Vegetable Ishtew (Stew)

I love anything cooked in coconut milk. However, there is a downside. If one uses only the coconut milk and discards the meal, then it becomes a refined product. I normally use the coconut milk to make specific dishes. And retain the meal to garnish my vegetable curries.
This ishtew has a very subtle taste and pairs well with aapam or stringhoppers (sevai, idiaapam). For me, a breakfast of aapam and ishtew is like heaven on earth. Give it a try. You will be amazed. For those who are fond of Thai food, ishtew is a close cousin.
Ishtew uses a medley of vegetables. It is colourful to the eye, pleasing on the palate. I tend to use only potatoes in my stew. But I will provide the recipe with several other vegetables added.

2 medium sized carrots, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
1 cup of peas
70 gms French beans
1 large onion, sliced thin
3-4 flakes of garlic, crushed (optional)
1″ piece ginger, julienned
2-3 green chillies, slit
1 1/2″ cinnamon (dalchini, pattai)
4-5 cloves (lavang, kirambu)
1 tsp crushed black pepper (kali mirch, kuru milagu)
3-4 green cardamoms (choti elaichi, elakai)
2 1/2 cups thin coconut milk or water
1 cup thick coconut milk
2 sprigs curry leaves
Salt to taste
Heat a wok and add the whole and crushed spices
Roast till aromatic
Add ginger, garlic, green chillies, onions and curry leaves
Saute till onions are translucent
Add the chopped vegetables and mix well
Add thin coconut milk or water
Cover and cook till the vegetables are done
Add the thick coconut milk and stir well
Simmer for half a minute
Remove from flame and serve with aapam or stringhoppers

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