Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Vazhaikkai Puttu/Grated Green Plantain Stir-Fry

This is one of the traditional dishes from Tirunelveli and it’s easy to prepare and tastes great. M is a die-hard fan of green plantain, especially the traditional dishes. Vazhaikkai is a rare sight in Chandigarh and found only in some specialty stores that sell Tamil Nadu spices and stuff.
Last week when M went to buy some stuff in one such store, he got a glimpse of green fresh plaintains that made him buy half a dozen that are giant sized.So this week we almost had plantain in some form every day. M likes the stir fry better but i like puttu, so made it with the last plantain of the batch that was almost a week old.
Vazhaikkai/Green Plantain-1 big
Green chillies-3, slit
Shallots/Pearl onion-1/2 cup, peeled and chopped
Coconut-1/4 cup, scraped
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Urad dal-1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Oil-2 tsp
Salt-as needed
Water- for boiling

How It Happened:
1. In a wide pan, add water and drop the plantain whole. The plantain should get completely immersed. Boil them until the skin colour changes. When you put a knife thru’, it should pierce in easily.Switch off the flame and allow them to cool.
2. Once when they are cool, take the plantain and peel the skin. It will peel off easily just like a banana.
3. Run the vazhaikkai thru’ the  grater  and grate it thru’ the largest slot.
4. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds & Urad dal, when they pop add shallots, salt and green chillies and fry until golden brown.
5. Now add the vazhaikkai/plantain and cook for 5 minutes in simmer. Switch off the flame.
6. Serve as sides for rice.

*To keep the plantain fresh until use, always dunk them in water. It can keep them fresh for a week.
*While boiling do not remove the nooks i.e., head and tails else all the nutrients may dissolve in the water. Word of caution: while boiling, the veggie gives out a black, sticky substance that sticks to your pan making it sticky but can be removed with an iron scrubber. So use your pan accordingly. Do not bring your favourite pan anywhere near.

*The shallots may seem to be too much, but that adds a lot of flavour and taste. Adjust chillies according to your preference.

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