half a cup of water and nuke for about 10 minutes (until tender).
Transfer to a wide bowl or plate and keep aside to cool.

Meanwhile, slice the carrots, beans, potato and sweet potato into 1 inch pieces and place them in the micro dish, along with the frozen peas.
Sprinkle salt and water over them and nuke for 5-7 minutes (they should be cooked but crunchy).

Now blend the cooled pumpkin, chow chow and radish into a creamy sauce, adding the coconut cream/mylk and about a cup of water (a little at a time).

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan or wok.
Add the cinnamon, cloves and sliced green chillies and stir fry.
Add the vegetables and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the prepared pumpkin-coconut sauce and mix well.
Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes (to save time, I usually start making the Appams at this point, while the sauce is simmering).

Serve hot with Appams or Stemed Rice or Toasted Bread.

Enjoy! :)

Coconut Mylk Pumpkin Vegetable Stew

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Stew/Chilli

Adzuki is an East Asian bean and I've seen it being mentioned in a few vegan recipe books. But since we don't get it here, I hadn't got a chance to try it. I normally like to cook beans from scratch, using dry beans by quick soaking them and then pressure cooking with a wee bit of salt and spices. But a few days ago, I found a can of pre-cooked Adzuki Beans at Brown Tree and I couldn't resist grabbing one. Anyone who enjoys cooking will tell you that 'exotic' ingredients are hard to resist. :oP

Since they are commonly used to make sweet dishes, like Amanattō, I figured the beans would have a slightly sweet taste to them, but when I popped one into my mouth, it kind of tasted like Karamani (Black Eyed Peas) to me. A bean that looks like a small Rajma (Red Kidney Beans) and tastes like Karamani, interesting but not worth ₹139 for 400 gms (to their credit, they were organic). It is possible that the canning made it more bland in taste, so the next time I buy the Adzuki bean is when I find it locally grown in dried form.

I don't have any regrets though because this Chilli/Stew turned out a-mazing!! *slurp* It was sweet, tart, spicy, salty, umami all at once. A beautiful balance in flavours achieved by the super enthusiasm that only working with a new ingredient can inspire. :D

When you try this recipe, I recommend using a combination of beans - Pink and Red Rajma, Chickpeas, White and Red Double Beans, Butter Beans, Adzuki Beans... each spoonful will bring wholesome heavenly goodness into your mouth.

Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Stew

Stir Frying Ingredients:

1 Large Onion - thinly sliced
7-8 Cloves of Garlic - roughly crushed
4 Green Chillies - chopped finely
1 Carrot - chopped into small cubes
1 200gms block of Tofu (I really like the Ka Kims brand in Bangalore) - cubed
1 400gms can Adzuki Beans - drained and rinsed
2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 T Coriander Powder
Pinch of Cumin Seeds
1 T Coconut Oil

Pumpkin Sauce Ingredients:

1 medium slice of Red Pumpkin - cubed (with peel) and steamed or microwaved
1 small Banana (the Yelakki kind, because it has a very mild flavour)
4 medium sized Tomatoes (local, Naati ones)
1/4 tsp Red Chilly Powder
Pinch of Turmeric
Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Handful Italian Basil Leaves (optional)

Additional Ingredients:

1 tsp Tamarind Paste
Lime Juice
Raw Onion - chopped
Almonds - sliced
Fresh Cilantro - Chopped

Blend all the sauce ingredients together until creamy, using a bit of water as required. Keep aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a large wok or pan.
Add the cumin seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Reduce flame to medium and add the garlic, onion and green chillies.
Leave them without stirring for a couple of minutes.
Once the garlic and onion has browned a bit, increase the heat and stir fry them for a minute.
Add the carrot and stir fry for a few minutes (until carrot is half cooked).
Reduce the flame to medium again, add the tofu and stir carefully without allowing it to break or stick to the bottom of the wok, until the tofu has slightly browned.
Add the adzuki beans, coriander powder, cumin powder and a tiny bit of salt and mix well.

