Thursday, May 31, 2007

Vazakkai Poriyal / Plantain Curry

Plantain is one thing sure to be present in one form or the other in any Tamilian wedding. The tree is considered very auspicious, symbolically stands for its nature of giving raise to so many plantains at a time .. and thereby unlimited wealth. That being said, you can find the tree at the entry way at any function in our native place. There are a couple of huge plantain trees at my MIL's place , so fertile and green. It forms such a sight and is used from head to toe or in other words from leaves to roots :) . In South India banana leaves are used to serve food and is considered to have medical benefits to it. Eating food served in Banana leaf imparts a special taste and smell that nothing else can bring about. Plantains can be used for almost anything from frying to mashing and stuffing. They can also be cooked at any stage.. So if you are someone like me who gets stuff, puts it in the fridge and forgets about it.. this is your vegetable my friend. Never goes waste. It has always been one of my favourites. Amma makes so many varieties of plantain - poriyal, puttu, plantain peel curry.. the list goes on and they all compete with one another to get a top rank in my taste test. Couldn't decide then.. couldn't do it now. This is one of my own 'kitchen accidents' turned good just like Sia's "Bindi Fry in Yogurt"- Get stuff from fridge, cut it as per your moods at that moment, grind whatever you feel like, Do tadka, Mix it and Serve... Surprise surprise.. It tastes good. Just make sure to buy really raw plantains from the store otherwise you might end up with a slightly sweeter version like mine .. and that was because it was sleeping in the fridge and almost gave up hope on being discovered :(


Plantains - 2 nos
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Red chilles - 3-6 nos, depending on your spice level
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Coconut - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste

For seasoning:

Mustard - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 3-4 nos


Cut plantain into small squares. Microwave for 4 minutes or until done.
Dry roast channa dal, urad dal, red chilles, black pepper, Jeera.
When they are brittle and reddish brown, add coconut and roast for a couple of minutes on low flame.
Grind into a coarse powder without adding any water. Set aside.
In a wide mouthed vessel, do tadka with mustard, turmeric powder and curry leaves.
Add the cooked plantain. Let it brown on sides by turning every couple of minutes on low flame.
Add the powder and salt. Mix well and let stand for 2 minutes.
Serve this with rice and kuzambu.