Foodie Blogroll

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Bridget White-Kumar (

Stews are thick, meaty soups that are usually served as a main course. I’m sure that many will agree, there’s nothing more comforting on a winter evening than a delicious bowl of Stew. Stew is comfort food, the perfect meal to gather the family around the table. A good stew mixes different flavors that soak into the meat through slow cooking. Filled with lots of vegetables, it’s an easy one pot meal. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables such as potatoes, beans carrots, peas, cabbage, tomatoes, etc, combined with any meat, poultry, sea food, pork etc., depending on personal preference. While water can be used to cook the stew, any stock can also be used as also a dash of
wine. Seasonings and flavourings such as green chillies, spices, onions, peppers and thickening agents such as flour or cornstarch are also used.

Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature i.e. simmered, not boiled, to allow all the flavors to merge with each other. The earthy flavours of vegetables combine with the meat stock and spices to give out an enticing aroma while cooking. This hearty, healthy one-pot meal can be eaten by itself or served with bread or rice. A Stew is not only filling, but also low in calories, It is also an ideal way to get children to eat vegetables, and no vitamins are lost by throwing away the water.

The great thing aboutstews is that they can be tailored to suit your family's personal tastes and preferences. Don't like carrots? Leave them out. Have a passion for potatoes? Double up on it. Want to add some wine? Add a dash. More spicy? Add a little more pepper or green chillies.

So get adventurous with the flavours and spices. Coconut paste makes a meat stew even more delicious. Try the recipe below, then invent your own.

(For chicken Stew, substitute the meat with Chicken)
1 kg Beef or Mutton / Lamb cut into cubes
2 tablespoons oil
2 onions sliced finely
1 Bay leaf
4 or 5 cloves
6 or 8 peppercorns
3 cardamoms
2 pieces cinnamon
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons plain flour (maida) / or corn flour
2 tomatoes chopped or pureed
2 carrots peeled and cut into pieces
2 potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
3 green chillies slit
2 tablespoons coconut paste (optional)
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker or suitable pan. Add all the whole spices and fry lightly. Add the onions and fry till golden brown. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and green chillies and fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato and fry till the oil separates. Now add the meat and stir fry for 5 more minutes. Next add the cut vegetables, coconut paste, salt and sufficient water and cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Release the steam and open the pressure cooker. Now add the flour / corn flour mixed with a little water and mix well. Simmer for a few more minutes. Serve hot with Rice or bread.
Its also an ideal accompaniment to Hoppers, Dosa, Idlis, etc at Breakfast Time!!

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