Pour the blended sauce over everything and mix.
At this point, if you want it to be like a chilli, add one or two cups of water so it can be had in a big bowl with a spoon.
For a thicker stew that can be served over rice or bread, add only about half a cup of water, if you feel it's necessary or don't add any water at all.
Mix and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add tamarind paste, mix well and simmer for another minute.

Turn off the flame and let it cool for a few minutes.
Stir in lime juice when serving.
Optionally top with chopped onions, cilantro and sliced almonds.

Serve hot.
Enjoy! :)

Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Stew

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vegan Avial South Indian Yogurt Vegetable Stew

We have various festivals in India which mark the start of a New Year. People from different states and languages mark the beginning of their year based on moon cycles, star cycles, seasons etc. Two weeks ago we had Ugadi here in the state of Karnataka. We celebrate this every year at my parents place where we do the customary eating of "bevu bella". The neem flowers (bevu) are bitter and the jaggery (bella) is sweet. We mix them in a little plate and place it at the holy altar and begin our day by eating a large pinch of this mixture while saying "neem is sweet, jaggery is bitter". This is to signify our acceptance of all bitter experiences and sweet experiences that life throws at us as equal and that without either, life would be incomplete.

After this, we proceed to stuff our faces with delicious festival foods. This year my mom and both my grandmas together made a bunch of stuff, the key ones being maavinakai chitranna (mango and lemon based rice dish), holige saaru (a sweet and sour liquid that we mix with rice and slurp) and holige/obbattu a thin flatbread made of semolina and flour, stuffed with a sweet lentil and jaggery mixture.

I didn't take pictures of any of these because I was too busy enjoying myself with my family and stuffing my face that day. But on hindsight, I did feel bad that I didn't capture everything to share here.

So I decided that since yesterday was the Tamil New Year festival which hubby and I celebrate here at home, I should share at least one recipe with you all.

Avial, is a special South Indian stew (hailing from the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala) of vegetables simmered in a spicy coconut and yogurt based sauce. It's a very simple recipe but takes time to make because of all the vegetable cutting involved. Traditionally vegetables like yam, drumstick, plantain (raw banana) which are native to South India play the main role in Avial. Other than these potatoes, carrots, french beans and peas are included. Veggies like capsicum (bell peppers), radish, beets, turnips etc... are avoided because they change the texture completely (being very soft when cooked) and don't go well with the yogurt base.

This is what went into my Avial yesterday (I didn't have plantain and drumstick on hand otherwise I'd have definitely included them).


3 C Vegetables cut into long (approx 1 inch) pieces - yam, carrot, beans, potato, baby corn, peas
1/4 tsp Turmeric

5-6 Green Chillies
1/4 tsp Cumin
1 inch piece Ginger
2 C Dry Coconut Powder (grated fresh coconut is even better)

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
Curry Leaves
1/8 tsp Asafetida Powder
3-4 Dry Red Chillies (each broken into 3-4 pieces)
Coconut Oil

1/2 C Vinegar
1/4 C Lemon/Lime Juice
2 C Peanut Yogurt

Toss the chopped veggies in turmeric and some salt and steam them until tender (about half an hour).

Grind the coconut, ginger, green chillies, cumin and a little more salt together into a paste using water as required.

In a large, heavy bottomed vessel heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil and add the mustard seeds and cover loosely. As soon as they have stopped crackling (half a minute), add the dry red chillies, curry leaves and asafetida.

Add the steamed vegetables and spicy coconut paste and mix together. Add a cup of water, cover and simmer everything together for a few minutes.

Turn off the flame and mix in the vinegar, lemon juice and peanut yogurt. Taste and adjust the salt and sour ingredients.

Serve over steamed rice.

Enjoy! :)


Apart from the Avial, I also made two other things (these are old pictures that I clicked a long time ago though):

Jevvarisi payasam - a tapioca pudding of sorts.

Sabbakki Payasa

Parappu vada - spicy, deep fried fritters made of a combination of lentils which can be enjoyed plain or soaked in vegan yogurt.

curd parappu vada

I'll share recipes of these at some other point. For now, make yourself some Avial and enjoy! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Pumpkin Tofu Stew

January 15th was a festival day here. It's called Sankranthi/Pongal and it's the festival of harvest. You can read more about it in an older post I've written about the festival, its meaning and the traditional foods we make on this day.

