Friday, August 22, 2014

Valval ( Mixed vegetable stew in coconut milk)

Valval is another dish that I absolutely wouldn't eat as a child. Why??? Because it was too bland for me!! Huh?? Most kids love bland food and I did not like it. No rhyme or reason to it! But now, it is one of my favorite traditional  konkani dishes and thank God, my kids love it! It is similar to Avial that is cooked in the neighboring state of Kerala( in India). I am from Karnataka. This dish is cooked traditionally for our festivals as there is no onion or garlic used in this dish. This is one super easy dish and a great way to get rid of any leftover vegetables in the fridge ! 

This dish is so likeable that I am bringing it to Angie's Fiesta Friday! Margy@La Petite Casserole is the co-host this week. I am sure all the girls will love it! I am also bringing it to Sonal's event Portion control and Light Eating Week as it is so healthy that it is perfect for her theme! 

Servings: 6


Carrot:1, sliced into thick 2 inch long pieces
Red potatoes: 2, cut into big chunks
Ridge gourd: 1 small, cut into 1 cms thick slices
Snake gourd: 1 small, cut into 1 cms thick slices
Sweet potato: 1 small, cut into big chunks
Ivy gourd: 6-8, chopped into medium pieces
Zucchini: 1, cut into thick 2 inch pieces
Pumpkin: 1/4 of a small pumpkin, cut into big chunks.
Arvi( collacasia): 2-3, peeled and cut into big chunks.
Green chillies: 2-3, slit
Water: 1 cup to cook the vegetables
Coconut milk: 1 can
Tamarind: 1/2 marble sized
Asofoetida: pinch( optional)
Raw cashew nut halves: 1 tbsp( optional)
Salt: to taste

For tempering:
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Jeera ( cumin seeds): 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig


In a pot heat 1 cup water, add the vegetables one after the other in the order of time needed to cook with the ones that need the longest time going in first. Add the tender cashew nuts, slit green chilies and  salt and cook until the vegetables are tender.

Dissolve tamarind pulp in a little water and add  the water to the above pot.

Add 1 can coconut milk, pinch of asofoetida and simmer for few minutes.

Heat coconut oil in a frying pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter add the curry leaves.

Garnish the above pot with the tempering.

Serve hot with steamed rice or enjoy a bowl all by itself!

Cooking made easy:

Any combination of vegetables can be used for this dish but the vegetables that hold themselves well after cooking are preferred like gourds and carrots etc. Make sure to add some root vegetables like potatoes, cassava, yam etc which act as thickening agents to the sauce. Otherwise the sauce becomes a little runny.

If using cassava, or colacasia(taro), make sure that you cook it separately with a little tamarind pulp and then discard the water. Now you can mix this with the rest of the vegetables.

Tip for healthy living:

If you have a heartburn after eating a heavy meal, apparently drinking one tsp of apple cider vinegar helps counteract it.

Food for thought:

All love shifts and changes. I don't know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time. Julie Andrews