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Nothing hits a beautiful days breakfast than a rich and steaming bowl of kerala vegetable stew and appam. Keralas appam and stew is a thing of beauty. It’s the perfect embodiment of what Kerala breakfast recipes are all about – rice flour, some fermenting, light on the stomach, easily digestible, and also, a bit time-consuming aswell. Cruise down the culinary art of Kerala with this easy, pillowy soft appams, and a deliciously creamy vegetable stew to mop them up with.
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Kerala Vegetable Stew
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Potato – peeled and chopped into small cubes – 1 nos
Mixed Vegetables (I used frozen mixed veggies with carrots, green beans, green peas and corn) – 1 cup ( if using fresh vegetables cut them into small cubes)
Onion – sliced – 1 nos
Coconut Milk – fresh or canned – ½ cup
Coconut cream – 6 teaspoon
Cinnamon stick – small piece
Cloves – 4 nos
Green chilies – slit 2 to 3
Ginger – small piece(chopped)
Garlic – 3 cloves (chopped)
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
to taste Salt
- In a pan of boiling water cook root vegetables at the beginning, green vegetables towards the end and frozen peas and sweetcorn at the last minute. Keep under running water. Cool it and keep aside. Keep the stock for the stew.
- Heat 3 tsp oil in a pan; add cinnamon, cloves and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add onions, green chilies, ginger and garlic and curry leaves. Cook until onions turn translucent, don’t cook the onions to brown.
- Cook for 3/4 minutes, then add the coconut milk and ½ cup of stock we saved earlier. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and add the cooked vegetables. Simmer for few minutes.
- Season with salt and add the coconut cream. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve hot with appams.
Note – To get an authentic Kerala Vegetable Stew, cashew paste mixed with coconut milk is used as an additional ingredient to add thickness and richness to the stew. If you want to thicken your stew, thicken it with corn flour.
Ingredients for Appam:
Raw rice or Idly rice – 2 cups
Fully cooked rice – 1 cup
Shredded coconut – 1 cup or subsitute with Coconut milk – 3/4 cup)
Sugar – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Dried Yeast / Fast action yeast – 1 tsp
Bicarbonate of Soda/ Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
Preparation of appam batter:
- Soak the raw/idly rice in water over night.
- Add cooked rice, coconut, sugar, salt to the rice and grind it to a smooth batter.
- If you are using coconut milk, add it after grinding. The batter should be a pouring consistency and a little thinner than dosa batter.
- Add yeast and baking soda to the batter and mix well. Keep this batter overnight for fermentation.
- In winter, it takes more time to ferment, so keep it in a warm place.
Making the appam:
- Appams are traditionally made in iron skillet called “appa chatti”. You get these in Indian grosery shops. You get to buy Iron skillets and non stick pans.
- Appams have a soft fluffy centre and a lacy border which comes very well on iron skillet.
- Pour a ladle full of batter (approx 6 tbsp) appam pan and swirl it immediately. A thin later of the batter sticks to the sides of the pan and a small pool of batter in the middle.
- Cover with a lid and cook on low flame till the center of the appam is cooked and the lacy border starts getting detached from the pan
- Take out when it is cooked from the middle and crispy in the borders.
- Appam is ready to serve with vegetable stew.
Tips for fast fermentation of batter in cold weather.
Great places to keep your batter to rise:
1. Near radiator
2. Heat your oven less than 50 degrees for about 15 minutes and then switch off. Leave your batter inside.
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