During Sankranthi, there is an abundance of sweet potatoes, pumpkins and sugarcane in people's houses. On the festival day my mom makes this amazing Sambar with peanuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and avarekai (the most delicious kind of bean in existence). Along with this Sambar, she sent me some pumpkin, sweet potato and sugarcane. The sugarcane was quickly chopped by hubby so we could chew and slurp on the sweet sweet juice. Ahhh the simple pleasures of life! With the other two I decided to make this stew.

It started off as a soup but then the previous night's dinner of Korean stew at Shiro must've had a subconscious influence because before I knew it, I was stewing chunks of tofu in the soup. Either ways, it was a delicious, hearty meal.

I used just one small sweet potato because that's all I had at home but I tweaked the recipe because this'll taste far more scrumptious when the flavor of the sweet potato is stronger.

Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Pumpkin Tofu Stew

1 Small Pumpkin
3 Sweet Potatoes
1 Medium Red Onion
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp All Spice Powder
1/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/2 tsp Pepper Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 200gm packs Tofu
1 200ml pack Thick Coconut Mylk

Wash the pumpkin and de-seed it. Scrub the sweet potato and clean it well. Make large cubes of both vegetables with their peels intact.

In a large pot, heat the oil and stir fry the vegetables. Add the spices and salt and stir fry again.

Add 4-5 Cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on a medium flame for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables have become soft. Stir once in a while in between.

Meanwhile, chop the onion into big chunks and spread them out on a baking sheet by separating the layers with your hands. Grill/broil them in an oven until they are crispy and almost burnt (or cook in the microwave on high for 5-6 minutes). These onion 'chips' take on a sweet flavor and are yummy to eat plain!

Also cube the tofu and keep aside.

Once the vegetables are cooked, let them cool for a few minutes. Then add the burnt onions and puree everything together (I find a hand blender to be very convenient for this purpose. They are inexpensive and handy).

Add the coconut mylk and more water if required and blend some more. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Place the pot back on the stove and add the chunks of tofu. Simmer covered, on a low flame, for 10-15 minutes.

Creamy Vegan Sweet Potato Pumpkin Tofu Stew

Serve hot over plain rice or straight by itself in a big bowl.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Sambar for Idli - Vegan MoFo Post 19

A bonus post. I guess this is my way of holding on to Vegan MoFo and prolonging the last day. :oP

My first recipe for Vegan MoFo 2011 was for Idlis. I thought it would be apt to end the month with a recipe for Sambar which is commonly served with Idlis.

There are a few different authentic South Indian recipes for homemade Sambar and I enjoy the taste of most of them. The one I'm about to share with you is a quick and simple one.


2 C Mixed Vegetables - Carrots, Beans, Potatoes, Chow Chow (Chayote), Peas, Radish etc...
1 Large Diced Onion or 15-20 Peeled Sambar Onions (Shallots) - this is optional
2-3 Diced Tomatoes
1/2 C Toor Dal
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
2-3 tsp Sambar Powder (this spice mix tastes best when home made but it is also commercially available in the masalas section of Indian grocery stores)
1-2 tsp Tamarind Paste
1 tsp Jaggery
For the seasoning: Coconut Oil, Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaves, Dry Red Chillies (broken into halves), Hing (Asafotedia)

Wash and dice the vegetables. Wash the toor dal thoroughly. Bring 3-4 C of water with the turmeric to boil in a pressure cooker. Add the toor dal, vegetables and a small pinch of salt and pressure cook for 5-10 minutes (depending on your pressure cooker). Let it cool completely before opening the lid.

Meanwhile heat 1-2 tsp of the coconut oil in a deep pan. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds. Add the remaining seasoning ingredients. Add the onions/shallots and stir fry until they are tender. Add the sambar powder, tamarind paste, jaggery and salt and mix well. Add the tomatoes and turn off the heat. Cover and keep aside.

Once the vegetables and dal have cooled, add the tomato mixture and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust.

