June 26, 2011

Ishtoo/ Mushroom and Potato White Stew...

Idiappam or rice noodles with a potato stew is the perfect light breakfast for a summer weekend, especially if the idiappam is already made. This white stew or ishtoo as we call it, is made with potatoes cooked in coconut milk, flavored with just whole spices, onions and green chilies...no heavy hand with the colored spices. Here I added some sauted mushrooms, and there was no adverse change in taste... the mushroom blended in well.

Another version of this curry is the Kurma where all the spices are added generously and there too mushrooms can be added, though it has to sauteed first separately.  A lot of curries can be made with mushrooms, but  simple is best.. sometimes, a bit of butter and garlic is all it needs. If you are making a mix veg dish,  It needs to be sauteed separately before mixing with other veggies as it gives out its liquid and makes everything else  soggy.

You will need: For 4 servings
Onions- 1 small one
Green chilies – 4-6 (use with discretion)
Mushrooms(White)- 2 cups
White/Idaho Potato-2 cups 
Whole Black Pepper (or Powder)- 1/2 tsp
Whole spices: 1 inch long Cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 2 cardamom
Thick Coconut milk- 1 cup
Thin Coconut milk - 2 cups
Curry leaves- a small sprig
Salt to taste
Oil-2 tbsp

1. Wash and cut the potatoes and mushrooms into slices. Slice the onions and green chilies.
 Grind the coconut and extract the second and first milk or use the coconut milk powder and prepare 1 ½ cup of coconut milk.
2.  Boil the potatoes in a salted water till they are half cooked. Drain and keep aside. Heat the oil in a large shallow pan, add the whole spices and curry leaves. Saute till the fragrance fills the air and then add onions, whole peppercorns and chilies.
3. Saute till onions turn slightly transparent and the add the mushrooms. Saute till it gives out all the water.  It should start browning at the edges. Add the half boiled potatoes and 2 cups of second milk of coconut( or a diluted coconut milk) and salt. Simmer covered for about 5-8 minutes till the potato is fully cooked. 
4. Add the thick coconut milk. Allow it to simmer (but not boil) just for a couple more minutes and then switch of the flame. Adjust salt and seasoning. 
 The curry changes in taste the next day for the worse as the mushroom ages.. Better to make this in small quantities.
Serve hot with pathiri, idiappam, appam, puttu or just paratha.

A quick ode to mushrooms
In a damp room it looms,
Ew!! my son says, its gross to eat fungi!
But it may very well be everyone's "fun guy"
Takes well to all soups and stews
On its own, its a perfect muse.
Absorbing all flavors and spices amply
Blending in as a meat in a meatless curry.
Grill it stuff it , top with cheese
If u like it, say more please.:)


Kalpana Sareesh said...

ishtoo is one of my fav mallu dish.. i get to taste it only during onam at my frends place.. its yumm.. hv tasted only with potatoes..t

Rinku Naveen said...

Ishtoo is my fav too..With Mushrooms is a good idea. Looks very tempting!

J said...

Adding mushrooms is an interesting idea! I've seen versions of stew with peas, beans and carrots but they don't really add anything except colour to the stew.

Myra said...

Looks delicious,soaked up with a paratha ,Mmmm,
Must have a nice earthy taste due to the mushrooms.
Looking for a curry with coconut any suggestions Merci xx
yours Myra x

Anonymous said...

looks so luscious!

Miri said...

I love ishtoo - the sheer lightness of it but the intense flavour. Mushrooms are something I havent done though preferring to stick to the usual suspects.

Fathima said...

Looks good, and a different way of incorporating mushrooms in our diet.

Sarah Naveen said...


I am a huge fan of stew and appam and I made this combo last day and loved it!!! Thanks a ton!!

and btw ode to mushrooms brilliant!!! especially the fungi and the fun guy rhyme :)

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

This loooks interesting.
I happen to have some white button mushrooms.
The name of the dish states potatoes, but I can't find it in the recipe. May I know how much and when should I add that in?

Mallugirl said...

Wendy, the preparation has potatoes in it.