Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Raw Banana Vegetable - RCI

A long, long time ago..... when I was a college student and pocket-money was a mere trickle at the end of the month.... we lived upon the mercy of our friends (Mother's) who lived nearby. Dropping in at their apartments needed no second thought.. and the yummy food was too good to resist.

On one such day, we trickled in, as was our custom to appease the pangs of hunger, gnawing at our insides.. to find Mrs. Iyer chopping raw bananas.... First though.... " umm... doesn't that look a tad too thick for kela wafer (plantain wafer) ?" second thought.... on seeing Auntie pop the plantain pieces in boiling water.... "Yow! aren't you supposed to deep fry those?" But these words were never said out aloud... curiousity as to what will happen next and delicacy prevented me from putting my foot in my mouth.

Now that Lakshmi is hosting RCI- Tamil, I thought this would be perfect time to try a recipe that I had tasted long ago and liked, despite the initial misgivings, for myself.

I used to classify everything into the 'banana' category, honestly knew nothing except the fact that the big ones are used to make chips and the regular ones that we eat.

Just some info I found on the net .. thot I should share it...
Used as a vegetable
Longer than bananas
Thicker skin
Resemble green bananas, but may be green, yellow or black

Eaten as a fruit
Shorter than plantains
Thinner skin
Color is green when not fully ripe, yellow when ripe

For the recipe... well, it was the usual 'hath ka andaz' information I got.... soak chana daal in water for a few hours. Roughly chop the plantain , and cook it for a few mins. in boiling water... grind coconut and green chilly and a bit of cilantro... temper ... cook ..add salt. You are done!!

Right... how useful is that now?

So with this information I kinda did it myself.. the result was, let me assure you, not at all disappointing!

(For 2 people)

1 big Plantain

1/4 cup Chana daal ( you can reduce this, but I like chana daal.. so i put in a generous amount)

1 Serrano green chilly

1/2 cup dessicated / fresh coconut

1/2 tsp. Cumin seeds

1/2 tsp. Mustard seeds

Dash Asafetida

1/4 tsp. Turmeric

Salt to taste

3-4 Curry leaves

1tbsp. Oil

Do the Prep:

Wash and soak the chana daal in water for an hour

Grind the coconut, chilly and cilantro (without using water) into a paste

Peel and chop the raw banana into cubes

In a sauce pan boil water.

Once the water boils, add the plantain cubes and cook them for ~ 5 mins.

Drain the water and keep aside the cubes

Heat oil

Add the mustard seeds

After they pop, add cumin seeds

Add the Asafetida

Add curry leaves ad turmeric

Add the chana daal and cook for a few minutes

Add the ground paste, salt.

Add Plantain. Mix well.

Cover and cook for a couple of minutes

Mix again... cook for another 2-3 mins.

Serve with Rice and sambar, fulkas

Lesson learnt : I bought the plantain , but left it sitting for a good 3 days, as a result it ripened and became slightly sweet (which tasted good nevertheless).. however this also had a direct impact on the cooking... 1) As it was ripe , boiling in water for 5 mins. was not necessary, infact what I did was make the cubes softer than needed

2) The final mixing and cooking time was also reduced to 3-4 mins.

3) The palntain was a bit too soft.... as in the cubes did not stay cubey... if you know what I mean.

4) End result: Very tasty despite the above mentioned points. Will make again... and keep in mind the lessons learnt!
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  1. HeHe!!Great to read your inner thoughts!!Good that you didn't voice those to Mrs.Iyer.She would have kicked you out Khali belly!;D
    I love plantain chips,always buy it rather making at home.

    Recipe sounds good.Where's the photo?:))

  2. Hi Asha, Thanx! and yes.. one of the wise things I ever did.. shut my mouth... and open it only to eat!
    I will upload the pic soon.. some issue with the laptop, though i do get wireless signal, the browser does not load.. cannot xfer the snaps on the blog....

  3. hahahaha.... you have a way with words..... i love reading your small life experiences ...... you should blog more. :)

    Will wait to see te pic. :)

  4. manasi, good that you kept quiet and allowed mrs.iyer to do her work. we make plaintain fry and also something called 'erisseri' with plaintains.

    btw is there a picture which i can't see?

  5. hey Manasi, thanks for visiting, you have a nice blog just like your name!!

  6. hey Manasi,

    picture dekhne ayi....nahi dikhai diya...oh well. I do love your anecdotes the most though! :)

    hope you've been well.


  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hi Reena, hehehe, yes, thank God I did! Iam putting up the pic today , by evening!

    Hey Sharmmi, thanx for ur kind words!!

    Hi Trupti, I apologise for the delay... I am putting in the snap as soon as I reach home today!

  9. HI manasi. this is Anita, i will try your recipe but the one that we make in goa is simple and yumm as well. it consists of oil,raae,hing,coconut,corriander,turmeric and salt and sugar acc to taste. Thanks anyway.
    i'll try yours as well.


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