Vazhakkai podi, raw banana podi, a spicy condiment made of raw banana, lentils and spices. A rice mix powder, that can be mixed with rice and ghee and also as a garnish.
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Podi & Pickles : An Essential Condiment
Pickles and podi's are essential condiments of south-India, like the sauces and dips of the west. Podi is a flavorsome dry powder, made of lentils and other spices.
This flavorsome dry spice powder can be a simple side like this Idli podi, a spicy lentil condiment paired with idli and dosas. Or like this curry podi which is used to spice up dry curries or like this sundal podi, used to flavor sundals.
Apart from this, a podi can also be used as a rice mix powder. Dry spice powder, added to fluffy cooked rice, along with a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and crunchy elements like peanuts and dals. This makes a delish lunch box menu along with chettinad potato fry or raw banana fry.
These flavorsome rice mix powders, come in handy on days you don't have a mood to cook, just make some rice and enjoy mixing these powders with a dollop of ghee and a side of chips.
Today's Lunch Thali
On my plate
I made this delicious thali for our weekday lunch last week. This vazhaikkai podi | raw banana podi is amma's recipe. Her pantry in Chennai has an array of all rice mix powders, she even makes rice mix powder with potatoes too, will share it some other time.
Ingredients for Raw Banana Podi
- Raw banana : Use firm raw bananas for making the banana podi
- Lentils : A combination of chana dal and urad dal is used in the podi recipe.
- Spices : Red chili is the primary spice, along with coriander seeds in this vazhaikkai podi.
- Other spices : A good amount of tamarind is used in the banana rice mix powder to give it a tangy taste. Other than that curry leaves, hing and salt is used.
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions (CHECK NOTES FOR MORE FINER DETAILS)
- Measure and keep all ingredients ready. Roast both the dals and coriander seeds until golden brown and keep aside.
- In the hot pan, finally add curry leaves and tamarind let them roast in the residue heat. Keep the roasted ingredients aside, to cool completely.
- Now peel the raw banana and chop them into cubes. Heat a wide pan, add 1-2 tablespoon of oil, when hot, add the chopped bananas to it. Cover and cook in a medium flame until they are soft.
- Once soft, remove cover and cook until they are golden brown. Take it off heat and let it cool down completely.
- To Grind, first take the roasted dal, coriander seeds, curry leaves and tamarind along with salt in to a mixer jar and grind to a coarse powder.
- Divide the dal mix in to 3 batches and the raw banana into 2 batches. Take one batch of each and pulse grind it to a coarse powder. This will resemble a clumpy paste. Remove to a flat plate. Repeat again with another batch.
- Now take the clumped coarse mix all together in the grinder add the final dal mix portions and pulse grind to a fine powder.
- Remove the spice powder on to a wide plate and let it cool down and dry on its own.
- Store in an airtight container. I prefer to refrigerate, as it contains cooked vegetable. Add it to rice with a dollop of ghee and enjoy.
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Vazhakkai Podi | Raw Banana Podi | South Indian Lunch #11
- Indian style mixie or any heavy blender
- 2 fat & firm raw bananas , plantain I have made this with both the Indian variety and Sri Lankan variety we get in the markets, here.
- ¾ cup urad dal/black gram dal/Uluntham paruppuu
- ½ cup chana dal/gram dal/Kadalai paruppu
- 2 tablespoon coriander seeds/dhaniya
- ½ teaspoon hing/asafoetida
- 15-20 round red chilies
- 25 grams raw tamarind size of a small Indian gooseberry
- 1-1.5 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
- Measure and keep all ingredients ready. Peel the raw banana and chop them into cubes and keep it immersed in water until use.
Roasting the Dal and spices
- Heat a wide pan with 2-3 drops of oil. Add urad dal first, roast in a medium flame until it turns golden brown. Remove it to a flat plate.
- To the same pan, add another 2-3 drops of oil. Add chana dal, roast in a medium flame until it turns golden brown. Remove it to the same plate as urad dal.
- In the same pan, add coriander seeds and roast it until aromatic and remove it to same plate as dals.
- Turn of the stove, add curry leaves and tamarind to the hot pan. Let the curry leaves, dry and curl up. Remove them both to the plate of dals and coriander seeds.
- finally to the hot pan, add curry leaves and roast them in the reside heat and transfer to the dal plate. To the roasted ingredients plate now add hing and let this all cool down completely.
Let us cook the Raw banana
- Heat a wide pan with 1-2 tablespoon of oil. When hot, drain the raw banana from water and add it to the hot pan.
- Reduce the flame to simmer, keep a small bowl of water in the pan. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes.
- The bowl of water, creates a steam and helps cooking faster without burning the banana.
- Remove the cover and check, the bananas will be fork tender. Remove the cover and let it be in the hot pan for another 10 minutes for it to brown and crisp a bit.
- Once it browns, remove it to a flat plate and let it cool down completely.
Let us Grind it all together
- First take the dals, coriander seeds, tamarind, hing, curry leaves and salt mix into the grinder jar and grind it to a coarse powder. Remove the dal mix to a flat plate.
- Now divide the dal mix into 3 equal portions. Divide the cooked banana into 2 portions.
- Take one portion of the dal mix along with one portion of cooked banana into the mixer and pulse grind. It will resemble a clumped coarse paste.
- Remove the coarse paste to a flat plate. Take another portion of dal and final portion of banana into the mixer and pulse grind again to a coarse paste.
- Now take both the clumped paste into the mixer along with the final portion of dal and pulse grind again. This will make the final spice powder nice and airy and separate.
- Remove this to a flat plate and let it cool down completely. Even after cooling down and dry, if you still feel there are lumps in the spice powder, worry not, take it in a spice grinder and pulse 2-3 times, it will become flowy and airy with no lumps.
- Store this in an air-tight container, preferably in the refrigerator. As this contains cooked vegetable, there is a chance of it to become bad if kept on the kitchen counter.
To make Mixed Rice with Vazhaikkai Podi
- Spread the 1 cup steaming hot rice, on a flat plate, add 1-2 teaspoon of ghee or gingely oil. Top it with 2-3 tablespoon of vazhaikkai podi to this. Mix well. If necessary add another tablespoon of podi to the rice and mix.
- Check taste and adjust salt if needed. To add tempering, heat 1 -2 teaspoon of oil in a tadka pan, splutter mustard seeds, add 1 or 2 broken red chilies, curry leaves . Add 1 teaspoon of urad dal or peanuts to hot oil. once the dal turns golden brown, add it to the rice and enjoy it warm.
Points to remember
- Always keep the stove flame medium to simmer while roasting the ingredients to avoid burning.
- While grinding the dal first, make sure to grind it coarse.
- Grind the cooked raw banana and dal in batches. Make sure you divide them into 3 batches of dal mix and 2 batches of banana.
- Remember just to pulse grind and not to run the mixer continuously. This will end up in baby food and not coarse spice mix.
- The final grind with just dal, helps to aerate the vazhaikkai podi nicely and helps it to become a homogeneous mix.
- If even after air drying the spice powder, you still feel it is lumpy, take it in a mixer jar and pulse it once or twice. This will break the lumps and aerate the spice powder well.
- Store this raw banana rice mix powder in refrigerator to prolong the shelf life the vazhaikkai podi.
I m not a Doctor or a Nutritionist The Nutrition information provided above comes from the plugin and is only an estimate.