Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Kerala Istu (Kerala Potato Stew) for Appam as well as Sadya/Feast

Kerala Istu

Stew can be made with a variety of vegetables. Explained below is Istu (Kerala Potato Stew) which is one of the most widely prepared stews in Kerala. The usage of coconut milk as an ingredient gives it a typical Kerala flavor.

Istu can be prepared for both as a side dish for Appam, Idiyappam chapati etc. as well as one of the dishes for rice. Istu prepared for sadya/feast is thicker than the one prepared as a side dish for appam. 

Here we show the method to cook both the types.


Potatoes – medium sized - 3 
Coconut – half - grated
Green chilies - 3
Ginger – 3-4 pieces
Salt - to taste
Coconut oil – 1 table spoon


Clean the potatoes, remove the skin and chop into medium sized pieces. Keep aside.

For preparing Istu for feast, dont chop the potatoes since we need to cook it as it is.

First Coconut Milk
Preparation of coconut milk:

Step 1 - Take the grated coconut and grind it in the mixie. Take the ground coconut and squeeze it with your hands to extract the milk out of it. You will get approx. 200 ml of coconut milk. This is called the first coconut milk. Keep it aside.

Step 2 - Once the first milk is extracted, add around 100ml of water into the ground coconut and grind it again in the
mixie. Now take the ground coconut and squeeze it with your hands again to extract milk. This is the second milk and this will be dilute compared to the first milk. 
Second coconut milk

The second milk would be approx. 300 ml. 

Cut ginger vertically into long pieces as shown in the picture. Length of each piece must not be more than an inch. 
Also, cut the green chillies in half across its length as shown. 

In a pressure cooker, put the chopped potatoes and the second dilute milk. 

You can add a little bit of water if the second milk is not enough to cook the potatoes.

Add the chopped ginger, chillies and salt into the pressure cooker and cook. 

For Istu being prepared for feast, pressure cook the potatoes as it is without chopping. In this case, the ginger and chillies are not to be put into the cooker.

Cooked potatoes mixed with coconut milk
For Feast Istu
Once the pressure of the pressure cooker is released, open the cooker and transfer the contents into a separate vessel. Partially mash the potatoes to bring in consistency in the stew

For Istu being prepared for feast, once the potatoes are cooked, peel off the skin, cut them and  add the second coconut milk into it. Add the ginger and green chillies and cook in low flame till the ginger gets cooked.

Now add the first coconut milk into the above. Mix thoroughly.
Garnish with a table spoon of coconut oil.

Istu with Coconut Oil Garnish
Istu is ready. Serve hot!

Serves 3-4 members if taken as side dish for appam, idiyappam etc.

Ishu makes a great combination with Idiyappam and Appam… Can also be had with Chapatis and rice!!

Istu as a side dish for sadya/feast
#keralarecipes, #Istu, #keralaistu

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