Wednesday 27 February 2019

Potato Ishtu | Easy Potato stew | Kerala Ishtu Recipe

So folks, I am back with yet another breakfast special recipe. Well, last time I posted how to prepare Idiyappam and so following that I am going to write how to make the Potato Stew or Ishtu, today, which is one of the commonly prepared side dish for Idiyappam at our place. It is unimaginably simple and sooper delicious and subtle and light on the tummy as well. The only prep work needed for the Ishtu is the coconut milk. If you have a tin of ready made milk or that instant powder to prepare coconut milk, then it's uber easy. 

But I always like to prepare coconut milk from scratch. I usually have grated coconut ready in my fridge if else I grate them and prepare fresh milk out of it. It smells and makes the dish extra special and fresh :) There is one more way of preparing stew which is my mom's way for me, that will have to wait for another day now. This is my mil's way of  making stew. In fact this ishtu is also a dish for our Onam Sadhya too. That time we make it a little less watery :) So let's see how to make this tasty and yummy side dish for Idiyappam.

Serves: 3 persons

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

I Used:

Onion - 2-3 medium sized (sliced)
Potato - 1 medium-big sized (cubed)
Green Chilly - 2 nos - slit
Ginger - An inch piece - sliced
Coconut Milk - 1 cup (from half a medium sized coconut)
Curry Leaves - 2 sprig
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As Needed
Water - ½ cup

The Way:

1. Slice the onions into thin slices. Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes (size as per your preference). I make them into small cubes and once cooked mash them well

2. Slit the green chillies. Slice the ginger into thin strips (Alternately you can chop the ginger finely as well)

3. Take all of them - sliced onions, cubed potatoes, slit green chilly and sliced ginger in a pressure cooker or pan. Add salt and little water, around ½ cup

4. Pressure cook them till done. I keep for 2 whistles in high and 3-4 in sim 

5. Adding more water while cooking can dilute the stew. If you fear that the stew will get burnt at the bottom while cooking then add little more water. Once cooked and the pressure is released, open the cooker and cook on sim to allow the water to evaporate. This step is completely optional and is required only if you add more water

6. Mash the potatoes a bit. If you like them whole then don't mash. While mashing the potatoes, chances are the green chillies might also get mashed. This can increase the heat of the stew. If you do not prefer then remove the chillies before mashing

7. Keep the flame on simmer. Add the thick coconut milk (If you are making the isthu for sadhya then add ½ or ¾ cup of coconut milk as you would need the ishtu to be more thicker) and give a gentle stir. Do not keep on flame for long. A minute or two is more than sufficient. Switch off the flame

8. Add the curry leaves and drizzle the coconut oil on top. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with idiyappams or appams


  • If you like you can add carrots too along with potato. Cut them in the same size as that of the potato and add along with the potatoes


Thursday 7 February 2019

Idiyappam | Nool Puttu | Sevai | How to make Kerala Idiyappam with rice flour | String Hoppers Recipe

Who doesn't love idiyappam? Well I know some folks who are not a great fan but setting them aside, many of you would love eating idiyappam right? For those who are not very aware of what it is, is a string hopper made from rice flour. Rice flour is made into a dough using hot water and then the dough is pressed into string hoppers and steamed. It is a very healthy and light on the tummy dish that can be had as a breakfast, dinner or snack. 

It pairs beautifully with many side dishes like Stew, Potato stew, Veg Kurma, Kadala Curry, Egg Curry, Chicken Curry, Chicken Stew, Mutton Stew.. And it can be had with simple sweetened (with sugar or jaggery) coconut milk or just sweetened milk. Kids love that combo. It can even be used as a base and made into other snacks like Masala Idiyappam, Sweet Sevai, Lemon Sevai or Tomato Sevai. While some find it a tedious process to make idiyappams, what I personally have experienced is, if there is some roasted rice flour handy, it can make a yummy and tasty breakfast within 15-20 minutes :) And there are some tips and tricks that I have learnt over the years for a fluffy and soft idiyappam which I am sharing below with you guys :)

What kind of rice flour should be used?

I always use plain rice flour for making idiyappams. Either roasted or plain. If it is not roasted, I roast it for a few minutes and then add water (boiling hot). If using roasted flour, then I do not roast it again but add hot water that has been heated to a rolling boil. I generally do not use store bought idiyappam flour but my mil uses it and it gives good results too. Some people use puttu flour to make idiyappam. If you have access to good quality rice flour or puttu or idiyappam flour, use that. Do not use old rice flour as it compromises the taste of the idiyappam

How much water to use?

I generally need around 1.3 cups of hot water for 1 cup of rice flour. It again depends on the quality of the rice flour. It takes around 1.25 to 1.5 cups of hot water for 1 cup of rice flour. Use hot water as it makes the dough smooth and soft. This is the key to soft idiyappams. Finally use your hands and knead to a smooth lump free dough. Also some use a mix of water and coconut milk (thick one) in an approximate ratio of 1:(0.3) to make softer idiyappams. I have not tried yet though :) coz making a smooth and soft dough always helps me in making soft idiyappams. Feel free to try adding coconut milk if you need. 

