Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sutta Vazhaikkai Podi - Grilled Raw Banana Spicy Crumble

Whenever my Mami and I get together our conversation veers in all directions and finally culminates in our one and only indulgence : cooking! Vazhaikkai Podi is a spicy curry which has to be crumbly as the name itself suggests. I usually cut the Raw Banana/ Vazhaikkai along with the peel and then boil it till done. Then I cool it, peel it, crumble it and then mix it with the spice powder to make this delicious dish. If the vegetable is slightly overcooked the Vazhaikkai Podi (Raw Banana Crumble) is sure to turn into Vazhaikkai Masial (Raw Banana Mash)! Mami taught me a traditional method to cook Raw  Banana/Vazhaikkai wherein it would remain dry and crumbly even after cooking. Here is the traditional method to make a delicious and crumbly Vazhaikkai Podi.

Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai - 1 
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Black gram dal/Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Bengal gram dal/Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Broken red chillies - 3
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small marble size ball
1. Wash and wipe the Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai and place it on live flame.

2. Hold the stalk and turn it now and then so that it is uniformly grilled.

3. Allow the skin to char on all sides.
4. The sharp edge of a knife can be easily inserted into the Banana/Vazhaikkai when it is done.

5. Allow the grilled Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai to cool down completely.
6. Scrape off the charred peel using a knife.

7. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the tamarind till crisp and keep aside.
8. Add the dals, red chillies and mustard seeds into the same oil and roast till the dals turn golden in coliour.
9. Add asfoetida and switch off fame.
10. Cool the roasted ingredients and grind them coarsely adding the fried tamarind and salt.

11. Cut the grilled and peeled Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai into four pieces and add to the mixer.
12. Just give it one swish so that it crumbles and blends with the spice. 
One extra swish will make the Podi mushy. Safest method is to crumble the grilled Raw banana/ sutta Vazhaikkai using your hand.

 The powdered spice can be gently worked into the crumbled vegetable.

Enjoy the Sutta Vazhaikkai Podi mixed with plain rice or relish it as a side dish with your meal.

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