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Chicken Stew/Ishtu (Kerala Style)

Stew or Ishtu is a preferred accompaniment for Appams (Hoppers), a traditional breakfast item in Kerala. Appam-Stew combination is generally served as one of the courses in feasts. The Stew goes well with plain bread as well You can prepare vegetarian as well as non vegetarian versions of the stew,


  • 1 cup Chicken
  • 3 Green Chilli slit
  • 1 cup Cubed Vegetables (Carrots, potatoes, peas, beans etc)
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper powder (you can add less)
  • to taste Salt
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 cup Coconut milk(first extract) (thick)
  • 2 - 1/2 cups Coconut milk(second extract) (diluted)
  • 2 teaspoons Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 3 Sliced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder


  • Take a pressure cooker.
  • Put the chicken pieces along with pepper powder, salt, vegetables, green chilli, water and mix well.
  • Cover and cook on low heat. Switch off after 2 whistles.
  • Add the second extract of coconut milk and mix well. Let boil for 2 minutes. Check and adjust the seasoning.
  • Add the first extract of coconut milk.
  • When you see the first boil, sprinkle the garam masala powder, stir well and switch off heat.
  • Take oil in another pan and heat it.
  • Add mustard seeds.
  • When they start to splutter, add the curry leaves followed by sliced shallots.
  • Toss till the shallots turn slightly brown in colour.
  • Take off the heat and pour over the prepared stew.
  • Serve hot with Appams, Idiyappam or Bread .