Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vazhakaai Thuruvina Curry - Plantain Curry

This is a favorite curry in my husband's family.
My mother-in-law makes it quite nicer.
She used to remember that whenever she takes this dish to work, her
colleagues used to assume it was coconut rice.
If you have the right Plantain, that's how the curry looks.

Plantain - Medium size 2
Coconut shreds or powder - For garnishing
Green Chili, Urud Dhal, Chenna Dhal, Mustard Seeds, curry leaves - For garnishing
Oil - 1 or 2 spoons

Cut the extra stem in Plantain, do not peel the skin. In a deep container, fill water put the Plantains; they should completely
immerse in the water. Bring to boil. Once the skin facing down in the container turns dark, turn Plantains to the other
side, switch off once the other side also turns dark.
Take out & let them cool.
Cut green chilies in to desired size, have the ingredients for garnishing ready.
Once Plantains are cooled, you can take off the skins easily like in Banana. Shred them using a shredder.
Once you shred them you need to immediately start the cooking part. If you keep them for long, they tend to become
darker & the tastes too get spoiled.
Heat oil in a pan, put mustard seeds, Urud dhal, Chenna dhal, chilis & curry leaves. Once the dhals
turn to golden color, put the shredded Plantain.
Fry for 2-3 minutes, add coconut shreds & salt according to your taste.
Fry for couple of more minutes & turn off. Serve it with Hot Rasam/Sambar and Rice.
My Mother-in-law does not fry the Plantain shreds, once the seasoning is done, she switches off & puts the
Plantain Shreds. However, that will be nice only with farm fresh Plantain, available in Tamil Nadu.

Appa's Herbal Rasam

Appa's Mooligai (For Herbal in Tamil) Rasam - My father's famous recipe. My father's encounter in the kitchen was limited to the rare occasions when no ladies available to prepare the food. He used to make Okra (Ladies finger) curry & this Herbal Rasam. Once I was big enough to have encounters with kitchen...there were countless experiments I made on my father & brother. Whatever crap I made they both used to say it was lovely, I would anyway come to know the truth, when I start eating (note the point, I'm never the one to eat first).

Coming back to Rasam, both my brother & I liked it very much, we would demand him to make it once in a while. My hubby also joined the club after tasting this Rasam.

My father kept this recipe a great secret, until I came to US. He gave me this recipe only after using the Magic words that his dear son-in-law is asking for it. Now that I have got it, I want to let the entire world know about his "Secret Recipe". Actually, I have got his permission (don't want to get into copyright issues later :-))
Here is the most simple & yummy recipe.

Tomato - one small size or half of medium size
Asafoetida - a pinch
Green Chili - 1, cut into half lengthwise
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
Garlic - 4 to 5 pods, crushed
Salt - per taste
Cumin & pepper powder - 1.5 tea spoons (dry roast cumin & pepper equal amount & powder)
Ghee - 1/2 spoon
Mustard seed
Bring 4 cups water to boil. Put all the ingredients except for ghee, mustard seeds & coriander leaves in to it.
Switch off once tomato & garlic are completely cooked and the raw smell is gone. Put the coriander leaves, close
with a lid. Heat up ghee in a pan, put mustard seeds, once it starts to sprout pour it in the rasam
keep the lid closed until it's time to serve.
Mix it with rice or just drink like soup as I do.