Kerala Style Vegetable Stew Recipe

After tasting this Kerala Style Vegetable Stew, Simi, my Punjabi friend exclaimed, “this is a revelation to me, a Kerala curry without mustard and  not red in colour. This is like a Thai curry!! ” It seems she had tried Kerala food from some restaurants in Mumbai and it all looked and tasted the same with a fiery red colour and mustards floating around. It has happened to me also at times. I've gone through some cookery books which supposedly have authentic Kerala recipes and it is anything but a Kerala recipe. Anyways coming back to the stew, she was very much impressed with it that she got the recipe from me immediately and made it the very next day :)

This is a very simple dish, but I like it because of its subtle flavor and of course I love the thick & creamy coconut milk :). This goes very well with appam, but I like it best with puttu, if you havent tried that combo yet, I strongly recommend you give it a try.

Recommended side dishes:  appam, puttu, idiyappam

Here is the recipe:

Vegetable Stew
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Vegetable Stew

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Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 2 -3
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 1 big Carrot (cubed)
  • 1 big Potato (cubed)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Green Peas (I used frozen peas)
  • 1 big Onion (sliced finely)
  • 4-5 Green chilly
  • 1 tbsp each Crushed Ginger & garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Whole black pepper
  • 1 piece Cinnamon
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Cardamom
  • 1.5 cups Thin coconut milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Thick coconut milk
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Coconut oil


  • Heat oil in a deep bottom pan & splutter the crushed spices. Add the onion, ginger & garlic, curry leaves & green chilly and saute for a few minutes till the onion becomes soft/transparent. Dont make the onions brown. Add the cubed vegetables & combine well. Add thin coconut milk & salt, bring to boil, reduce heat; simmer and cook till vegetables are tender, it will take 10 mins approx. Add thick coconut milk and cook for 5 more minutes & remove from fire. Garnish with curry leaves fried in coconut oil or ghee.


If you want to make the gravy very thick, add 1 tbsp of cashew paste. To make cashew paste, soak cashews (around6,7) in hot water for 5-10 mins. Grind it into a smooth paste. Mix the cashew paste with thick coconut milk & add to the curry. It increases the taste and also gives a thick gravy.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu

Recipe adapted from Kitchens of Kerala by Nimmy Paul


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100 thoughts on “Kerala Style Vegetable Stew Recipe”

  1. I am a north Indian who is in love with South Indian dishes…. I have made ur recipie twice with idippams and it was easy n fantastic…. Thank u so much !!

  2. thanks google for bringing me to ur site..we made it today and its yummyy..and I totally agree with u on the combo with puttu…thanks so much for the recipe

    • Hi Nikhil,

      I also thank google for bringing you here :) Nice to know that the stew came out well for you..

      Thanks for the comment!


  3. Hi Maria mam, Vegetable stew is just awesome…. Could u pls suggest a recipe for chicken sausage roast? thank you….

  4. Hi Maria, tried this vegetable stew recipe and everyone loved it (and all of them who ate it were pucca veggies).  Thank you for posting this recipe!!!   

    • Hi Rose,

      You are welcome dear! Great to know that this stew was appreciated by your guests.

      Thanks for trying this and also for the comment :)


    • Hi Sameera,

      You are welcome! I’ve posted some veggie recipes in the past. Check out the vegetarian category on the site.

      Btw, you can call me Maria :)


  5. Hi Maria,  I was going through your recipes. Thanks for posting all these. I would like to get some healthy vegetable dishes. Though good dishes we love, but considering the health, could you please post some healthy chicken dishes recipes too.

    • Hi Lalraj,

      You are welcome! I’ve posted some healthy recipes as well, please check out the healthy recipes category on the site.

      Also, wherever possible, I try to give the healthy version in the notes section of the recipe.


  6. I will definitely try this, i am based in Dubai now, my parents would be here by the end of this month & my mom loves veg stew, so i’ll definitely make this.

  7. Thank you so much Maria for the recipe. For someone raised as the son in a home with no son, your website has saved my life so many times. Thanks to you, my husbands bachelor friends keep coming back for more, especially for Appam and stew. Cheers!

  8. Hi, I’m going to be making this with fresh coconut milk in about one hour. I’d like to know proportions for thin coconut milk and thick coconut milk? You just mix water to the thick coconut milk? If so, how much ?

    • I’m guessing my reply didnt reach you on time, sorry… I usually use powdered coconut milk & hence not sure about fresh ones. However you can add more water to the thick milk to get the thin one. I’m not very sure abt the qty though…


  9. Hi Maria,

    Great recipe! Can you tell me how many people does this much quantity serve? It would be great if you could mention how many people it serves for most of your recipes. Thanks.


