Stew, whether vegetable or meat, is a very popular sidedish in Kerala. It is usually served along with appam, idiyappam etc. The vegetables or meat is stewed in coconut milk and whole spices are used. It's a simple dish, yet very flavourful. A stew using Soya chunks was in my mind for a long time and finally I tried it last weekend. As soya chunks are very bland, I was wondering how it would taste with only whole spices flavouring. But I must say, it turned out awesome, especially since its cooked in coconut milk, pepper and whole spices. My hubby has become a fan of this and me too, so I guess I would be preparing it often. I have used mini soya chunks here, you can use regular ones.
What you need?
1 cup Soya chunks
1 Onion chopped
3/4 cup mixed Vegetables of your choice, chopped (Carrot, Peas, Beans,Corn)
3-4 Green chillies slit
1/2" pc Ginger finely chopped
Whole Spices: 1/2 stick Cinnamon, 2-3 Cloves, 2 Cardamom pods, 1 star anise
5-6 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1 - 1.5 cup thin Coconut milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup thick Coconut milk
3-4 crushed black Peppercorns or use Pepper powder
How to prepare?
Boil about 3 cups of water in a vessel, add soya chunks and a little salt. Allow it to cook for 10 minutes. Switch off the stove, close the vessel with a lid and keep it aside for 15 minutes.Drain the water and once cooled, gently squeeze out the water from the soya chunks.Keep them aside.
Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the whole spices mentioned above and saute until it emits aroma. Add ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and finally the onions. Saute until onion turns soft, they needn't be browned. Now add the garam masala, pepper and salt. Mix well. Add the soya chunks and vegetables, saute for a minute or two. Add the thin coconut milk, cover and cook until all the vegetables are cooked. Now at a low flame, add the thick coconut milk and mix well. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Adjust the consistency of the stew. Serve with appam, idiyappam or even with roti.