“Ishtu” is a simple , delightful , creamy stew made with potatoes and coconut milk, this is often served as side dish in breakfast in Kerala. These are quite popular, absolutely delicious in taste and one of my go to side dish for breakfast and requires lesser time to cook with fewer ingredients from the pantry

If you have visited Kerala or a Keralite’s home then you would have definitely tasted this dish. Do always follow the tips and tricks suggested below to get the right texture and taste of the dish

*If you have ready-made coconut milk then add 1 cup water to 1/2 cup thick coconut milk and mix well for second/ thin coconut milk. Never add salt after adding thick coconut milk, it should be added before else stew will curdle

**Kerala dishes are prepared with coconut oil, if you do not have it then substitute with vegetable oil

***Pressure cook the potatoes for 2 – 3 whistles or until 40% done, this will speed up the cooking time

****Just grind freshly grated coconut with 1/2 cup water for a min and squeeze the coconut extract and sieve for thick coconut milk. Grind same coconut again with 1.5 cups water for a min, squeeze and sieve for 2nd coconut milk. Discard the grated coconut now

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish

Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 15 mins Total time: 20 mins

Servings: 4


  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups second/ thin coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 3-4 green chilies slit
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 medium Potatoes, parboiled, peeled and cubed
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

Steps to prepare

  • Heat 1 -2 tbsp oil in a pan
  • Add onions, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves
  • Saute until onions are translucent. Do not brown them
  • Add potatoes and mix well
  • Now add second coconut milk and salt. Mix well
  • Bring the stew to boil
  • Simmer ,cover and cook until potatoes are done
  • Mash few potatoes, this will make the stew more creamier
  • Lower the heat and add thick coconut milk. Mix well
  • Cook only for few seconds over low heat and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil on top if required. Never keep cooking after adding thick coconut milk
  • Switch off the heat, cover and rest on the counter for 15 mins
  • Serve hot with idli/dosa/idiyappam/ chapati etc
Potato Stew – Kerala Style

Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions

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