Raw Banana Varutha Erissery: Vazhakkai Roasted Coconut Curry
Raw Banana Varutha Erissery, a delicious dry curry from Kerala cuisine. Cubes of cooked green Plantain sautéed with a paste of roasted coconut cumin, and garnished with roasted grated coconut.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, south indian
Keyword: Erissery, Raw Banana, Vazhakkai Curry
Author: Sujata Shukla
For Cooking the Plantain/Raw banana
2cupsraw green banana sliced2 plantains/ banana/ vazhakkai
½ teaspoonsaltor to taste
¼ teaspoonturmeric powder
1cupwateror enough water to just cover the top of the plantain slices
For the Roasted Coconut
1cupfresh grated coconut
1 tablespooncoconut oil
For the Coconut Paste
¾ cuproasted coconutFrom the 1 cup roasted as above
1teaspoonCumin seedsjeera seeds
¼ cupwateror minimum required for grinding to a paste
For Tempering the Curry
2 teaspoonscoconut oil
1 teaspoonMustard seeds
1dry red chili
afewcurry leavesabout 10
¼ cuproasted coconutfrom the 1 cup roasted as above
To Cook the Raw Banana/ Vazhakkai / Plantain
Pare/ Peel the thick outer skin of the banana. Dice the banana into small cubes, about 2 cm square. When exposed to the air, the raw banana turns grey/ black, hence put the slices immediately into a bowl of water, to reduce discolouration.
Drain and place the slices in a pan on the stove, add salt and turmeric powder as in the ingredients list. Add water to just about cover the surface of the banana slices. Bring to a brisk boil (about 2 minutes) and then reduce the heat and let the bananas simmer till cooked and tender (about 7 minutes) If there is water remaining in the pan, increase the heat and continue to cook till the water disappears. This is a dry curry, hence you need to ensure the water evaporates completely.
To Roast the Coconut and prepare Paste
Heat a small frying pan and add the coconut oil. Add the grated coconut (or desiccated coconut if fresh is not available). Roast the coconut on medium to high heat, stirring constantly as it tends to catch at the bottom of the pan and char. Roast the coconut till it turns a yellow brown, and begins to turn rust in colour. (about 2 minutes) I know that cookbooks and recipes always talk about a golden colour, which I somehow have never been able to achieve when Im roasting or sautéing anything!
Remove the roasted coconut from the pan. Take ¾ cup of the roasted coconut and grind to a paste along with cumin seeds, green chili and a little water - i.e. just sufficient water to grind the coconut into a soft paste.
Set aside the remaining ¼ cup of roasted coconut for garnish.
To make the Raw Banana Varutha Erissery Curry
Add the coconut paste to the pan of cooked raw banana. Stir it in well and allow the curry to cook for about 3 minutes so that the raw taste of the chilli in the coconut paste goes away. Transfer the vazhakkai erissery to a serving dish.
In a small pan heat the coconut oil (as in the ingredients for tempering), add mustard seeds. Once the mustard crackles, add the dry red chili. Turn the chili after a few seconds so that both sides are fried. Add the curry leaves (I usually shred them before adding so that there are more chances of their being eaten than discarded on the side of the plate).
Pour the tempering of mustard and chili onto the curry. Garnish with the reserved roasted coconut. Serve the curry hot, with boiled (Kerala) rice and other vegetables.