Recipe for: Vazhakkai fry
3 green (raw) bananas
2 tbsp coconut oil
A few fresh/frozen curry leaves (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp asafoetida powder (optional)
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
Red chilli powder to taste
Salt to taste
1 tsp tamarind paste
1. Wear disposable gloves or grease your hands with oil before peeling the bananas as the sap will otherwise stick to your hands. Make sure to get all the thick green skin off the bananas.
2. Slice the bananas into even slices about 1/4cm thick and put them in a saucepan of water. The water should be enough to cover the slices generously. Dissolve the tamarind paste and turmeric powder in the water.
3. Parboil the sliced bananas, then place in a colander to drain off the cooking water. Handle carefully so that the slices don't break up too much.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a wide saucepan, then add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal. Cover and let the seeds splutter. The urad dal should be golden by now.
5. Now add the chilli powder and black pepper powder, stir it for 20 seconds, then add the parboiled banana slices along with salt to taste. Stir carefully to coat the slices evenly.
6. Cover the pan and let the slices roast for 8-10 minutes on a medium heat, until the slices turn golden and are fully cooked. Turn the slices carefully over and let them roast for about 5 minutes more. Serve hot as a side with rice, rasam or sambar and any South Indian "gravy" like moar kuzhambu, vattha kuzhambu or thengai kuzhambu (recipes for all these are on my blog).