Urulakizhangu Pappas/ Potato Stew: Aranmula Valla Sadhya Special

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Hope everybody had a nice weekend. We too had a very nice one. As usual after giving babies to hubby to take care I cooked and baked some bread. March is here and in India it is time of year end exams, my two nieces are going to take 10th exam this year. When we call them they say they are studying, we know only after result come. Hope that they do well!  Summer heat is also started showing up there.

Here in US it is really hard to believe that it is March. Still cold and today the Houston weather is really windy; around 50 apartments got burned down due to a three alarm fire as a result of high wind. Firefighters did an amazing job to get the fire under control, but it is really sad that lot of people lost everything in a single day. As it shows that Mother Nature does things according to her will, and nobody has any voice on that.
Urulakizhangu ishtu/potato stew is common breakfast side dish in my home town, Kerala, Southern India. It is usually served with appam a fermented pancake with yeast, and I love it. But I didn’t see them in any Sadya/ Feast recipes which I attended and mom never made it. But I came to know about this Urulakizhangu pappas/ potato stew from a television show about Aranmula Valla Sadya prepared in the temple kitchen tat Aranmula Parthasarathy Swamy Temple. It is located in Village Aranmula near Chenganur, Kerala, India.
Legend about this temple is that the five Pandava  ( Epic Mahabharata) crowned their heir Parikshit as the king and left on a pilgrimage around the country. When they were in Kerala, each one of the brothers established a temple in honor of Vishnu and worshipped there. Yudhishtira built a temple at Chengannur, Bheema built one at Thiruppuliyur,  Arjuna at Aranmula, Nakula at Thiruvamundur, and Sahadeva at Thirukkadittaanam. It is said that Arjuna initially made this Vishnu temple at Nilakkal, near Sabarimalai, and then it was brought here on a raft made out of six pieces of bamboo. And hence the name Aranmula stuck (‘Aranmula’ means six pieces of bamboo). It is believed that Arjuna built this temple to absolve himself of the sin for having killed Karna, who was Nirayuthapani (weaponless) on the battlefield (according to Dharma, one is not supposed to kill an unarmed enemy in battle). Read more about temple from here
Aranmula valla sadya is feast organized on Ashtamirohoni (August-September) day. During Valla Sadhya, Lord Krishna, the main deity worshipped in the temple, will come to take the offerings from people. The legend is that in a Valla Sadya all dishes asked for must be given to the people in order to please the Lord. It is usually done as offering for things to get done well. It is a giant feast and about 60 dishes will be served. Earlier I tried one recipe from the valla sadya, varthua erissery/Raw Banana and Black Eyed Peas in Roasted Coconut Sauce.  I am planning to try few other recipes. I will try as time permits.
This is recipe adapted from Flavors of India, Kairali Tv travelogue by Lakshmi Nair. I noted down from the chef in that You Tube clip as he is explaining it to the host. He didn’t give any quantities, so quantities mentioned here is my contribution. Here goes the recipe. It differs from the normal potato stew which my amma used to make. Usually potato, ginger  and onion and are cooked with green chilies in diluted coconut milk until potato is done and then finally add thick coconut milk, coconut oil  and curry leaves, there will be no seasoning.

However in the valla sadhya special recipe they cook potato separately and mash them into chunks and set aside. Fry the onion, green chili, curry leaves and mustard seeds and mix this mashed chunk potato and then add coconut milk and bring to boil. 

While coconut milk boiling add garam masala powder and coriander powder to finish the curry. I made this curry like this.

If you love coconut milk and potato, or fan of Thai cuisineyou are going to love this.

Print recipe fromhere
Urulakizhangu Pappas/ Potato Stew: Aranmula Valla Sadhya Special
adapted from Flavors of India, Kairali Tv travelogue by Lakshmi Nair

Preparation time:  5 minutes
Cooking time: 35
Yield: 4 serving


3 cups  of Cooked potato ( around 3 medium potato)
1 cup chopped red onion/savala
2 large green chili chopped( Use 4-5 if you want really spicy)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds/Kadugu
1 cup of thick coconut milk( Onnam pal)   I used Thai kitchen coconut milk
 1 cup water
1 1/4 teaspoon of salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
1/4 teaspoon of coriander powder/ Malli podi

How I made

  • Cook potato either in a pressure cooker or on a stove stop depending upon your convenience. I cooked with pressure cooker.  Peel the skin and mash the potato into chunks, make sure not to smash too much. Set aside
  • In a medium sauce pot heat coconut oil, add mustard seeds, when it crackles add onion and green chilies and 1 sprig of curry leaves fry them for about 7 minutes or until onion become translucent or change color.  Switch off the flame
  • In a bowl mix coconut milk and water and set aside.
  • Combine mashed potato, salt along with onion, chili and curry leaves mixture. Heat once again this mixture with coconut milk mixture when it starts boiling add garam masala powder and coriander powder.  Mix well once again and switch off the flame.
  • Enjoy with rice, appam, chapathi or your choice.
               Make sure not over boil coconut milk

I am linking this Hearth and Soul Blog Hop hosted here. 


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  1. says

    Interesting story about the temple…I usually make stew this way…learnt from one of my malayali friends….Looks wonderful..Love your cute blue bowl Swathi

  2. says

    Lovely post Swathi; bookmarked the recipe.
    We make ours the way you described but the mashing part would lend this one to a hearty soup too. I noticed that they have the tempering with mustard seeds, garam masala and coriander powder here unlike our ishtu. More like the Kurma/Qurma.