Vazhakkai curry is a favorite curry of mine. As such Raw banana is the most revered vegetable in Tanjore based cooking. Probably due to its abundant availability Tanjore based Tambram cooking has atleast 7 different ways to make only poriyal out Raw banana. Vazhakkai Puli Curry is the version of raw banana typically served in Tambram wedding.
In my family, my parents-in-law do not like Raw banana. But I like it very much. At my mothers place, we always have plantain at our backyard giving us abundant leaves. Frequently there will be yield from it too. Instead of cutting the whole bunch (Thar) my mother would patiently climb stool and pluck only the quantity that is needed. That way, one bunch will be used atleast for 2 months. At our house, we consume it right from the time, banana is tender. Nowadays, the ones that we get in shop are full grown ones. Tender ones (called Kacchal kai) has slight astringent (Thuvarpu) property and tastes very good. As an expert my mother cooks different variety of food with Vazhakkai that I never get bored of it.
Here is a very simple recipe of curry using Raw banana and tamarind (Puli).
- 2 Nos Raw banana/Vazhakkai
- 1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder/Manjal powder
- 1/2 Tsp Salt/Uppu
- 1 Tsp Tamarind pulp/Puli
- 1 Tbsp Shredded coconut/Thengai powder optional
- 1 Tbsp Curry powder optional
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Spring Curry leaves/Karuveppilai
- 1/4 Tsp Mustard/Kadugu
- 1 Tsp Split Urad dal/Ulutham paruppu
- 2 Nos Dry red chilli/Vatta milagai torn
- 1/4 Tsp Asafoetida/Perungayam
Peel raw banana and cube them and store them in water to prevent banana from browning. Add Turmeric, Salt and Tamarind extract bring to boil. Cook banana till done. Drain cooked banana and keep aside
In a kadai, heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When they crack add split urad dal and dry red chilli and saute them in low flame till urd dal turn golden. Add curry leaves.
To this, add cooked banana along with Asefoetida and saute well. I add curry powder to this as it gives nice flavor and also prevents gas formation. You can also add shredded coconut and give it a stir.
Colorful, flavorful curry is ready.
*Adding curry powder gives it distinct flavor and taste. Hence do not omit it. You can find the curry powder recipe in the above link.
*Cooking the vazhakkai can be verified by pressing it between fingers. Alternately cooked raw banana also absorbs turmeric color, which is also a good indication.
*I normally add the last extract of tamarind used for sambar or rasam. Mild amount of tamarind is sufficient.
Vazhakkai Puli Curry-Step by step instructions
*Peel, dice raw banana and store them in water.
*Cook it along with salt, turmeric powder and tamarind extract till done.
*In a kadai, temper with mustard, urad dal, curry leaves and red chilli.
*Add cooked banana pieces along with Asefoetida, curry powder (optional) and coconut (optional). Mix well.
I enjoyed it with Instant Jeera rasam rice.
Related: Have you tried raw banana podi. It is another varient of raw banana which is equally flavorful
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