Sodhi – Vegetable stew


This is a popular stew in the Nellai region(very south of Tamilnadu, India), infact in some communities the grandeur of a wedding is determined by the presence of this stew in the lunch menu. It comes very close in taste to Thai coconut milk soup….I just like the fresh flavors….very tropical, very refreshing..
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A couple of options here. The best option is to go fresh all the way. Grate one coconut, roughly about 3 cups of coconut gratings.

  • If you are using the frozen grated coconut, use about half the pack.
  • If you use coconut milk cans, you will need about 2 – 8 oz cans.
  • Do not use coconut milk powder or desiccated coconut for this.

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Grind the coconut with 1.5 cups of water and take the milk out. This is the first coconut milk. This should be thick and creamy. (the consistency of heavy cream). If you are using cans, reserve about 1 cup of the milk without adding any water.

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Return the coconut to the blender and grind with 1.5 cups of water, squeeze the milk out. This will be the second milk (with the consistency of 2% milk). If you are using cans, mix 3/4 cups of coconut milk with 3/4 cups of water.

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Repeat the same process. This is the third milk. This time the milk should will be much thinner (the consistency of fat free milk).  If you are using cans, mix 1/2 cup of milk with 1 cup of water.

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Grind green chillies + ginger to a paste. This will be the only source of heat for the stew, so take accordingly.

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Cook 1/4 cup of moong dhal (split green grams)  thoroughly and mash it.  (This is an optional ingredient, the purpose is to thicken the stew. )

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These are the veggies : pearl onions, garlic cloves, cabbage, carrots, green beans and potatoes. All the prep is done…and the rest is quite easy.

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Add 2 tsp of oil to the pan and sauté the onions and garlic.

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Add the veggies and sauté for a couple of minutes.

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Add the “third” coconut milk (the thinnest milk).

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Add a pinch of salt,, it is very easy to oversalt this stew, so add only a pinch at a time. Cover and cook. When the potatoes and carrots are 3/4 ths done, add the chillie ginger paste.

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Stir in the cooked dhal..

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Add the “second” coconut milk and also a pinch of salt. cook until the vegetables are cooked well and the stew will thicken because of the dhal.

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Reduce the heat to “low” and add the “first” coconut milk (the thick and creamy one). after you’ve added the thick coconut milk, do not bring the stew to boil. Just simmer it for five minutes.

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Fry the mustard seeds and curry leaves in a spoon of oil and add it to the stew. Turn off the heat.  After 10 minutes, add the juice of 1/4 lime and mix well and its done.

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This stew goes well with everything : idli, dosa, appam, idiappam, poori, roti, rice or you can just drink it like a soup… simple ingredients, fresh flavors and a great tasting stew.

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