Kerala vegetable stew or ishtu

Vegetable stew or ishtu is a traditional dish of Kerala prepared as side dish for appams in Kerala.
It is a very healthy and easy to do dish. The vegetables are cooked in a thick coconut milk gravy and pepper and ginger added to it enhances the flavour of the dish. Vegetable stew is a delicious dish and a great combo with appams and makes up for a wholesome breakfast.


  • Onions - 2 (chopped into small cubes)
  • Carrots - 2 (chopped into small cubes)
  • Green peas - 1/2 cup
  • Potatoes - 1 (chopped into small cubes)
  • Cooking oil - 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green chillies - 2-3 (slit into big pieces)
  • Grated ginger - 1 teaspoon
  • 1 string of curry leaves
  • Black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Thin coconut milk - 1 1/2 cups
  • Thick coconut milk - 3/4 cup
  • Salt to taste


Step 1

HOW TO MAKE VEGETABLE STEW KERALA STYLE Heat oil in heavy bottomed pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering, add green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and onions. IMG_3363 IMG_3366 IMG_3367

Step 2

Saute for some time on a low flame till the onions become translucent. IMG_3370

Step 3

Add potatoes, carrots and peas and mix well. Add pepper powder and combine together. Saute for 2 minutes. IMG_3371 IMG_3372

Step 4

Add thin coconut milk and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer on a low flame for 7-8 minutes till all the vegetables are fully cooked. IMG_3374 IMG_3376

Step 5

The gravy tends to become little thick. Now add thick coconut milk and mix well. IMG_3378

Step 6

Cook for another 2 minutes. Switch off the flame. IMG_3380

Step 7

Remove the vegetable stew in a serving bowl and serve hot.

Step 8

Serve vegetable stew hot with appams. IMG_3386

Step 9

NOTES: Traditionally coconut oil is used for preparing vegetable stew but I have used refined oil. You can also add beans and cauliflower for making this dish.

One Response to Kerala vegetable stew or ishtu

  1. nandoo says:

    lovely vegetable stew. Best with appam.. First time here. Nice space. Do visit mine if you find time.

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