Vegetable Stew recipe with step by step photos. This veg stew is easy to make, lightly spiced, delicate and fragrant stew made with a bevy of mixed vegetables, creamy coconut milk and aromatic spices. A popular stew recipe from the Kerala cuisine suitable for both vegetarians and vegans alike.
About Veg Stew Recipe
On some days when I don’t make dosa, I end up making our favorite breakfast appam and Kerala style vegetable stew.
Usually I always have carrots, beans, potatoes and peas at home. So these veggies end up being in the veg stew. When I have to make the stew, I prepare coconut milk a day before and keep in the fridge.
Sometimes to make things easy, I use canned coconut milk which is easily available in stores. Canned coconut milk works well as a substitute for homemade coconut milk. You can use your preferred brand of coconut milk as a substitute for homemade coconut milk.
Kerala vegetable stew is so easy to prepare. You just need to temper and cook the veggies. If you cannot have it with appams, then just serve the stew with steamed rice.
I have used thin coconut milk to cook the vegetables. If you don’t have thin coconut milk, then cook the vegetables in water instead. You can also check this Potato Stew.
The veg stew is flavored with warm aromatic spices tempered in coconut oil. What you get are tender cooked vegetables in a delicate, spiced, light, fragrant stew with the flavor and taste of the coconut milk.
How to make Vegetable Stew Recipe
1. Heat coconut oil. Add the whole & crushed spices – cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and black pepper. Fry them till fragrant on low heat.
Then add the ginger, garlic, green chilies, sliced onions and curry leaves. Sauté till the onions become translucent on low to medium-low heat. Don’t brown the onions.
Instead of onions you can use shallots or pearl onions. Do not skip on the curry leaves as they give a lot of flavor to this stew.
2. Add the chopped veggies and stir to combine. Add the vegetables that you like. I have added here carrots, green peas, french beans and potatoes.
Remember not to add vegetables that become too mushy on cooking – like okra or pumpkin, eggplant etc.
3. Add thin coconut milk or water. Cover the pan with lid and cook the veggies until tender.
4. The veggies should be cooked till they are fork tender.
5. Add the thick coconut milk. Stir well and simmer for just half a minute.
6. Serve Kerala vegetable stew with Appam or steamed rice.
Expert Tips for Vegetable Stew
- You could add the vegetables you like. Cauliflower, green peas, carrot, french beans, potatoes, baby corn, bell peppers, broccoli are some nice choices.
- For some umami flavor, white button mushrooms can also be added.
- Opt to make the stew with homemade coconut milk or any good brand of canned coconut milk.
- Coconut oil is a must in the recipe, so do not skip it.
- If short of time, the veggies can be cooked in a stovetop pressure cooker or in the Instant pot adding water instead of coconut milk.
- After adding thick coconut milk, do not boil the stew as the fats in the coconut milk may split and separate.
More Kerala Recipes
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Vegetable Stew | Kerala Veg Stew Recipe
- 1 carrot (medium-sized), peeled and chopped or ½ cup chopped
- 1 potato (medium to large) – 150 grams, peeled and chopped or ½ cup chopped
- ½ cup green peas – fresh or frozen
- 70 to 80 grams french beans or 5 to 6 beans or ¼ cup chopped french beans
- ½ cup thinly sliced onion or 1 medium-sized onion or 1 to 2 shallots or 5 to 6 pearl onions, thinly sliced
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves (small to medium-sized) – crushed into a paste in a mortar-pestle
- 1 inch ginger – julienned
- 2 green chilies – slit
- 1.5 inch cinnamon
- 4 to 5 cloves – crushed or kept whole
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 2 to 3 green cardamoms – crushed or kept whole (optional)
- 2 cups thin coconut milk or 2 cups water * check notes for pressure cooking the veggies with water
- 1 cup Coconut Milk (Thick)
- 12 to 15 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- salt as required
- sugar as required – optional
- Heat coconut oil. Add the whole & crushed spices – cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, black pepper. On low heat fry them till fragrant.
- Then add the ginger, garlic, green chilies, sliced onions and curry leaves. Sauté till the onions become translucent on low to medium-low heat. Don't brown the onions.
- Add the chopped veggies and stir to mix.
- Add thin coconut milk or water. Season with salt according to taste. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the veggies.
- The veggies should be cooked till they are fork tender.
- Lastly add the thick coconut milk. Stir well and simmer on low heat for just half a minute.For a bit of sweet taste, opt to add sugar if you prefer.
- If you want, you can also heat a few teaspoons of oil and fry curry leaves in it till crisp. Then add this curry leaves tempering from the top before serving the veg stew.
- Serve Kerala style vegetable stew with appam or steamed rice.
- * If using water instead of thin coconut milk, you can use the pressure cooker for cooking the veggies. Just add 2 cups water and pressure cook for 1 whistle on medium heat.
- Reduce the green chillies if you prefer. You can also reduce the amount of crushed black pepper.
- Feel free to add your choice of vegetables. But ensure not to add vegetables that become mushy or pasty after cooking.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Veg Stew recipe post from the archives first published on May 2014 has been republished and updated on November 2022.