Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Ona Sadya feast is held on the tenth day of the Thiruvonam festival celebrated with much grandeur in God's Own Country - Kerala. A festive spread of the special Kerala delicacies served on banana leaves includes at least eleven different vegetable preparations to go along with rice. While Upperis, pachadies, pickles and pappadams are served as side dishes, pradaman / paayasam and fruits satiate the desire for desserts.The lavish meal is also punctuated with a drink of warm shukku vallam ( water boiled with dry ginger powder ), and puli inji ( a ginger and tamarind sauce ) to help digest the great festive extravaganza.
Thick but slightly sour curds - 500 ml
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Crushed black pepper - 1 tsp
Elephant yam chopped - 1 cup
Chow chow or chayote chopped - 1cup
Curry leaves - a few
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps
Green chillies - 2
Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
METHOD FOR PREPARING THE CURD BASE/ SPICY YOGHURT CHEESE
1. Whip the curd smoothly adding turmeric powder,chilly powder, crushed pepper and curry leaves.
2. Gently cook the mixture, stirring now and then till it becomes slushy and reduces to one cup.
3. Stir in salt, switch off flame and keep it aside.
(This spicy yoghurt cheese base can be prepared in bulk and stored in the refrigerator for future use )
TO PREPARE THE COCONUT PASTE
1. Grind the fresh coconut gratings with green chillies into a smooth paste adding little water if necessary and keep aside
TO PREPARE THE VEGETABLES
1. Grease your hands well before chopping the yam to avoid itching.
2. Remove the rough peel and cut the yam into one inch long and 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric powder and cook with just enough water.
4. Peel the Chow chow/chayote and cut them into one inch long and 1/4 inch thick slices.
5. Cook with a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.
TO PREPARE KAALAN
1. Combine both the cooked vegetables in a pan adding very little water if it is too dry.
2.Add the coconut paste and cook for three minutes.
3. Add the spicy yoghurt cheese, stir well and immediately switch off flame.
4.Heat the oil and add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard splutters add a few curry leaves and pour the seasoning on the thick kaalan.
Enjoy the delicious kaalan with steaming hot rice topped with half a teaspoon of coconut oil.