Monday, April 4, 2011

Vazhai poo puli kulambu (Banana flower in tamarind gravy).

Vaazhai poo / valai poo - plantain flower /banana blossom.

I have heard that this kulambu / gravy is a native dish of Sivakasi of Tamilnadu, India. Mom used to say that, they serve this kulambu by the name, 'Vegetarian ayira meen kulambu' (Ayira meen - very tiny fresh water fish) because of the appearance. They have to keep a tablespoon of this gravy along with other side-dishes in their weddings. But it is not so popular in other regions of Tamilnadu. The base is similar to a puli kulambu, and the banana blossom makes it much flavorful.

Banana flower in tamarind gravy.

Banana blossom - 1 (small)
Tamarind - 1 lemon size
Red chilli powder - 1.5 tbsp
coriander powder - 3 tbsp
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
water - 2 cups
salt - 2 tsp (to taste)

To grind:
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
shallot onion - 10
cumin seeds - 1 tsp

To temper:
mustard - 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig
oil - 2 tbsp
asafoetida - 1 pinch

Clean the banana flower. See the link 'How to clean banana flower?'.
Wash once and drain water. Cut the large flowers into half. keep the tiny flowers without chopping. So that every flower is in 3 inch length (approx). Preserve them in thin buttermilk solution to prevent darkening.
Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice thrice with 2 cups of water.
Add the chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt to the tamarind extract and keep aside.
Grind coconut, onion and cumin seeds with little water. keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Crackle mustard seeds , add fenugreek seeds , curry leaves and asafoetida.
Then add the banana flowers and discard the buttermilk.
Fry well in high flame for 2 minutes till the banana flowers wilt and smells good.
Pour the tamarind extract mixture and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Then add the ground masala , reduce flame to medium and close tightly with a lid. Let it boil for 5 minutes and switch off. The valai poo kulambu should be like thick gravy.

Serving suggestions:
Serves 5 people as main gravy.
Serve hot with rice and any vegetable side dish or with chapathi.


Unknown said...

wow...this dish looks absolutely delicious....very unique recipe !

Unknown said...

My grandma makes a similar one. Looks delicious :)

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Very spicy and finger licking dish dear. Looks delightful.

Hamaree Rasoi

Nandinis food said...

Very yummy kuzhambu. Looks great.

Suman Singh said...

Your dish looks delicious though it sounds new to me.

Shylaja said...

A different tasty dish

Aruna Manikandan said...

sounds new to me....
Healthy delicious gravy dear :)

Jaleela Kamal said...

நல்ல இருக்கு விக்கி எப்படி இருக்கீங்க ஊருக்கு போய் விட்டேன் வந்து இரண்டு நாள் ஆகுது.

Tina said...

never tried this....looks yummy..

Priya Suresh said...

My mom makes this kuzhambu quite often,u r tempting me to make some soon..

Unknown said...

Healthy recipe,luks delicious...

divya said...

Wow..that looks super super tempting..nice recipe..

sathya said...

Looks delicious, very tempting kuzhambu!

Hari Chandana P said...

Nice recipe.. looks gr8 !!
Indian Cuisine