Vazhaikkai - unripe banana; puttu - anything steam cooked and loose as sand .Vazhaikkai puttu is a spicy scrambled plantain fry served as side dish with rice.
Brinjal, drumstick, mango, unripe banana, small juicy tomato, pumpkin, yam etc are called native vegetables (naattu kaai) in Tamilnadu , while green beans, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot, carrot etc are called English kaai:) I love those naattu kaai very much and will spend a lot of time in that vegetable section in the Indian store till hubby's turn comes in the billing counter:)
Coming to the unripe banana, the Indian variety holds good for side dishes like this. The other variety normally available here is the ethankkai (long banana), which is great for making chips. If you have not tasted this puttu so far, then make it for dinner and serve with piping hot rice and vatral kulambu / sambar and appalam, I am sure you will fall in love with this like me. This puttu comes in my menu at least once a month and here is the recipe for you all.
|Nattu vazhaikkai (Indian plantain). Aren't they cute!|
Ingredients:unripe Indian banana - 2
onion (finely chopped) - 1/2 cup
dry red chilly - 2
curry leaf - 1 sprig
coconut oil - 1 tbsp
shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
cumin - 1/4 tsp
turmeric - a pinch (optional)
salt - to taste
Method:Wash the green plantains / bananas. Steam cook them using an Idly cooker or in a normal cooker without adding the pressure valve for 10 minutes. Check it by piercing a fork and it should pass through without difficulty but firm in shape.
Take out and let them cool. Remove the skin and grate the unripe banana in a carrot shredder. Mix salt and cumin to it. Keep aside.
In a wok, heat the coconut oil and add mustard seeds followed by the black gram lentil. As soon as the mustard crackles add the dry red chillies, curry leaves , onion and stir till the onion wilts. Immediately add the shredded plantain and mix well. Check for salt. Fry till it becomes loose. Then mix the freshly shredded coconut and switch off.
Vazhaikkai puttu is ready!
Serving suggestions:Serve as side dish with rice and sambar or vatral kulambu or kara kulambu or rasam.
Note:Some people ad d turmeric to the puttu , while others make it white. Both tastes good.