Friday, March 20, 2015

Vaazhaipoo Parupparaichcha Kari

There was yet another banana tree in the backyard that has shown promise of bearing about 20 fruits. the blossom had shed a few layers and I decided to bring it down. The fruits will take a long time to ripen and become edible. This is not a variety that we can have raw bananas for cooking. The blossom and stump, however, are. I had plans to make the regular stir fry with just coconut and cooked thuvar dhal. Somehow the plans did not work and the blossom had already been kept a day long. That meant a few layers were to be shed off. The cut vegetable then was quite little for a sumptuous meal. So I decided to make this with the lentils and have a sufficient quantity.
Paruppu araichcha kari can be made like the paruppu usli by steaming the coarsely ground batter and cooking it with the vegetable. I chose to grind the lentils and cook them on heat with oil until they were dry to take on the vegetable and blend with it. This process needs a bit of arm wrestling exercise to stir and cook the lentil batter, removing the raw taste in the process and removing most of the moisture. While you may cook a variety of vegetables with the lentils in this manner, I like this one, where the insipid taste of the banana blossom is masked and the spices and lentils stand out. You may choose to make the lentil batter with just thuvar dhal or a mix of thuvar and channa dhals. I like to add the channa dhal and some coconut with one teaspoon of urad dhal to soften the lentil mix just a bit.

Vaazhai Poo Paruparaichcha Kari - Banana Blossom and Lentils Stir Fry

Serves 4
One medium banana blossom
1/3rd of a cup thuvar dhal
2 tablespoons channa dhal
1 teaspoon urad dhal
1/8 cup grated coconut
5-6 dry red chillis
1 small piece of ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/4 cup gingelly oil (or any cooking oil)

Salt to taste

For tempering:

2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons urad dhal

3 fresh green chillis cut in small pieces
2 sprigs curry leaves

Clean and prepare the banana blossom as found in my earlier post for blossom fritters.
Cook the cut blossom in sufficient water adding turmeric powder, when softened add salt and cook further. Remove excess water by squeezing the cooked vegetable by hand.
Soak the dhals after rinsing them. Grind to a coarse batter along with coconut, red chillis, ginger and just enough salt.
Add the turmeric powder.
Heat the oil in a heavy and rounded bottom pan.
Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the urad dhal, curry leaves and the green chillis and toss until the dhal is golden and chillis are done.
Drop the batter in. On low heat cook the dhal batter, stirring constantly until most of the moisture has evaporated and the dhal has a light brown tinge. Keep stirring to avoid lumps. Press down and break lumps if they form.
Add the drained banana blossom and cook further stirring well so that there are no big lumps. Add more oil in small quantities only if absolutely necessary.

The final dish should be slightly dry with little moisture.
Serve with steamed rice and kuzhambu/ rasam as a side dish.


  1. My aunt makes her parippu usili the same way - by sauteing the ground dal in a kadai until it is cooked, and that makes such a difference to the taste. This sounds just as delicious.

  2. very delicious yummy and my hot favourite.

  3. Interesting Lata. Looks delicious and worth the arm wrestling.


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