It would be an understatement if I say I love this combination. Its my comfort food I can say, the soft centered and yet crispy edged Appams with the mild spiced coconut flavoured Vegetable Stew is a combo thats hard to beat! Growing up, I was a huge fan of appams which mom used to make. While she made kurma/spicy gravy to go with it, vegetable stew was unheard of those days – in our home. When everyone relished spicy gravy with soft appams, I would crave for sweetened coconut milk. Yes thats another deadly and very easy side dish to go with appams. Just take coconut milk, dilute it a bit, add sugar and elachi powder – its done!! I would let Amma make sweetened coconut milk only for me, not understanding its would be tough for her to attend to individual needs when there are 6 others to take care of. Amma being Amma always entertained me 🙂 Somehow I lost my interest in the sweet side dish after wedding and thats when I started making Vegetable Stew. Even for S who loves only sweetened coconut milk, this is a welcome change and now its a regular at our house 🙂 Here is the recipe –
Appam: (Serves 4)
- Raw rice – 2 cups
- Urad Dal – 1/4 cup
- Fenugreek Seeds – 1.5 tsp
- Cooking soda – 1 tsp
- Coconut water – optional
Vegetable Stew: (Serves 4)
- Carrot – 2 (medium)
- Beans – a bunch
- Potato – 2 (medium)
- Cauliflower – 2/3 florets
- Green Peas – 2 tbsp
- Coconut Milk (thick – called as first milk) – 1 cup
- Coconut Milk (thin – 2nd or 3rd milk) – 1 cup
- Green Chili – 3 (slit open or cut in half)
- Coconut oil – 2 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1 small piece
- Cloves – 2
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Whole Black Pepper – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves – a few
- Salt – to taste
- Wash and soak rice along with urad dal and fenugreek seeds for atleast 6hrs. Drain the additional water and grind it into a smooth paste that is of flowing consistency.
- Add cooking soda, salt to taste and coconut water and let the batter rest for atleast 8hrs (Usually I grind it by night so it gets a resting time all through the night and the batter would be well risen by morning).
- Mix additional water to make the batter to the pour-able consistency. It should be a little watery compared to that of dosa batter.
- Take an appam kadai (a normal kadai will also do, but this is easy to handle). Pour a ladle of batter in the center of kadai and quicly turn the kadai in repeated circular motions until all the batter has been spread well through out the kadai. Here is a pic of how it should look. The center should be little thick (making it fluffy) and the edges should be crisp.
- Sprinkle little oil along the edges to make it more crisper and cover the kadai with a lid. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then take it out to serve hot with stew.
- Heat the coconut oil in a kadai and add cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and bay leaf – saute for a minute. Add curry leaves & green chilies and let them splutter.
- Cut the vegetables into either cubes or fingers and add them to the kadai. Fry them for about three minutes.
- Add the thin coconut milk, add enough salt and keep it covered for 5-7 minutes letting the vegetables cook.
- Once the vegetables are soft and tender, add the thick coconut milk and mix well for about a minute.
- If desired, fry some more curry leaves in some coconut oil and add it on the top of the stew.
- Vegetable Stew is ready to be served with hot appams.
- To make coconut milk, grind about 1 cup of coconut pieces along with a cup of water for a minute. Squeeze the coconut out of the milk. This would be the thick first milk. To get the second and third milks, repeat the procedure until only colorless coconut remains. Make sure you dont over-grind the coconut, for it might separate the fat from the coconut and all you would be left is coconut fat and water. On the other hand, ready-to-use coconut milk can be used as well.
- Dont let the stew to boil after adding the thick coconut milk. It might also leave the coconut milk curdled.