Saturday, March 1, 2014


Nendrakkai (Raw Kerala plantain) is a tasty vegetable - it can be used to make mezhukkuvaratti as well as molagooshiam. The most popular item it can be used to make is yummy chips. In Kerala these chips would never be purchased from shops when we were kids. It would be made at home in large quantities when we were kids. This would leave behind a huge pile of 'tholi' (thick peels) of the plantains. This itself is a tasty vegetable and can be used to prepare ‘thoran’. 
My mom used to fry nendrakka too - not a whole lot - just half a dozen at a time. "Neiyyappam thinnaa rendundu kaaryam" - meaning there are double benefits in consuming 'neiyyappam' - I can't exactly say why my father would buy 'nendrakkai' - for the chips or for the 'tholi thoran' – both items were dear to all of us! But I can tell you that I bought nendrakkai yesterday more for the latter than for the former. The chips were the bye-product or so it seemed as my primary dish was 'tholi thoran'. I also remember my father getting nendrakkai tholi from the fellows frying nendrakkai chips by the street corner in Chennai as well as Mumbai (read Chembur) but I have had no such luck in Pune!
So now on to the side dish Kerala plantain peel thoran.

Serves 4

Thick peels of 3 Kerala plantains
Vella payaru (lobhia / chowli) - 2 - 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Whole red chilli - 1-2
Curry leaves - 12
Oil - 2 tsp

1. Wash the nendrakkai and make long lengthwise lines with a knife all around each of them.
2. Remove the thick peels from all the plantains.
3. Pile them and chop them finely.
4. Keep the chopped pieces in water to which a tbsp of buttermilk has been added for 15 minutes and wash it well.
5. Boil the vegetable with turmeric powder and salt till tender and drain off the water.
6. Pressure-cook the 'vellapayaru' with turmeric powder and salt.
7. Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds, urad dal and red chilli pieces.
8. When they splutter, add curry leaves followed by the cooked vegetable and vella payaru and stir well.
9. Add finely grated coconut and mix well.

10. Serve hot with rice and koottaan (sambar / morkoottaan). 


For the authentic taste, use coconut oil.

© Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.

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