Vazhakkai Podi / Grated Raw banana spice mix – an authentic and flavourful South Indian dry curry made with raw banana. Raw banana is cooked, grated or crumbled and blended with a freshly prepared spice mix. Addition of the freshly prepared spice mix enhances the taste of this raw banana curry. This flavourful and piquant dry curry is a very good accompaniment in South Indian meals.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- Raw Banana – 3 medium size
- Oil – 3 to 4 teaspoon
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
- Hing / Asafoetida – 1/4 th teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Curry leaves – few
- Coriander leaves – to garnish
To roast & grind for spice powder:
- Toor dhal – 2 teaspoon
- Urad dhal – 2 teaspoon
- Sesame seeds (optional) – 1 teaspoon
- Red chilli – 3
- Oil – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
Step by Step Instructions:
- Cooking the raw banana: Cut the vazhakkai / raw banana into 2 to 3 inches long (depending on the length). In a pan, add enough water and boil. Place the raw banana in the pan and allow it to boil. Every now and then flip the raw bananas so that all the sides are uniformly cooked. Cook until the raw banana is soft and tender. As the raw bananas get cooked, the skin turns slightly blackish in colour. This is a good indication that the bananas are cooked. Take one piece and try peeling the skin. If you are able to peel the skin, then switch off the stove and drain the water. This would take roughly 10 to 15 minutes in medium heat.
- Peeling & grating the raw banana: Once the raw bananas are cooked, peel the skin carefully. Use a grater and grate the raw banana and place it in a bowl. If you prefer you can crumble the raw banana instead of grating. I prefer grating over crumbling since it gives a uniform texture and end result without lumps.
- Preparing the spice mix: Heat a medium size pan and add 1/2 teaspoon oil. When the oil is warm enough, add the toor dhal and urad dhal and roast the lentils in low to medium flame until they slightly change colour. Now add the red chillies and roast until the lentils turn golden brown. While roasting, stir the ingredients continuously so as to avoid charring. Transfer the ingredients to a plate. In the same pan, add the sesame seeds and turn the heat to high. Roast until the sesame seeds splutter or until they turn light brown in colour. Place the roasted sesame seeds along with other ingredients and allow it to come to room temperature. Grind the roasted ingredients in a blender / mixie to a coarse powder.
- Add the spice mix to the grated raw banana: To the bowl containing the grated raw banana, add the spice mix, turmeric powder, salt and hing.
- Tempering the vazhakkai podi / Tempering the grated raw banana spice mix: Heat a wide mouthed pan and add around 1 table spoon oil. When the oil is warm enough, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add urad dhal and saute` until it is golden brown. Add hing/asafoetida and curry leaves. Give a quick stir and add the grated raw banana spice mix. Give a gentle stir and cook in low flame for 1 minute until the tempering, spice mix and grated banana are uniformly spread. If the curry/ porial is too dry, then add a teaspoon or more oil to the pan. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve this vazhakkai podi / grated raw banana spice mix as a side dish / porial for South Indian meals.
- The spice powder can be prepared well ahead and can be stored at room temperature. The shelf life of the spice powder is approximately 15 to 20 days.
- While cooking the raw banana, see that they are neither under cooked nor over cooked. If you are able to peel the skin of the raw banana by hand, then it is well cooked.
- While preparing the spice mix, roast the ingredients in low flame so that the lentils get roasted evenly. If the lentils get overcooked or turn black, then this will alter the taste of the dish.
- For the spice mix, I have included 3 red chillies which gives a medium spice raw banana spice mix. Customize the recipe and adjust the number of chillies according to your preference.
- The measurements for the spice powder is just enough for 2 to 3 medium size raw banana. If you are cooking more than 3 raw bananas, then adjust the quantities as required.
- Variation – You can prepare the spice mix powder with or without sesame seeds. Adding sesame seeds enhances the nutritional profile of this dish and increases the flavour by imparting a slightly nutty aroma. Instead of sesame seeds, you can also add roasted peanuts in small quantities.
Check out my other dry curries / porial varieties: