My Treasure…My Pleasure

Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…

Traditional Vegetable Stew /Ishtu

Posted by Annita on July 29, 2008

Vegetable stew aka Ishtu,a traditional Keralite preparation can be served along with appams or Idiappams.It has a mild tantalizing taste and heavenly aroma , what to say more…you’re gonna love it…

Vegetable Stew

Vegetable Stew

The recipe follows…

Ingredients :-

Potatoes – 3 big sized
Carrot – 1

Big Onions sliced thinly – 3
Ginger sliced thinly – 2 tsp
Garlic sliced thinly – 2 cloves
Green chillies slit – 5-6 (or use according to your spice level)
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Cinnamon sticks(Karuvapatta)- 2
Cardamoms (Elakaka)-4
Star Anise (Nakshatrapoo or Thakkolam)-2
Bayleaves (Karuva Ila)-2
Cloves(Grambu) – 4

Thin coconut milk (Randaam pal)- 2 cups
Thick coconut milk (Onnam pal) – 1/2 cup

Coconut Oil – as needed
Salt – to taste

Method :-

Cut the potatoes and carrots into half and pressure cook it for 2 whistles.When its warm enough,peel off the skin and carefully crumble it with your hands to medium size pieces.Keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat ,when it is hot add all the spices into it.Fry it for a while and add the onions,green chillies, ginger, garlic and 1 sprig of curry leaves and saute until onion turn transparent.Then add the crumbled potato and carrot pieces into it.Mix well and add thin coconut milk and salt into it.Cover the lid and cook in a low heat for 10- 20 minutes stirring occasionally.Now pour thick coconut milk into it,mix again and let it come to a slow boil.Simmer it for 2-3 minutes,add the rest of the curry leaves and turn off the heat.Close the lid and let it stand for 5- 10 minutes.Serve hot with Appam,Idiappam,Puttu,Iddli or plain bread.

(Note :- You can add other vegeatables like cauliflower,french beans or green beans as needed.Just cook them and add along with crumbled potato and carrot pieces.

What if you don’t want to use coconut milk in your stew ?

Substitute coconut milk with :

  • 1 and 1/2 cups plain whole milk + 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp cornflour mix in 2 -3 cups of warm water

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14 Responses to “Traditional Vegetable Stew /Ishtu”

  1. Aparna said

    Like you said, there’s nothing to be said about this dish, only to be savoured.

  2. Ladybird said

    Thankyou for the reference. It explained some extra traffic today :)

  3. nags said

    i make this with idiyappam :)

  4. rems said

    Annita.I made this stew & came out very well…thanx..keep posting new dishes…ur dishes are terrific

  5. poornima said

    You dont know what kind of help you are to people like me. I read your blog everyday. Great work.

  6. rekhaf27 said


    Love the recipes u post .Tried out some and they turned out excellent.wanted to ask a question if u dont mind.I have tried logging in at word press to view some protected blogs but yet cannot log in successfully.tried logging in to Spices Of Kerala but cannot inspite of the user id and password.Any suggestions on how to view protected blogs.

    Thank u.

    I think the author of the blog have to add your id to his/her blog list ,to view their protected blog..But I’m not sure..Sorry abt it..

  7. Leena said

    tried the vegetable stew. my family loved it. i thought it would not be good, without adding the powdered garam masala and i have never tried a stew without adding coriander powder, but it came out good inspite of not adding any of these items. but it turned out to be chilly even when i reduced the chillies to 5 of the non-spicy variety. but overall, thumbs up to you. after trying out a couple of your recipes and they have all turned out to be good, i can blindly cook your recipes without looking at the comments and know that it will come out good.

    Thank you for letting me know about it,leena.i’ll be correcting that in the blog now itself..

  8. Bindu said

    Hi Annitha!
    This is a wonderful recipe. tried it y’ hubby likes the taste,but the color is not very tempting for him he says:-) I loved it and I had it with Choru. I have been visiting your blog regularly, only hardly added any comments. I tried some other recipes while you were away..needless to say, all excellent. Hope your family is doing well. Take care….looking forward to much more exciting additions in your blog.

    Nice to hear from u after a long time.We r all doing good…How about u?

  9. simireuben said


    Are you maintaining this blog –
    Some of your recipes- including your pics have been just blankly pasted on this blog..


  10. Rose said

    thank you so much for this made me an expert on making this stew..nova just love it.

  11. Alloka said

    Hi…I am going to try to make it this weekend….Can u please post recipe for Kurma???

  12. onions said


    […]Traditional Vegetable Stew /Ishtu « My Treasure…My Pleasure[…]…

  13. Shamna said


    I made this and came out so well and tasty..thanks a lot

  14. Asking questions are actually fastidious thing if you are not understanding something completely, but this paragraph provides pleasant
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