This is a lovely veggie stew called val val made with a variety of mixed vegetables, coconut milk and cashews, all lightly seasoned with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fragrant ghee. For those of you who like a mildly spiced stew that still gives you those aromatic Indian flavors this is the dish to try.
Val val is a delicious veggie curry that tastes creamy without the need for dairy-based cream or a flour-based rue. Coconut milk and cashews give the dish a sweet creamy flavor, while the spices add a savory touch. Served over steaming rice val val makes for a complete one pot vegetarian delight.
About the recipe
This recipe is shared by my dear friend Basanthi who is an outstanding cook. I especially love it when she shares dishes from her native Konkani area in India. Foods from this region are very unique. Their recipes use fresh herbs, nuts, fresh fruit, coconut, and brown sugar to give their dishes a sweet and savory type of flavor profile. I’d never heard of any Indian recipe using dill until Basanthi used it in a few of her recipes. I hope to share more unique Konkani style Indian recipes with you, but first, let me start with this simple, delicious and wholesome Konkani veggie stew called val val.
Val Val. Konkani Pumpkin Veggie Stew with Coconut Cashew Gravy
recipe contributed by Basanthi
2 cups cut green beans
4 cups pumpkin cut into big chunks
1 sweet potato cut into big chunks
1 green chili cut in half, seeds removed if you want it mild
1 bunch of broccoli, cut into big florets (about 2-3 cups)
5-6 curry leaves (you can make the dish without it too)
1 can coconut milk
3 tbsp cashews ground into a powder
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter). Homemade ghee recipe
Toasted cashews for garnish
Fresh cilantro for garnish
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Cook’s Notes: Feel free to use any combination of veggies you like. This is just a sample of what is possible. My curry was golden in color because of the pumpkin!
Cut all vegetables in big pieces and boil with a little water until tender. Set aside.
Make the toasted spice oil: In a large pot warm 2 tbsp ghee. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop (cover the lid so they don’t splatter all over). Once the popping stops, add the cumin seeds and brown slightly about 5 seconds. Immediately add the green chili and curry leaves and stir into the ghee.
To the spiced oil add the cooked veggies. Next add coconut milk, cashew powder and salt to taste. Bring the curry to a low boil for 5 minutes gently stirring. The cashew powder will thicken the stew. If it gets too thick add 1 cup of water.
After 5 minutes val val is ready! Garnish with fresh cilantro and toasted cashews and serve with rice.