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Recipe courtesy of Anjum Anand

Vegetables and Rice Noodles in a Coconut Broth

This subtle soupy dish is actually a combination of two Keralan dishes, vegetable stew (ishtoo) and rice noodles (iddiyapam).
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

3 1/2 ounces potato, peeled and cut into pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil

20 whole black peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1 small onion, sliced

15 curry leaves*

5 whole green chiles, pricked with a knife

1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces cauliflower, cut into florets

3 ounces broccoli, cut into florets

Boiling water, as necessary

3 1/2 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed

3 ounces frozen peas

9 ounces coconut milk

1 teaspoon garam masala

9 ounces rice noodles, cooked according to packet instructions, drained**

Handful chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until tender, then drain well, and mash with a potato masher or ricer until smooth, and set aside. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves, and fry for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the spices are fragrant. Add the onion, and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and golden brown. 
  3. Add the curry leaves, chiles, and ginger, and cook for a further 20 to 30 seconds. Season the mixture, with salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cauliflower and broccoli florets, and then add enough of the boiling water to cover the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the florets are just tender. Add the green beans, mashed potato, peas, and 1 cup boiling water, and stir until the mashed potato has absorbed all of the water, and the mixture is thick, and well combined. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and add the coconut milk and garam masala. Season the mixture, to taste, with salt, and freshly ground black pepper. 
  5. To serve the dish, divide the cooked noodles among four serving bowls, and spoon over the vegetable stew. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.

Cook’s Note

*Can be found at specialty Asian or Indian markets. The noodles will stick together once cooked, so be sure to place them straight into the hot broth. I like a pristine white broth, so I only cook the onions until soft and translucent and just turning golden at the edges, but before they brown.

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