Serve hot ladled over Idlis or cooked rice.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vegan Double Beans Stew

After our 3 month long (semi) holiday, I had pretty mixed feelings about getting back home. On the one hand I wanted my super relaxing, veganlicious, creativity filled vacation to go on forever and ever. But on the other, I was really beginning to miss mom, dad and sis and had had enough of admiring our adorable little doll of a baby niece on the web cam... I wanted to meet her already!

I'd gotten too used to the lazy days of housekeeping services so it wasn't easy getting back to a dusty house with plenty to clean (not to mention unpack). My very thoughtful mommy had brought her maid over to our place the day before we arrived to do a quick sweep and mop but a 3 month old layer of dust takes much more than that to go away.

Soon after we got home, I took full advantage of my jet lag and started my days disgustingly early so as to get work done and out of the way a little at a time. The kitchen was the first point of attack of course; and then the rest of the house followed. Fortunately, my maid returned to work within a few days and made things easier for me.

It took a bit of effort to switch from vacation mode to reality mode. Thankfully Deepavali was the weekend following our return to Bangalore so it helped make the transition nicer. Having missed all the other festivals through August and September, it felt good to be celebrating this one with family.

Finally all the excitement is over and I've settled back into my regular routine. And you know what that means for all of you, my faithful blog readers. :)

Thank you for waiting so patiently until I got back into the swing of things. Here's something I whipped up on Monday night.

Vegan Double Bean Stew

Vegan Double Beans Stew with Brown Rice

1 Cup dry Red Double Beans - quick soaked, rinsed and cooked until tender
1 medium Onion - sliced
2 large Tomatoes - diced
1 small Capsicum - diced
handful Cilantro - chopped
Fresh Green Chillies
Olive Oil
Omum (Oregano) Seeds
Nutritional Yeast
Agave Nectar
Dried Herbs - dill, chives etc..
Salt (preferable Black Salt or Sea Salt)
Tamarind Paste or Lemon

Drain the cooked beans and reserve the cooking liquid.

Blend a large ladle full of the cooked beans with the tomatoes, capsicum (green bell pepper), cilantro, a piece of onion, green chillies, salt, nutritional yeast and a little bit of olive oil until creamy. Use some of the reserved bean broth if required.

Heat a few spoons of oil in a pan (for about 30 seconds) and sprinkle some omum seeds; they should crackle immediately. Add the sliced onion and stir fry till tender and slightly browned.

Add the cooked beans and the blended creamy mixture and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer for a few minutes. Add more of the reserved bean broth until you're satisfied with the consistency. Stir in some tamarind paste (if using) and let everything simmer for another minute or so. Taste and adjust the salt. Turn off the flame and let it sit for a minute.

If you're using lemon, squeeze the juice into the stew now. Add freshly crushed pepper and mix well. Drizzle on some agave nectar and sprinkle the dried herbs over the stew.

Serve with brown rice or enjoy as it is! :)

Vegan Double Beans Stew

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beet, Mung and Coconut Milk Stew with Dill Chapathi

Beets mmmmm. I've always loved beets as far back as I can remember. That sweet, wholesome flavor never fails to satisfy me. Last night I was about to make the usual Beet Sambar and Rice but then decided to concoct something new since I was craving Chapathis. It's a very simple recipe and I avoided using any extra spices because the slightly sweet flavors of the beets and coconut milk are delicious as they are.

Beet, Mung and Coconut Milk Stew

1/2 C Whole Mung Beans
2 Beets (cubed)
1 Package (200 ml) Coconut Milk (I like the Dabur Hommade brand)
1 t Oil
a pinch of Turmeric
Sambar Powder or Chilli Powder
1/4 t Tamarind Paste (optional)

Heat 2 C of water with the oil and turmeric added in. Bring it to a boil and add the mung beans, beets and a pinch of salt. Cook till the mung beans are soft (pressure cooking them together works best).

Mix in salt and sambar/chilli powder to taste and boil for a minute or so. Empty the whole pack of coconut milk in and stir, bring to boil and turn off flame. Stir in the tamarind paste if using and mix well.

This tastes delicious eaten by itself or with Chapathis.

Note: For the Dill Chapathi I used my regular Chapathi recipe with a few extras mixed into the dough - a pinch of turmeric, chilli powder and dried dill herb.