What makes the idiyappam hard?

1. Lesser water in the dough can make your idiyappam hard
So after using a spatula to mix the hot water onto the rice flour, use your hands and knead the dough to a smooth and soft texture. Any lumps should be removed. Feel the dough and you will know the difference. It should be as smooth as a baby bum :D 

2. If you over roast the flour, it can make the idiyappam hard or brittle 
Roast the flour on medium flame till it is hot and it starts to turn yellow at the bottom of the pan. The flour should turn from it's smooth consistency to a free flow consistency while you roast.

3. Keeping the dough open can make it dry and hence the idiyappam too
If you make a big batch of dough, keep the remaining dough (while you wait for the first batch to get steamed on the idly cooker) covered with a wet cloth and place it in a covered vessel. If you keep it open it will loose it's moisture and turn hard. Also use the entire batch immediately. I would not recommend to refrigerate the dough or use it later. 

4. Do not steam for more than 5-6 minutes
The rice flour would already have cooked almost half when you add hot water, so do not steam for a long time.It turns the idiyappam hard

So I believe I have covered and answered most of your queries. So let's see in detail how to make some soft and fluffy idiyappams with step by step pics. If you still have more questions feel free to drop a comment below or write to me :)

Makes: 12 nos

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 6 minutes

I Used:

Rice Flour/Idiyappam Flour - 1 cup
Salt - As Needed
Hot Water - 1.25 - 1.5 cups
Oil - 1-2 tbsp

The Way:

1. Take 1 cup rice flour in a kadai/pan. Add salt and mix. Heat the kadai on a low flame. If the rice flour that you have at hand is roasted, then ignore till step 4

2. Roast the rice flour for about 4-5 minutes on this low flame, stirring as frequently as possible to ensure that it doesn't get burnt at the bottom

3. Take care not to brown the flour. It should just start to turn yellow at the bottom of the kadai and the flour should become very hot to touch

4. Do not over roast as the flour as the idiyappam will become brittle. If the rice flour that you have at hand is roasted, then ignore the above steps

5. While roasting the flour, boil 1.5 - 2 cups water in a saucepan. When it starts boiling switch off the flame

6. Once the rice flour is roasted, add the hot water little by little and mix well using a ladle or spoon. You will need somewhere between 1.25 to 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice flour

7. Keep mixing using the spoon. When the heat becomes bearable, use your hands and knead gently to a smooth and soft dough. The dough should still be hot when you knead

8. If the dough looks dry, then add few drops of water and knead. If it is sticky then add few tablespoons of rice flour and knead

9. Once the dough is ready, take the idly moulds/plates and grease each mould with little oil and keep aside. If you prefer add little (1 tsp or more as per your liking) grated coconut into each moulds. In the step by step pics I have not added grated coconut but in the final pics idiyappam I have done that

10. You need an idiyappam maker to make this. It is a cylindrical shaped apparatus with a twister handle at the top end and perforated disc at the bottom end. The perforated disc comes in various shapes and sizes. If you choose a disc with smaller holes the idiyappam will be more thin

11. Now grease the idiyappam maker with little oil (inside the cylinder and on the perforated disc) if preferred. Divide the prepared dough into 2-3 portions and make a log with one portion and place it in the idiyappam maker. Cover the pan that contains the rest of the dough while you press the idiyappam using the first portion, else the dough will turn dry

12. Gently press (or turn the handle, depends on the type of the idiyappam maker that you have) the idiyappam maker and allow the dough to fall into concentric round circles onto the idly mould

13. I make 3-4 rounds of the dough in one mould. Make sure that the dough does not rise too high in one mould and touch the bottom of the idly plate that is placed on top. So eyeball the amount of dough to be pressed onto a mould based on that

14. In a similar manner press the dough onto the remaining idly moulds as well. Here in the below pic, in the final plate I have pressed the remaining flour all over the idly plate (as I didn't have enough dough to make another batch and wanted to do in one go) Hence it looks different

15. The dough has to be hot while pressing. So immediately after roasting and adding water and making the dough, press it onto the idly plates. Do not allow to rest the dough

16. In a pressure cooker or pan (in which you usually make idly), take 2 cups of water. Place the prepped idly stand into the cooker and switch on the flame

17. Allow the idiyappam to steam for 5-6 minutes in high flame. Do not use the weight if steaming in cooker. Then switch off and allow the steam to be released (takes 1-2 minutes)

18. Then remove the idly stand from the cooker, remove the idiyappams onto the plate or a casserole if serving later

Serve warm with sweetened Coconut Milk or sweetened Milk or Stew or Potato stew or or Veg Kurma or Kadala Curry or Egg Curry or Chicken Curry or Chicken Stew or Mutton Stew (The list is endless ;)) !