‘Kaalan’ is yet another item of every feast – when it is served as a side-dish.
But ‘kaalan’ used to be made as a ‘koottaan’ in my house whenever there was a lot of sour buttermilk at home. It was a hot favorite with all of us – right from grandpa to little sis! Usually some ‘mezhukkuvaratti’ would be made as side-dish. But grandpa would insist on ‘pappadam’ too – otherwise the meal would be incomplete, according to him!
It can be made with yam or ‘nendrakkaa’.
Yam – 125 gms – peeled and cubed
Sour buttermilk – 800 – 900 ml.
Grated coconut – 8-10 tbsp (1/2 a coconut)
Turmeric powder – ½ - ¾ tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp (optional)
Green chilli – 2-3
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Methi seeds – ¼ tsp
Red chilli – 2 pieces
Curry leaves – 7
Oil – 1 tsp
Boil the yam with ¼ tsp of turmeric and a little salt till it is cooked. Set aside.
Heat the sour buttermilk with ¼ tsp of turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
Continue to boil on medium heat till the quantity reduces to half.
Add the cooked yam pieces and boil.
Grind the coconut with green chillies and cumin seeds to a fine paste and it to the boiling mixture.
Mix well and turn off the heat. It should be thick.
Heat a tsp of oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, methi seeds, red chilli pieces and curry leaves and add it to the ‘kaalan’.
You can use one ‘nendrakkaa’ (Raw Kerala plantain) – cubed and boiled and used for ‘kaalan’.