Vaazhaikkai Puttu/Raw Banana Puttu
Vaazhaikkai Puttu is one of my favourite dry curries. The normal dry curry or poriyal made out of raw bananas would need more roasting to make it tastier. This dish is made of cooked and grated raw bananas. Till today I believe my mother makes it the best. This puttu can also be made with very less oil. Though I didn’t know the concept of less oil when I was little, I think the taste of dal and chillies in the seasoning must have made this more appealing.
In the dry curries, seasoning in terms of oil, mustard seeds and dal is generally not poured on top at the end. The recipe starts with oil, mustard seeds and dal, continued with curry leaves, green chillies or red chillies as per the dish. This is more or less common in all poriyals or dry curries.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- vaazhaikkai/raw banana – 2 nos
- garlic – 4 cloves
- onion – 1 no. medium
- green chillies – 2 no.s
- curry leaves – a few
- oil – 1 tsp
- mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- split urad dal – 1 tsp
- salt – to taste
- freshly grated coconut – 1/2 cup (optional)
Cooking Raw Banana
- Cut the top portion of banana skin which is hard
- Let the skin remain intact
- Boil water in a pan on the stove
- Cut each banana in two halves and immediately place them in water
- Do not leave the cut bananas out for more time – the open corners would discolour
- Banana halves should be well immersed in water
- In approximately 15 minutes bananas should be cooked – should be little more than medium cooked
- To check, poke a knife in the banana – the banana should feel cooked but intact and not soft
- Be careful – over cooked bananas become unfit for this poriyal
- So, keep checking in between!
raw bananas cooked with skin
Method of Preparation
- Take the cooked raw bananas and gently peel the skin off
- Grate the banana halves in a grater – this is why the cooked bananas should be intact and not over cooked
- Grated raw banana should look like grated coconut
- Chop onion and garlic cloves to fine pieces
- Take 1 tsp oil in a pan, preferably non-stick
- Add mustard seeds, when it splutters add urad dal
- When dal becomes golden, add chopped onions, garlic and curry leaves
- Saute and add the grated bananas
- Add salt and mix well
- Do not use a wooden ladle or spatula – it might mash the grated banana
- Use a metal ladle - when the poriyal is mixed in the pan, the grated vegetable remains like grated coconut.
- This vegetable doesn’t need turmeric powder and hence would be off-white in colour
- Let it cook in sim position for five minutes with stirring in between
- When the vegetable is well mixed with the salt and the seasoning items, turn off the stove
- Sprinkle freshly grated coconut before serving.
Note: Sorry, the above photo is not clear enough. Photo of grated raw banana and a better photo of vaazhaikkai puttu would follow.