Ishtu (Potato Stew)  

    Another traditional Keralite dish called “Ishtu” in Malayalam and ‘Potato Stew’ in English. It is made with Potato and cooked in Coconut milk. This is also one of the items in Kerala Sadya (Feast). It is very easy to prepare and at the same time very tasty as well. Stew with Appam is a popular breakfast fare in Kerala. Simple, aromatic, hearty stew that is sure to win many a heart.

    This dish always reminds me of our friends Terry and Marian in the U.K. This lovely English couple were our neighbours and friends and enjoyed Indian food. I made appam and ishtu once when they came to our house. They enjoyed the dish and asked me for the recipe but Terry unfortunately bit on one of the green chillies in the ishtu. We didn’t notice it first and being English, he tried his best to contain his agony but not for long. We doused the fire with water and sweets!

   This dish by itself is very mild but be careful not to bite on the chilly!

Preperation Time: 15 min.

Cooking Time: 20 min.

Serves: 4


Potato - 3 medium (peeled and diced)

Onion - 2 (thinly sliced)

Green chilli - 4 (slit long wise)

Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece (cut long wise)

Thin coconut milk (2nd extract of coconut) - 1 cup

Thick coconut milk (1st extract of coconut) - 1/2 cup

I used Maggi Coconut Milk powder to make Coconut Milk.

Coconut oil - 2 tsp

Curry leaves - 1 stem

Salt - to taste

Preparation Method

Take a vessel and add ginger, green chilli, potato, salt and thin coconut milk (2nd extract of coconut milk).

When potatoes become half cooked, add onion and let it cook till potatoes get fully cooked.

Once cooked, add thick coconut milk (1st extract of coconut) and stir well.

Simmer for 2 minutes on a low flame. Check salt.

Do not boil after you add the thick coconut milk (Make sure that gravy is not too watery).

Keep in mind that it thickens further once it is cooled down.

Turn the flame off.

Add coconut oil and curry leaves on top.

Cover the vessel with a lid for about 5 minutes.

It goes well with Appam , Idiyappam or even with rice.

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