Thursday, 27 June 2013

Kerala Soya Stew - Vegetarian Chicken Stew - Kerala Ishtu - Side for Aappam - Vegan

Growing up in Kerala eating awesome food, Kerala Cuisine has a special place in my heart. I love the flavours that go in the dishes, the spices! Have I told you before that my favourite herb is curry leaf? Ofcourse, I have told you. Nothing gives me more happiness in the kitchen than the smell and sound of curry leaf sputtering when we do the tempering.

I have made a version of Stew before. Interestingly that is actually my first post for this blog. As I was just starting off, it got lost in the bottom of the pile.

Though I make Stew (or Ishtu as some people like to call it) often I always felt that my recipe was not the perfect one. I was always on the lookout for something that will take the humble Stew to a new level. That is when I saw the Chicken Stew recipe in this site. With so many Authentic Christian Dishes, this site is a perfect place to find Authentic Kerala Non Veg Dishes.

Well as you know I do not cook meat at home. So I had to do my own twist!! If you do not know, I have worked my way thru a lot of non veg dishes and made it into Veg (mostly Vegan) sides. Go ahead try some of it and I bet you will love it. Here is a list of some of those.

You can also make simple Potato Stew or Vegetable Stew as well using this method.


Soya Chunks 3 cups or use chicken if you want
Potato 1 big or 2 medium (about 1.5 cups cubed)
Peas 1.5 cups
Coconut Milk 1 can

Cinnamon 2 inch piece
Cardamom 4
Clove 4
Star Anise 1
Bay Leaf 1

Onions 2 sliced
Garlic 5 pods sliced
Green Chillies 4 sliced
Ginger 1 inch piece sliced
Curry Leaves 2-3 sprigs

Pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp

To fry
Onions 1 sliced
Cashews 10-15

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Heat water in a pot. When it comes to boil, add the soy chunks. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Drain. Add some cold water. When it cools, squeeze the soy chunks so that it does not have any water in it.

2. In a pan, heat some oil. Add cashews. Fry little till it browns a little. Remove to a bowl.

3. In the same oil, add 1 sliced onion. Saute till it is nicely browned. Keep it along with the cashews.

4. In the same pan, add the Cinnamon, cardamom, Clove, Star Anise and bay leaf.

5. When it sizzles, add sliced onions. Saute till it starts to brown.

6. Add sliced garlic, ginger, green chilli and curry leaves. Saute till the onions brown a little.

7. Peal and cube the potatoes. Add to the pan. Saute till it is almost cooked.

8. Add the drained soya chunks. Saute till it all roasted a little. If using chicken, add along with potatoes and let it cook completely.

9. Add steamed peas. Mix well.

10. Also add the pepper powder, garam masala and salt.

11. Take part of the coconut milk (about 1/2 to 1 cup). Mix with 1 cup of water and add to the pan.

12. Close and cook in low-medium heat till all the veggies are cooked and everything comes together.

13. Finally add the rest of the coconut milk and cook in low flame for 5 more minutes. Adjust seasoning as required at this stage.

Serve with some Aappam, Kerala Parota, Idiyappam. This will taste great as a side for Roti or Rice as well.

How better can I close this month's Palooza in a Pan cooking Lentils and Legumes that cook with my favourite Soya Chunks! Other recipes cooked so far this month

Mathanga Erissery - with Van Payar (Tatta payar, Red Chori, Cow Peas)
Mediterranean Vegan Sandwich - Chicke peas
Pasi Paruppu Paniyaram - Moong Dal 


  1. Incredible and nutritious stew, much more better than the chicken stew.

  2. lovely soya stew...interesting recipe....

  3. Finally i got the time to come over and say that the stew is lip smacking goodness. And those cashews on the top is like the cherry on an ice cream!