South Indian Vegetable Coconut Stew

Vegetable coconut stew flavored with mustard seeds, ginger and curry leaves and made in the Instant Pot!

This goes well with idli, dosa, appam or even rice.

vegetable coconut stew in a serving bowl with a spoon

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Have you ever had a south-Indian style vegetable coconut stew?

If not, you have been missing out.

My first taste of this dish was from my house help in India. He worked for someone from Kerala before working for us and he learnt to make this dish from there.

So he would often make this for us at home. We still call it “Harish bhaiya wali sabzi” because Harish bhaiya made it for us!

I don’t think he knows the name of the dish, I have asked him many times.

But more recently at a South Indian restaurant here, I had Kerala Ishtu/Ishtoo and it tasted exactly similar to what he would make.

So this Vegetable Coconut Stew is my take on that dish that I have loved for many years. And I have made it easier by using my Instant Pot to cook it!

While my house help uses fresh coconut milk, I have used canned here to make the recipe much easier for everyone.

This Vegetable Coconut Stew

✓ has a subtle sweet coconut flavors

✓ uses minimal spices, most of the flavor comes from ginger, curry leaves and coconut

✓ is vegan and gluten-free

✓ pairs well with a number of things like paratha, rice, dosa, appam etc.

Much of the flavor of this vegetable coconut stew comes from the coconut milk. This dish itself is very coconut-y.

So bhaiya would always use fresh coconut milk and I can say this confidently that canned stuff is no match to that.

The fresh milk gives such a nice subtle coconut flavor to the dish.

However, we are talking easy here, and the next best to fresh coconut milk is Chaokoh Coconut Milk.  This is absolutely not sponsored, I just think their coconut milk is the second best to the fresh one.

So if possible, do use this brand.

I have used full-fat here but you may also use lite coconut milk here.

This dish comes together very quickly. It’s literally 15 minutes of cooking time and you can make the entire dish in less than 30 minutes!

This vegetable coconut stew as you would expect tastes very coconut-y. So if you love the sweet coconut flavors, then you would love this.

For the veggies I have used potato, carrots and green peas here. You can even add some green beans here, they go well.

Remember to chop the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. If you chop them too small, they would turn very mushy.

 

Method

1- Press saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the mustard seeds.

Let the mustard seeds pop.

2- Then add the green chili, ginger, curry leaves, dried red chili and onion.

3- Saute for 2 minutes until the onions are soft.

4- Then add the potato, carrot, peas, salt, sugar and black pepper.

step by step picture collage of making vegetable coconut stew

5- Add the water and deglaze the pot. There shouldn’t be any browned bits stuck at the bottom of the pan.

6- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

7- Quick release the pressure by manually moving the pressure valve from sealing to venting position. Open the pot by removing the lid.

8- Press the saute button and add the coconut milk and let the stew simmer for 2 minutes.

step by step picture collage of making vegetable coconut stew

Garnish with cilantro and serve vegetable coconut stew with appam, dosa or rice!

vegetable coconut stew in a serving bowl with a spoon, few curry leaves and dried chilies scattered in the background

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Vegetable Coconut Stew

Simple & easy South-Indian style Vegetable Coconut Stew made in the Instant Pot! This dish is vegan, gluten-free and gets done in less than 30 minutes!

vegetable coconut stew in a serving bowl with a spoon
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword vegetable coconut stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 228 kcal
Author: Manali
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Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons oil, 10 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 green chili, sliced, or more to taste
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 1 dried red chili, broken
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed, 200 grams, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup green peas, I used frozen
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.25 cups water, 10 oz
  • 1 cup coconut milk, canned, 8 oz, I recommend Chaokoh brand
  • cilantro, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Press saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the mustard seeds.

    Let the mustard seeds pop.

  2. Then add the green chili, ginger, curry leaves, dried red chili and onion.

    Saute for 2 minutes until the onions are soft.

  3. Then add the potato, carrot, peas, salt, sugar and black pepper.

  4. Add the water and deglaze the pot. There shouldn't be any browned bits stuck at the bottom of the pan.

  5. Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

  6. Quick release the pressure by manually moving the pressure valve from sealing to venting position. Open the pot by removing the lid.

  7. Press the saute button and add the coconut milk and let the stew simmer for 2 minutes.

  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve vegetable coconut stew with appam, dosa or rice!

Stove-top instructions

  1. To make this on stove-top, follow the same steps. Start by adding oil to a pan/pot. Add the mustard seeds, green chili, curry leaves, ginger, dried red chili and onion. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until onions are soft. Then add veggies and water. After adding veggies and water, cover the pot and cook on medium heat for around 10-15 minutes until veggies are cooked. Then stir in the coconut milk and simmer few more minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can also add green beans to this recipe. It goes well. 
Nutrition Facts
Vegetable Coconut Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Sodium 518mg23%
Potassium 709mg20%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 5260IU105%
Vitamin C 70.8mg86%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 5.5mg31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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