  10. Hi Maria,
    Quite accidently I came across ur recepies here and simply tried one,it came out superb. My husband really loved it . Just want to know did u write any cookery book which I can buy.

    Thanks for yr valuable recepies

    Susan, Dubai

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks a bunch for dropping in here & also for trying the recipe. I’m happy to know that you liked the stew :)

      I havent published a cookbook yet, but I’m working on one presently. I’ll be updating its status on the blog.


  11. You have excellent recipes, Maria.  My sister-in-law suggested that I can use cornflour to thicken stew (instead of cashew paste).  I haven’t tried it yet, but she is a great cook, so I am thinking it will turn out well :o)  God bless you!

  12. I tried this and as it happened with Naziya earlier, the coconut milk got curdled by the time I checked if the veggies had cooked. Unlike Naziya, I made the vegetable stew only and I used milk extracted from fresh coconut gratings. I had guests coming over in half an hour and I literally felt like crying. Then the mallu woman in me woke up and I took out only the veggies (cooked by then), and started all over again, this time with fresh coconut milk. I did not let go beyond boiling point and finished the dish according to your recipe.

    I asked my guests how the vegetable stew was, and they said they had not tasted one as good as that even in restaurants!! We all had a good laugh when I told them of the adventures I had with it :) LOL

    • Hi Lee,

      I’m glad that the stew finally turned out well for you :) Yeah, when you cook with freshly squeezed coconut milk, you have to be very careful. It tends to curdle if its overheated.

      Thanks a lot for trying the recipe & also for sharing your experience here :)


  13. hai maria,
    just now wrote down your receipe for veg stew. will be trying it tmrw. will let u know of my family’s comments… keep up the good work…

  14. Hi Maria,
    Thanks a lot for the vegetable stew recipe.. I have never made stew before but tried out your recipe and it was a big hit..My husband loved it… :)

    It was really easy.. I love your blog and the presentation of the dishes.. you’re doing a fantastic job !! I will surely try out the other recipes here and let you know how it goes.. You have a new fan on the already long fan following list :)

    Keep up the great job work.. Maria.. 

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Dianeka,

      Thanks a bunch for the lovely comment :) Its really nice to know that you like this space. Hope you will like other recipes too…

      Hope to see you here often & happy cooking!


  15. Lovely Dish, Maria! Swapna@Swapna:disqus ‘s Cuisine recommended your site to me, tks for sharing ur culinary art here! Wd b trying ur style of Veg.Stew now..keep posting such lovely dishes!

    • Hi Purnima,

      Welcome to MariasMenu! Thank you for your encouraging words. Did you get a chance to try the veg stew?

      A special thanks to Swapna also for recommending this space to you :)


  16. hi maria…….i tried your chicken stew recipe…….it tasted good but the thing is that the coconut milk got churned while cooking and also the color was something like yellowish and not white………please let me know why does it happen and what can be done to avoid the churning………
    thank you…………..
    have a great day…………

    • Dear Naziya

      Thanks for trying the chicken stew. I’m not sure why it curdled. Did you use coconut milk powder or fresh coconut milk?

      Btw, it can also happen that, the fat from the chicken starts oozing out while cooking and when its mixed with the gravy, it gives a curdled look. I dont know whether it was the case with you. It happened to me a number of times and I realised lately that it’s the fat from the chicken gives that look. Also if you cook fresh coconut milk on high flame, it tends to curdle.

      Hope this helps..

      Btw, I’m sorry for the delayed reply.


  17. Dear Maria,

    My prayers with you. I have been trying a few of ur receipes and every thing came out very well. I simply love you recipes maria. Today I am going to try ur vege stew. will come back to you on it..


    • Hi Suma

      Thank you so much dear for your prayers. Its nice to hear that you try recipes from here. Hope you liked the stew also.

      Wish you a wonderful year ahead!


  18. Dear Maria,

    Thnks for the rich looking recipe. I am going to try it in a short while and serve it with appams. am sure it will taste as rich as it looks.


  19. Hii.. this is awesome :) can u pls let me know hw to make this chicken stew also, which is white in color and taste jus like this?

    Thanks :)

  20. Hi Maria, I tried your kerala style veg stew & it was rocking just too tasty. Amazing recipe. I had searched earlier for this recipe as it was so much on my mind, but you have the authentic one . Thanks a ton, you rock!!

  21. I stay in US and it is difficult for me to get fresh coconut. If i am using the tinned coconut milk how does it work Maria.

