July 26, 2015

Reflections from a Modern Indian Kitchen IV: South Indian meal finally

I been craving for good South Indian meal since a while: It is particularly hard to find good Andhra food in Mumbai. Finally, I decided to take it upon myself to make it happen. And so, today, I made a four course meal consisting of rice with toor dal chutney, ivy gourd fry, tomato dal and raw banana - curd chutney. We were in such a hurry to binge that I forgot to take pictures )

I am quite happy with the raw banana - curd chutney. The recipe I used is easy to follow and hard to go wrong with:

1. Remove the skin of the raw banana (I use knife and not peeler). Split it into four vertically and cut each split piece into 2 - 3 inch pieces (Don't bother with the size for this recipe as it is eventually going to be mashed).

2. Boil it in some water till it is fully cooked and becomes soft (I pressure cook it for ease, adding a pinch of turmeric in the water to remove the raw taste - I do this for most vegetables and dals when I pressure cook).

3. Grind the raw banana pieces with two medium length green chillies*, 3 tablespoons of curd and 1 cup water. The consistency should be slightly more diluted than tooth paste, so adjust curd or water accordingly.
*The original recipe calls for frying the chillies - But I've seen my mom add green chillies to chutneys directly and found that they taste better this way, so I skipped that step. You can choose either of the methods.

5. Chop a medium sized onion to small pieces and keep aside.

6. Heat oil in a pan and add half a spoon of mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add a pinch of asofoetida, a pinch of fenugreek seeds, half spoon slit urad dal, half a spoon chana dal, a couple of red chillies (split), curry leaves as per your preference and fry them (Technically, you shouldn't add them all together, but if you stick to adding the ingredients in this specific order, it is fine). Fry them till you see the dals beginning to turn golden brown. Immediately add the chopped onion* along with a pinch of turmeric and fry till it browns in color.
*Onion is my own addition because I love fried onions in pretty much every dish. You can also add chopped ginger instead to make this taste interesting.

5. Add the curd - raw banana mash to this and take the pan off the heat. Add salt and coriander leaves to taste and mix well. Serve with rice.

If you ever try it, tell me how it turned out.

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