Kerala Vegetable Stew

Kerala is a state on India’s Malabar Coast where the food is traditionally vegetarian. This vegetable stew is colorful and satisfying. It can be eaten on its own or with rice. 

makes ~4.5 cups


4 Tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

pinch of asafoetida

3 stalks kari leaves

1 cup red onion, finely chopped 

1 cup (150 g) potato, cut into 1” pieces

2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1” pieces

2 Tbsp ginger purée

1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp salt

2 cups tomatoes, chopped

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)

1 tsp fennel seeds crushed

½ cup peanuts, toasted and chopped

½ cup chopped cilantro


  1. Heat up the coconut oil & pop the mustard seeds & asafoetida. Almost immediately add the kari leaves and fry them for 10 seconds. Add the chopped red onion, potato and butternut squash and sauté at medium heat until onions are soft.

  2. Add the ginger, coriander, chili, turmeric and salt. Next add the tomatoes and cook for another 4-5 minutes at medium heat or until the tomatoes are soft.

  3. Add the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a soft boil. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.

  4. Add the green peas, fennel seeds and cook for another minute until the peas are cooked through. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro.

ideas / variations

  • Add asparagus instead of or in addition to green peas.

  • Use almonds or pine nuts instead of peanuts.

  • Try chopped basil instead of cilantro.