Monday, October 1, 2007

JFI-Vazhakkai Pattinam Varuval / Crispy fried Raw Plantains.

My severe hunt for the ripe bananas ended a sad demise as they are totally 'off' season here.I had always watched with envy and awe, the heavy trucks of T.N loaded with bananas heading to Kerala, where bananas are abundant, raw and ripe, year round, and me hunting for the same in the source point!!.I had wanted so much to whip up something with the ‘real fruit’ and now left with no other choice than the raw plantains.

All I know about this raw plantain dish is that it originated from the villages of Tamil Nadu.Purely authentic, this is seen to be disappearing from the dining tables of the state!.Pattinam means a town or a city and Varuval meaning fry....and that's how the villagers have named you see..:)..
As the most of the recipes, I learned this easy to make dish from my ma in law.

This goes to JFI- Banana hosted by Mandira of Ahaar.

You need:

Raw plantain-2 nos
Red chillies-7 nos- broken to 3 pieces each
Refined oil-1/2 cup.(Oh yes, please be liberal)
Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Urad dal-1 tsp
Dry Curry leaves-A sprig(optional)
Salt-to taste.


!. Remove the outer green skin using the peeler.Cut into small even sized cubes of 1cm each.Boil water in a pan adding salt and turmeric powder.Transfer the pieces to it.The water level should be just above the pieces and drain them when the water just boils and whirls round and they are ‘just’ cooked.Do not overcook.

2. Heat oil in a wide non stick kadai.Splutter mustards.Add the urad dal.Immediately add the boiled plantain cubes.(the urad dal aquires the deep brown colour during the whole process and you need not wait for them to get roasted while tempering).

3. Turn the pieces gently while getting roasted in the kadai every 3 minutes, keeping the flame steady to ‘medium’. They generally ‘drink’ oil quite well and within 10 minutes the oil must have been all absorbed!At this stage, they are half roasted, add the broken red chilly bits.Toss again and add the dried curry leaves(chillies and curry leaves are not added while tempering and are added half way to avoid getting over browned).Check salt.

4. After about 10 minutes the pieces would have turned golden brown and crisp.Toss and remove from fire.

Serve hot with Rice and ‘vengaya sambhar’ or Rice and ‘vathal kuzhambu’…of course without counting the calories!:D..


  1. This is the way I prepare mine too. Have you tried adding finely chopped ginger to this? Tastes amazing. It also counteracts the 'gassy' plantain ;)

  2. Once in a week I prepare this vazhakai curry! And ofcourse we too get our vazhaikai from Tamil Nadu! :D . It disappears from the dining table as you said! You see it is such a tasty curry!:)) I can almost get the aroma of the picture you have posted!
    Enga kovil athanaala enakku mattum photo edukka anumadi kidaichadu! Aduvum moolavar pattu thuniyaala marachundu eduthathu! Soundaraja perumal kvilla vedalla!

  3. looks nice and crispy. bet the kids loved it :)

  4. Bharathy eppavume lathammakku special than!:) unkitta no solla mudiyumaa!:)

  5. Looks yummy! Look at the banana pieces so green.By the time we cook it,plantains will be almost ripe!!:))

  6. we call it balekai palya bharathy... didn't knew it originated from TN... once its fried and cooked i add dash of lemon juice to...
    by the way, ur photoes have come excellent. droolworthy pic:)

  7. Even we make this dish bharathy, we call is aritikaya popu kura, sometimes my mom add sesame seeds powder at the end. It tastes delicious.yum , yum. unfortunately I don't get good plantains here:(. Hope you had a great vacation.

  8. this looks so fresh and delicious. Thanks Bharathy!

  9. yumm..bharathy, it looks soo good..and yes ;) no counting calories..i guess all of us who are blogging have stopped :)

  10. bharathy looks yum i love balekayi palya i do add mashed garlic to it :)

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  12. That sounds really good, Sugi.
    V loves ginger in anything...but not the kids.I will consider your suggesion for V,for sure!..

    Isn't vazhakkai curry dif? My version of it is with sambhar podi and coconut gratings and it is softer and not crisp..

    Oh yeah,sis,they almost gobbled up the whole plate with nothing much left for bava and me!..:)

    Thanks again for that kind consideration,Lathamma..:)

    Mostly I get them green and fresh from my ma in law's garden,Asha..:)..but these are store bought ones..:)

    Really Sia?the same??...I am confused now!;)..abt the camera is getting outdated and I have to thank Picasa now!..:)Thanks dear!..

    Shiva..isn't pappu,Dal?We don't add sesame but it sounds nice...

    Thanks Mandira..

    Oh yeah Rajitha..sadly the yummiest ones are with the most calories,too!..:D

    Roopa..that really should taste even better!..:)

  13. we rarely find plantains even in indian stores in my area!
    thank you for this virtual treat!

  14. delocious vazhakka mezhukkupuratti...
    the picture looks great, bharathy!!

  15. Yum. Yum. It is one of our family favorites. We prefer ours almost red to black.

  16. Nice and simple curry. I never get raw plaintains at all. Most of the time it is a little ripe. It's been months since I got this vegetable.

  17. you cut them so well, for a minute I thought it is vazathandu! very nice looking varuval.

  18. Looks great..Will try it out some time...!!


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