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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Vazhakkai Mezhukku Varatti

vazhakkai mezhukku varatti puli kari plantain indian easy recipe vegetarian

Vazhakkai is the Tamil word for Plantain. Green unripe plantain is something I grew up with - it was pretty much year round item and very common in Palakkad (Palghat) cuisine. It is usually cooked as a vegetable in mor-kozhambu and south Indian style curries.

One of my favorite curries is mezhukku varatti or upperi that my mom makes with plantain. The others include vazhakkai podimas (which is streamed and grated with coconut), vazhakkai pulikari (with tamarind), and as a prominent ingredient in avial (vegetable medley).

This recipe here is an adaptation of the mezhukku varatti and pulikari.

The specialty about this recipe that gives the texture i like is powdered par-boiled rice that has been lightly toasted first before powdering. And of course, the tang from the tamarind. Plus, I like to add coarse crumbled toasted peanuts, and some dry grated coconut...

vazhakkai mezhukku varatti puli kari plantain indian easy recipe vegetarian

2 plantains
2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate (adjust to taste)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp dry grated coconut
3 Tbsp coarsely ground toasted peanuts
2 Tbsp par-boiled rice (or jasmine rice), dry toasted and coarsely ground
water as needed
salt to taste

Tempering: 1 tsp coconut oil or canola oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp urad dal, 1 tsp chana dal, 4-6 curry leaves (optional)


peel the plantain with a vegetable peeler, and dice it; keep it in a bowl of water till ready to throw in the pan for cooking

mix the coarsely ground dry roasted rice, dry grated coconut and coarsely ground toasted peanuts and keep handy

tempering: heat oil in a pan, when shimmering add the chana dal, when it turns golden brown add the urad dal, when it turns golden brown add the mustard seeds, and when they pop add the cumin seeds and curry leaves

then add the plantain some salt, turmeric, chili powder, tamarind concentrate, brown sugar, some water, stir well, cover and cook till plantain is tender and cooked; adjust flavors to taste

stir in the rice+peanuts+coconut powder mix and stir it in; the cool thing about this is it absorbs any extra water and makes the dish come together with a wonderful texture - not too dry, not too runny

I had some spring onions in the garden that I used for garnish, but, curry leaves, or cilantro leaves or even sliced green chilies is a good garnish for this recipe.

Serve warm with rice and rasam or sambar. I like it better with hot rotis :-)

This Vazhakkai mezhukku varatti style recipe is my 'V' dish for lovely Nupur's A to Z of Indian Vegetables event.

azhakkai mezhukku varatti puli kari plantain indian easy recipe vegetarian

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  • At 3:23 AM, Blogger Nupur said…

    How cool to learn about the different ways of making Maharashtrian cuisine, it does not feature much at all. This dish looks incredible, Sheela!

  • At 6:40 AM, Blogger Asha said…

    I recently started cooking Plantains too and I love it!:))
    Dish looks great.I heard that there is difference between Indian and Mexican Plantains.Indian ones are softer I hear.I only get Mexican anyway:)
    If you like Eggplants,check out FH this week.I am off to vacation ,see you next week.Have a great weekend:)

  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger bee said…

    that looks gloriously delectable, sheela. it's one of my favourites.

  • At 9:29 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Nupur, thanks! hope you get to try it soon...

    Asha-ji, Enjoy your vacation! (and congrats on your daughter's achievements, I love to stop by and read the little bits about your family in your posts)

    bee, awww, how kind of you... when veterans like you and asha stop by and take the time to leave nice encouraging words, it does make my day...


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