    Could you let me know the proportion.

    • Hi Sherin,

      I normally use coconut milk powder to make coconut milk, so I’m not very sure about the canned milk one.

      However I checked with my cousin who lives in US and she gave me this proportion.

      For 1 cup thin coconut milk – 3/4 cup water + 1/4 cup canned coconut milk.

      For 1 cup medium thick – 1/2 cup water+ 1/2 cup canned coconut milk

      For thick coconut milk – 1/4 cup water + 3/4 cup canned coconut milk.

      You can adjust the proportions to suit your taste. Hope this helps…


    • Hi Sujitha,

      Vacation kazhinju vannittu full swing cooking aanennu thonnunnu :)

      Thanks a ton dear for your feedback & support.


  22. Hey Maria, tried the recipe and came out super. I make stew the same way just that I add garam masala to the end and also include french beans in the recipe. I can truely see what difference fresh ground spices can make to the dish. Love trying your recipes. My hubby a big fan of coconut milk based dishes. I am getting to like them too.

    • Hi Deepti,

      Really happy to know that stew came out well for you. Yep, the freshy ground spices do impart a special flavor to the stew :)

      I’ve many coconut milk based recipes here, hope you will find those interesting.


  23. Hi. Maria. This is really a superb dish .very very great. good combination for roti. I tried it once and my family luv very much. But i have one doubt that is it gud for the diabetes people? any suggestions?

    • Hi Ranjani,

      Thanks a lot Ranjani :)

      Regarding whether it’s good for diabetes, I dont think it’s harmful. I have seen people with diabetes also having it. However I’m not very sure about it.


  24. hi maria..i am going to muscat very was havg a doubt wat to do instead of curry leaves..curry leaves wnt be available in gulf countries na..since u r in bahrain u can gve me a suggestion…

    • Hi Tina,

      Usually all Kerala items are available in Gulf countries. I’m sure its same in Muscat too. Since there are so many Malayalees in Gulf countries, you will get all Kerala veggies and other stuff like aripodi, puttu podi etc;

      You will get fresh curry leaves in Muscat, dont worry about it :)


  25. agree with the others!…stew is always a hit…i made it for some of my north indian friends and they loved it… first they were surprised to see a white looking curry with no masalas n no frying n all :)…. and its just so easy to make!

  26. Hello Hi ,
    The receipe is an excellent one.But i did like to know ,the above mentioned ingredients is for how many portions.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Thaxs & Regards
    Lincy sudheer

  27. Thanks a lot for this recipe…I had some vegetarian guests and I made this stew with appam and they really liked it..hoping to see more recipes like this..Keep up the good work Maria.

    • Hi Sumi

      Very happy to know that your guests liked the stew :) Thanks a lot for trying out the recipe and letting me know about it :)


  28. Thanks Pooja & Varsha, you guys should try it with puttu, do let me know if you try it ok :)

    Ria & Asha – yes, chicken & beef stew is my fav too, but I dont mind a veg stew once in a while :)

    Thanks Parita & veena :)

    HC – you are always welcome to Bahrain :)

  29. HI Maria, your recipe came at the right time. i have been wanting to make one for some time now..Did you use fresh cocunut milk? What abt the coconut milk we get in cans or packet? If i use that , what do you think will be the measurements ? Thanks a lot…

    • Hi Reena

      I use maggi coconut milk powder. For 1 cup of thick coconut milk, I add 3 heaped tablespoon of maggi coconut milk powder to 1 cup of water.

      Hope this helps.

      Happy cooking :)


  30. I love this stew.. but if it doesn’t have to be strictly veg, I go for both meat and veggie pieces.

  31. I completely agree with Varsha! I love appam nd stew… chicken stew aanegil pinne parayenda! Appan thinnunathu ariyathilla! :D Your stew looks very warm nd nice :)

  32. There wont be a single mallu who dont like this divine combo of appam-stew..ente fav aanu ithu..never tried with puttu tho..:)

  33. Lovely Potato stew Maria! Looks creamy thick n delicious! Love this with appam. Never tried having this with Puttu yet. I’ll take ur word and have with puttu next time :)

    • Maria I have tried this recipe and we have enjoyed it. In fact I have been asked for a repeat of the recipe. Thank you. This time i will make appam to go with it. I am part of a blogging marathon where we are blogging Indian states . This is my Kerala entry. Thanks a lot. I have credited the recipe to you.

      • Hi,

        Thank you so much for trying this recipe from here. Great to know that it turned out well :) All the best for your blogging marathon!


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