Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vazhakkai (Plantain) Curry with Toor Dal

My chitti (mom’s sister) lives in a flat right across the hallway from my mom.  Like my mom, she is an excellent cook.  The advantages of having her right across the hallway – I get to sample her cooking as well as my mom’s cooking for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

She made this plantain curry when I was there.  It was very different from other plantain curries that I had tasted.   I normally make it with chili powder, salt and turmeric. This one had some similar ingredients to the traditional paruppu usili, but was easier to make.  I really liked it.

Vazhakkai Curry with Toor Dal

Here is what you need:

  • ½ cup toor dal
  • 4 red chilies
  • ¼ tsp. hing
  • 4 small raw plantains
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. split urad dal
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste

Here is how I made it:

  1. Soak the toor dal for about an hour
  2. Grind this to a coarse paste with red chilies and hing
  3. Peel and chop the plantains into small cubes.  Put the pieces in water so that they don’t discolor when you cut them.
  4. Heat oil in a saucepan, add mustard seeds and urad dal
  5. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the ground paste and mix well.
  6. Add the cut plantains, salt, and turmeric powder
  7. Sprinkle a little water.
  8. Cover and cook till the plantains are done, stirring occasionally.

Serve with rice and rasam, sambar, or kuzhambu

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