Eshtu – Kerala Potato Stew

Mangy speaks often about his aunt preparing a recipe called Eshtu. For as long as I’ve known him, I thought he was making it up! What the #$#$% is Eshtu??
And he claims it’s South Indian – huh? I finally caved in and googled it, and guess what? He was right! I found hundreds of Eshtu recipes – go figure! This is a recipe I made up as I went along – it was delish!
You’ll need:
  • 3 medium size Potatoes – peeled and cubed
  • 1 carrot – sliced in thick rounds
  • 2 onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 7 green chillies
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tin’s worth of water
  • ½ cup Thick coconut milk (I used Kara)
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt  to taste
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamoms pods – slightly crushed
  • 4 dried bay leaves
Boil potatoes, carrots, 1 clove of garlic, 2 bay leaves and one green chilli (slice in half lengthwise) in the thin coconut milk+ water.
When the potatoes are soft, mash half the potatoes with a fork. Remove bay leaves and chilli and discard.
In a blender, blend onion, remaining green chillies, garlic, ginger into a fine paste. Add water if blender gets stuck.
In a pan, heat oil, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods. Then add the onion mix and fry until the oil separates from the mix.
Add this to the coconut and potato mix. Add thick coconut milk and bring to a boil. Salt to taste and remove from heat. Serve with rice or idlies.

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