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Showing posts with label Chutney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chutney. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Curious Case of the Banana Peel and other Slippery Tales

Nigella Lawson discovers banana peels are edible! "Eu tu" lauds the universe when all I want to scream is "Déjà vu"? And I do speak for myself or rather that part of the world which my ancestors inhabited. That little dot on the map that I would still call home even if I lived halfway across the globe. And follow that unwritten code of existing in harmony with nature that they had advocated. For long long ago when GM foods were not even conceived and the green revolution in India had not brought about substantial change in our food habits, my ancestors had exhibited the highest degree of reverence for every scrap of food. The concept of peeling fruits and vegetables was limited and applicable only to those that had been rendered inedible by the presence of a hard and/or hairy exterior or even certain And those habits were honed further by the periods of drought or famine that routinely ravaged the area.

But with the advent of modern methods and technology, there was enough food for everyone. And even more to waste for those who could afford it. Cosmetic or rather aesthetic approaches crept into the Indian kitchens. Those mud-stained layers that betrayed the origins became an eyesore. And peeling those ugly outer layers became the norm. Catalyzed further by those glossies with their borrowed ideas of good food and nutrition that had started invading at least some of the middle-class homes. Never mind in the process we were generating more and more kitchen waste. It would take a couple more decades for people to awaken to the problem of landfills and the leaching Methane punching holes in the Ozone layer. 

Getting back to those slippery and not so slippery peels, they have always enjoyed a lot of respect and adulation in Odia cuisine, often with a separate mention of the properties of the peels in traditional medicine. It won't be an exaggeration to claim that there is a whole genre of recipes centered around the now discarded peels. Interestingly there is one that is even offered to the Gods. Peels have always been minced, ground, crisped, or curried into various delicacies. Especially those of the gourd family and of course those of the banana/plantain.

While I already have a couple of them on the blog, this is one that is the easiest to prepare and needs no cooking. 

Ripe Banana Peel Chutney

This is usually made with the banana varieties having yellow or light green peels. Pick organic bananas that are completely ripe and unblemished. 

Ingredients -

1 Ripe yellow banana 

1 garlic clove

1 green chili ( or 1/4 tsp chili flakes)

1 tsp jaggery 

1/2 tsp Tamarind paste

1 tsp chopped cilantro

a pinch of cumin powder

1/3 tsp salt ( adjust as per taste )

Preparation -

Peel the banana and snip off both ends. Chop the peel into smaller pieces.

Transfer the chopped peel to a chutney jar or small mixer jar. Add all other ingredients except the cilantro. Give it a quick buzz. The texture need not be very smooth. 

Taste and adjust the salt/jaggery/heat. 

Can be served as a side during the meals or as a dip with snacks. 

The plantain peels on the other hand can be prepared using this recipe.

Still curious? Read on to find out a whole range of recipes derived from the different parts of the banana/plantain plants which was a permanent fixture in most Odia homes.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Coconut-coriander Chutney

Most of the chutneys are meant as accompaniments with snacks or finger foods. Maybe except for some vegetable chutneys like the ridge gourd chutney or the tomato chutney from Andhra, they taste quite insipid with rice. However, this one is an exception. Made this on the day after the Chilika trip when we were feeling quite exhausted and wanted a very simple lunch which included loads of salad and yogurt.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 5 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 cup coriander leaves (lightly packed)
  • 1-2 green chili
  • 2 pinch cumin seeds
  • 1-2 pieces dry mango(ambula)
  • 2-3 tbsp yogurt (optional)
  • salt to taste 

Preparation - Grind all the ingredients (except for the yogurt and salt) together into a paste.

Mix in the yogurt (if at all used) and salt just before serving.

Can be had either with snacks or rice.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Andhra Tomato Chutney ( Another Version )

A few weeks back, I had posted the recipe of Andhra tomato chutney that is usually served with dosas and uttapams. This time I am back with another version that is usually paired with rice. Easy to prepare and using less oil, it makes for a flavorful side dish. A big "Thanks" to my very sweet neighbor for sharing the recipe with me. (Somehow the color looks much more darker in actual but the pics give it a orange brown hue).

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 5-6 shallots
  • 2-3 garlic flakes
  • 2 green chillis
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder ( optional )
  • a small piece of tamarind
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Chop the tomato into big chunks.

Cooking - Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the urad dal, cumin and coriander seeds. Fry till fragrant. Remove and transfer to a plate. Allow to cool a bit before transferring to a mixer jar with the tamarind and salt. Grind into a powder.

Meanwhile add the remaining oil to the wok. Add green chillis followed by the tomato chunks. Fry till tomatoes start to soften a bit. Remove and allow to cool a bit.

Add to the mixer jar and buzz to get a smooth paste.

Finally add the garlic and shallots and buzz for 1-2 seconds. ( small chunks of the shallots and garlic should remain )

Serve with rice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tomato Chutney (Andhra Recipe)

The South Indian version of tomato chutney is a far cry from the sweet and syrupy one favored by the folks of Odisha and West Bengal. While the former is a tart scorcher ( thanks to the overload of green chillis ), the latter is doused with jaggery/raisins and copious amounts of sugar. Both are as different from each other as chalk and cheese.  The south Indian one is usually served as a accompaniment with breakfast/snack items while the eastern version goes well with rice and dal/dalma.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 8-10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 4 small ripe tomatoes
  • 6-7 shallots (peeled)
  • 3-4 garlic flakes
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 pinches mustard seeds
  • 1 dry byadgi chili (optional)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the shallots and green chillis. Follow with the tomatoes after 1 minute. Fry everything on a medium high flame for 2 minutes.

Add garlic and coriander leaves. Give a stir and switch off the flame.

Transfer everything into a blender along with some salt and buzz a little to get a somewhat coarse paste. Transfer back to a mixing/serving bowl.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add mustard seeds with broken red chili followed by the asafoetida and curry leaves. Fry for 10 seconds. Pour over the tomato paste and mix in.

Serve with dosa/idli/uttapam or even plain rice.

Note - I usually prefer to have it with white rice and some papad.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Saru Patra Chutney ( Arbi Leaf Chutney )

'Arbi' or Colocassia is otherwise known as 'Saru' in Oriya. While almost everyone is familiar with this root ( it grows underground just like potatoes ), the usage or consumption of its leaves is rather restricted. However, these leaves are quite delicious when tender and are popularly made into chutneys or fritters (pakodas) in certain parts of Orissa. The young leaves which have just uncurled or are about to do so are the best pick. Today I will be sharing one such recipe ( courtesy my Mom ). Read on:

Preparation Time : 15 mins

Ingredients: 7-8 nos Colocassia/Saru leaves, 1 medium sized onion, 1/2 tsp pancha phutana, 2 dry red chillis, 1 tsp tamarind paste, 2 tbs powdered jaggery, pinch of turmeric, salt to taste, 2 tsp oil.

Preparation: Roughly chop up the colocassia/saru leaves. Chop the onion into small pieces.
Dissolve the tamarind paste in 2 tbs of water.

Cooking: Boil 4-5 cups of water. Add the chopped leaves into it and boil for 5 minutes. Drain off all the water and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a oil. Add broken red chilli and pancha phutana. When the spluttering almost stops, add onion. Fry till translucent.

Add the boiled leaves and sprinkle salt and turmeric over them. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes till they start to somewhat dissolve.

Add tamarind paste and powdered jaggery. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or till it turns into a paste.

Serve with rice/rotis.

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