I am translating the hand written book written for me by parvatham patti My MIL's aunt who stays in Lalgudi. She is an excellent cook, her patient hands have experimented with one herb and another, on low gentle flames called viragu aduppu (chulha) in traditional vessels. These vessels guard and endow essence and aroma to the dishes. I will also share recipes by my mom,dad, grandparents,MIL, my own kid's experiments and other recipes which are customised for my family.
Discovered this Pazham pori during our train journey from Secunderabad to Ernakulam on Sabari express. My daughter who was around 9 then took an instant liking to this and the kerala family which was travelling with us gave me the recipe. It is made with a particular variety of banana called Nenthram pazham which is sweet and has tiny black seeds. It is the same banana in its raw form which is used to make the famous plaintain chips of coimbatore and kerala. Even the ripened ones are used to make chips. My perimma was an expert in making this. Steaming this banana is another form of consuming this. This is called pazham puzhunginathu( steamed fruit) and is a dish by itself as it is satiating and filling. There was a time this variety was not available near my home but with the mushrooming of a few kerala stores in the city, it is easily available especially on weekends when it comes from Kerala on Friday. This is my daughter's favorite.
Ingredients for making Pazham pori
Nendrampazham - 2 nos
Cooking oil for frying.
for batter Maida - 2 tablespoon Rice flour - 1 table spoon ( or even slightly less) sugar - 1 teaspoon salt - a pinch orange food color( optional)
Mix all the batter ingredients and make a thick batter.
Chop the banana into two, peel them and slice them horizontally.
Dip them in the batter and fry them in cooking medium till done. drain the excess oil on an kitchen absorbent paper.
Kadalai mittai or peanut fudges( or can be shaped into balls) are traditional sweet made with jaggery. Loaded with nutrition they are good snack time bites too energise you. Alhough famous and easily available in supermarkets and small stores, the ones that would come from my perima's place were very tasty and famous. The pettaivaithalai kadalai mittai were shaped into fudges and decorated with colored dessicated coconut strands. Looked very appealing. This is one of my husband's favorite sweet and so almost every alternate week, we make this in my kitchen. A simple recipe
Peanuts - 1 cup
jaggery - 3/4 cup
a little rice powder( to shape them )
Firstly dry roast the peanuts, cool them and crush them coarsely or till they break into two pieces with a rolling pin. Remove the hull from the nuts.
Make a jaggery syrup in a thick bottomed pan till it melts and rolls into a ball consistency. To this add the peanuts. When slightly cool ( yet warm). Dust your hands with rice flour, take a blob of the peanutjaggery mixture and shape them into balls. Alternatively, pour the mixture on a greased plate, pat them evenly and shape them into fudges.
Pineapple gojju is one of my favourite udipi dish. This is part of the wedding lunch spread in most south Karnataka weddings and if there is anything I would stretch my hand first s to pick from the lunch spread, it would be this. I love the spicy, tangy, sweet taste of this dish and would like to have a bite of pineapple in each spoon that I have. My mom, my atthai and my sis regularly make this…I too make this whenever I find a sweet pineapple in the market. This is a good side dish with dosa, idli, roti, bread and I can even have it with plain rice, sambar, rasam and curd rice or I even have just by itself. Ingredients:
Chopped sweet Pineapple -1 Cup (You can add more also if you like ) Jaggery – golf ball size Tamarind – one small ping pong ball size Salt - As per taste Turmeric / Haldi - 1/4 tsp
For Grinding (Masala) Grated Coconut - 1 cup Urad Dal- 2 tsp Chana Dal - 1 tsp Red Chillies (preferably byadgi chilli)– 6-8 ( to suit your spice level) Sesame seeds -11/2tsp ( Black / white ) Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Method: Dry roast the ingredients for grinding masala(except coconut)….when cooled , grind the roasted ingredients coarsely and add the grated coconut to the final grind….this mixture if coarse will have great texture and taste to the dish.
In a pan, add a little oil and sauté the pineapple pieces lightly, to this add the tamarind extract, turmeric and jaggery…allow it to simmer till the raw flavor of tamarind fizzles out.
To this simmering concoction, add the ground masala and let it simmer till the flavours blend for 5 minutes.
Switch off and now season it with mustard, hing and curry leaf.
Tips: adding dry grapes to the dish along with pineapple will enhance the taste too.
Alternatively, pineapple can be substituted with lady's finger( bendekayi gojju) or bitter gourd( hagalkayi gojju) and even shallots or onions( erulli gojju)....this can be mixed with plain rice and a little sesame oil...it tastes heavenly.