South indian style vazhakkai podimas/varuval recipe. Steamed plantain tempered in a fragrant spicy coconut masala. Makes a great side dish for sambar or rasam.
STEAMING THE PLANTAINS
1/2 cup water
2 big plantains / raw banana / vazhakkai
FOR THE SPICE POWDER
1/2 teaspoon Indian sesame oil
2 teaspoon urad dal
1.5 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
5 red chillies (Gundu variety)
2 Byadagi / Kashmiri chillies
1 inch strip of tamarind
4 tablespoon fresh shredded coconut
1 teaspoon jaggery
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon Indian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 cup onion, finely chopped
3 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
Steaming the plantains / Vazhakkai for Vazhakkai Podimas
We need to cook the plantains till its a mushy consistency. This can be done two ways. One is using a regular steamer and other is in a pressure cooker. I like to use a pressure cooker as its fast and gets the job done in no time. Add half a cup of water in a pressure cooker and add in the plantains. Cut the plantains in half so it fits inside. Cook for exactly five minutes. Ignore the number of whistles. After cooking, let the pressure settle. Open the cooker and remove the plantains. Peel the skin of the plantains and mash them into small pieces with a fork or a spoon. Set aside.
Now we will make a spice powder for the Vazhakkai Podimas
Heat a little oil in a pan and add in the urad dal. Roast the lentils on a low flame until the urad dal is slightly brown. Add in the fennel seeds and coriander seeds. Continue to roast until the lentils are golden in colour. Its important to roast the spices and lentils on a low flame as the spices will burn fast. So take your time and roast on a low flame.
Add in the chillies (both the varieties). I like to use gundu chillies for the heat and Byadagi / Kashmiri red chillies for colour. Add in the tamarind and the fresh shredded coconut. Sauté for a couple of minutes. Finally add in the jaggery and the salt. Mix well for a few seconds.
Remove the spice mixture to a plate / bowl. Let it cool a bit. Grind the mixture to a coarse powder. It should be ever so slightly coarse. Set aside.
Making the Vazhakkai Podimas
Heat Indian sesame oil in a pan. A non stick pan is preferred for making this recipe. Be generous with the oil as this dish requires it. Else it will be very dry. Add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
Add in the finely chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes till the onions are soft. Add in the mashed plantains and roast everything for about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, break the big pieces of plantains.
Add in the roasted spice powder. Reduce the flame to low after adding the spice powder. Continue to roast everything for another five minutes. Keep breaking up the big pieces that must have clumped up using a spatula. Once the mixture is dry, the plantains wont clump up.
Finally add in the coriander leaves and remove from heat.
I love to serve this Vazhakkai Podimas with rice and dal or sambar. This is one of my all time favories at home.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: South Indian
Keywords: Vazhakkai Podimas