Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Green Plantain fry (Vazhakai Podimaas)

Ever since I moved to the US, I am on the lookout for Banana stems.. and my search still continues! My mother-in-law makes an awesome Koottu (gravy) with banana stems, which is irresistible. I've been longing to make that here, but sadly I haven't yet found a store in my area that sells banana stems. However we do get green plantain and banana flower quite often.

I have to admit that I just know 2 recipes with Plantain.. One is hot and Spicy Plantain Fry that I learnt from my mom, and the other is mild and plain that I learnt from my mother-in-law. Both of them are excellent side-dishes for a variety of curries, yet my choice is the spicier one. It tastes extra good when my mom makes it! Conversely, today I made the the milder version - a pretty simple stir fry and usually goes well with kara kuzhambu (Spicy Tamarind curry). Its called podimaas in Tamil, meaning mashed and stir-fried.


  • Plantains - 3
  • Onions - a handful (chopped finely)
  • Red Chillies - 2
  • Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds, Urad dal - 1 tsp each
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Curry leaves - a few


  • Pressure cook the whole plaintains (with skin) for a short time.. Do not overcook, it usually takes the same time like any other vegetable.
  • Peel off the skin, grate the plaintains and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and season with mustard seeds & urad dal. Add chillies and fry for a few seconds.
  • Then add the asafoetida - fry for a few seconds and immediately toss in the onions and curry leaves. Fry for a few mins (onions need not turn brown).
  • Now add the plaintains, salt and stir fry well until the seasoning is mixed well with the vegetable.
  • Finally add the shredded coconut and fry for 2-3 mins.

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