Thursday, September 25, 2008

Green Banana Puli Kuzhambu (in a spicy tamarind sauce)

You can't get away from it, the news that Wall Street CEOs screwed up big time and how Paulson and the administration want to give them a break in the way of a bailout. But this is the part I just don't get, if a lowly employee in any company screwed up big time they would be marched to the door and dumped unceremoniously and that would be the end of it, but Paulson and his friends are making the case that the bailout should come without any strings attached to make it attractive for company high command, in other words the golden parachutes preserved. As a tax payer I strongly protest. I would have the markets correct themselves and learn from the mistakes. Capitalism surely is not that fragile!!

Having a lot more free time, I have been paying attention to the morning shows, they are not interesting enough to hold attention for more than a few minutes though. I was surprised at the number of cooking shows or so I thought when I saw Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart on at the same time. But a few minutes into RRs realized she was trying her hand at talk show and was interviewing Dr.Phil's wife. Martha Stewart obviously had the better quality show, she stuck to what she does best - cooking. RR would do a lot better to learn from Martha, her talk show hosting was dismal at best.

My neighbor gave a few cucumbers from his garden, they are the Indian variety with the suggestion that they can be added to dal or made into chutney. I have seen them in the grocery stores but never really cooked with them. If you know of any good recipes with them please do leave a comment.


Ever since I saw this recipe on Priya's blog Sugar and Spices a year ago I have been wanting to cook it. Priya takes beautiful pictures and presents recipes so very elegantly. I miss not seeing her post these days. I have made mine thicker than hers and altered a few ingredients.

Another recipe that I followed was from Solai's True Chettinad Kitchen.
Mine is a combination of ingredients and methods from both of these recipes.


1. 2 Raw bananas (I had green plantains)
2. 1/2 cup chopped shallots or small onions (added shallots and 1/4 of a red onion)
3. 5-6 garlic cloves chopped, 2 red chilies split in half
4. soak a small lime sized tamarind ball in 2 cups of water
5. 2 medium sized juicy tomatoes chopped
6. 2 tsp coriander powder
7. 1/2 tbsp sambhar powder
8. 1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
9. 1-2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
10. seasonings: 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds , 1/2 tsp urad dal, curry leaves
11. 1-2 tsp oil
12. salt to taste

1. Steam cook the raw bananas, peel the skin and slice into rounds
2.In a pan heat oil, add the seasonings, when they start to turn color, add the chopped onions, garlic and the red chilies and saute till they turn slightly brown
3.Now add the sambhar, chili and coriander powders, mix
4.Add the chopped tomatoes and let them cook till they are soft.
5.Add the squeezed tamarind water and let it come to a boil
6.Now add the chopped banana and let it continue to cook till desired consistency.
7.After about 5 minutes of boiling add salt and the sugar.

Serve with rice and dal.


  1. this is not capitalism. it is corporate socialism. the welfare state is evil, but this is fine, according to the administration.

    i love this creation of yours.

  2. I have never had a dish like this, but it looks really delicious.
    Indian cucumber i have no idea what to do. My sister make a dish with dal and coconut with this kind oof cucumber.

  3. cool! new to was the taste?

  4. bee, sure first it was the airline industry next it was the auto industry and I figure the oil industry was there as well with their begging bowl and now it is the answer to everyone's prayers Wall Street which is running there, but come what may be they should not be punished is what Paulson is saying.

    HC, thanks yup that was the recipe I was going to try.

    Sangeeth if you like puli kuzhambu, this is a must try.

  5. I never heard of using raw banana in pulikuzhambu,i should try this looks yummy

  6. There are some hands to blame but right now, whats to be done has to be done so it minimizes the ripple effect.

    I completely agree wtih you on RR. She sucks at being a talk show host.

    That cucumber is dosakai - just cook it up in dal like you would do with sorakai, or you can make pickle out of it too. Like cucumber, some of them may be bitter so check out before you cook with it.

  7. Indo, those are dosakayas. Very special and popular with us Telugus - just look at any Andhra food blog, you'll find recipes for chutney and dal.
    And that puli kozhambu - it's my latest obsession - started off with this veggie, went on to brinjal, arbi, ladies fingers and eggs!

  8. gosh does that curry looks good or what? regarding using those cucumber u can try kannadiga dish called majjige huli. i have blogged one with ashgourd. replace them with cucumber.

  9. Ooooh! Indo, That looks delicious! I should try it.

    What I don't believe is the govt. spent almost nothing on katrina rescue or rebuild efforts... and now giving away billions to big fat corps.!

    About the cucumber, give it a try with kadalai paruppu as dal.. and coconut+green chillies + cummin seeds paste. It would work well esp. if you up the green chillies part a tiny bit more than usual. and also use some garlic while seasoning.

  10. curry is sooooo tempting dear. perfect.

  11. That curry looks mighty delicious, ISG! With you on the unfair practices. I heard that one of the CEOs who was on the job for 3 weeks received a cool 11 mil, while the regular folks were unceremoniously let go, without even benefits!
    The whole economic scenario right now is kinda scary to me.

  12. Indo - Its been a very very long time that I left any comments, but I have been readign your receipes. This one is especially great.. I like any combination of tamarind kozhambu with any vegetable :)

    Take care.


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