Kerala never ceases to amaze you. Particularly when you have stayed in cities like Pune or Mumbai and any idea of greenery for its residents is weekend outing to Matheran or Mahabaleshwar, Kerala will surprise you with its lush green surroundings.
A walk along the misty green tea plantations will refresh your body, mind and soul. You can experience various fragmented thoughts coming together in your mind like rivulets flowing through the forests and when these water streams culminate together into luscious waterfalls these thoughts just vanish and you can sit gazing these waterfalls for hours or you can calm down your anxiety by merely being in company of backwaters. Stillness of these backwaters can be felt from the boathouse. You feel relaxed in company of nature, chirping birds, observing shores lined with coconut trees, and in between villagers going about their daily chores. Kerala is full of natural beauty, that has such a lasting effect, that by the time your vacation comes to an end, you will experience a tranquil mind.
Beside the nature, what may amaze you as a foodie is the kerala food culture. If I have to describe kerala cuisine in one sentence I would borrow from Leonardo da Vinci and would say “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Most of delicacies that we tasted during our stay in kerala were simple in preparation but were delightful in taste. Whether it was Avial, Appam, Idiyappam, Meen Curry, Lobsters, Chicken biryani, Payasam each and every one of these delicacies left me craving for more. One of preparations that had a lasting effect on my taste buds was Appam with Potato Ishtu. First time we were served this delightful breakfast combination was during our boat house stay.
Ishtoo or Potato stew is simple stew (or thin broth) preparation that is made using only couple of vegetables like potatoes and onions. Green chilies, ginger and black peppercorn impart a mild spicy flavor to the stew, and finally we add coconut milk(first extract) that gives this dish authentic touch of kerala. This stew is best enjoyed with Appam and Idiyappam.
Experience the flavor of God’s own country in your kitchen with “Potato Stew/Ishtu/Ishtoo”.
- 2 large sized Potatoes cut in large cubes
- 1 Medium sized Onion cut in cubes
- 4-5 green chilies cut lengthwise
- 1-1.5 inch piece of ginger root finely cut
- 1 tspoon freshly grounded black pepper
- Curry Leaves
- 1 cup coconut milk first extract
- Coconut Oil
- Place a Pan on low flame. Add potatoes, green chilies,ginger, Onions, crushed black pepper, 1 tspoon salt and 2 cups of water. Mix all ingredients well.
- Cook on medium flame until potatoes are done.
- Potatoes get cooked in 12-15 mins. Break the potatoes into 2 pieces using ladle.
- Do not mash the potatoes, just break them into 2 pieces.
- Add coconut milk and curry leaves and mix well. Let it simmer for a min.
- After a min turn off the flame.
- Heat 2 tbspoon coconut oil and add it to the stew just when you are ready to serve.
- You can eat Ishtu with Appam/Idiyappam.
Click here to watch recipe video