I tried to think what the origin of the word 'podimas' would be...except that podi means some kind of powder or mash, I had no other clue to this. Origin apart, this is one delicious way of preparing potatoes and plantains. The potato version featured in my post detailing the ways in which potatoes are cooked in Iyer homes.
We had Vazhakkai podimas or plantain mash for lunch yesterday. The method is as simple as any other 'curry' (dry vegetable preparation) in tambram cooking - no onions, no tomatoes, no grinding and no frying.
The ingredients used in tempering are what infuse flavours into these bland vegetables. The thicker variety of plantains are more suited for this preparation while the thinner ones are good for slicing up and direct cooking in the wok. The fatter plantains are better off with boiling / pressure cooking. For this recipe, they need to be peeled and grated before proceeding with the podimas. This dish goes superbly with a simple rasam-rice or a buttermilk 'kadhi' (mor kozhambu) providing the necessary crunch and spice on the side.
I have added some boiled peas to the dish as I was short of one plantain, while it does not feature in the traditional recipe, it added a nice colour and freshness to the recipe.
Time taken - Under 20 minutes
2 large plantains
Handful boiled peas (optional)
1 tbsp oil
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp udad dal
1 tsp chana dal
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 green chillies, finely minced
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp fresh scraped coconut
1-2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
Boil 3 cups water in a pan with pinch of salt and turmeric. Halve the plantains with the skins and put them in the boiling water. Let them boil for 7 minutes or until just cooked (they should not turn very soft). Drain and cool. (You can pressure cook whole plantains for one whistle and 3-4 minutes under pressure instead of boiling)
Once cooled, peel off skins. They'll come off easily with your hands. Grate using a medium grater. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a kadai. Splutter the mustard seeds, add asafoetida, udad dal, chana dal and stir on medium flame until the dals turn golden brown. Next, add the chillies, ginger, curry leaves - stir for 30 seconds and put in the grated plantain and peas. Season with salt and stir well for 1-2 minutes mixing all the tempering ingredients with the vegetable. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coconut and coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rasam-rice or mor kozhambu-rice or with curd-rice.
Note - You can prepare potato podimas using same recipe. Boiled and peeled potatoes can be crumbled and used instead of grated plantains. The plantains can be crumbled and used too instead of grating, but the grated version looks better and mixes with the tempering more uniformly, in my humble opinion!
This recipe tried by Global Tastes and Travels
Some more recipes for Podimas from fellow bloggers -
Thanjavur style vazhakkai podimas
Raaga's version with fewer ingredients
Shammi's slightly more elaborate version and her recipe for potato podimas