15 February 2010

Plantain Peas Podimas - a simple yet delicious curry

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.

Plantain podimas
Serves 4
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


DEESHA said...

yumm, i love such simple recipes

Asha said...

Simple and delicious!:)

Mallika said...

Seems so delicious and healthy! Dos podi mean powdered chilli? My mother has podi dosa and it's a killer...

Latha said...

Podimas looks very yummy. I usually add some lemon juice.

Global Tastes & Travels Inc. said...

Usually I don't see plantains used in Indian recipes. Is it more common in South Indian food? I am of Caribbean decent and I love plantains as well as Indian food, which I cook often. In fact just made chappatis with saag paneer. I will definitely be trying this recipe using one of my favorite vegetables.

Nandita said...

Deesha - me too! couldn't be bothered with over elaborate cooking!

Thanks Asha - also for your clarification abt the chana snack.

Mallika - podi means powder, molagaipodi with dosa for eg.

Latha - I add it too sometimes, thanks for the reminder, will update.

Hi Global gourmet - welcome here! You are right, there are probably a few recipes from north of india like the kabab or kadhi, but it is mainly used in South Indian cuisine quite extensively - the fried plantain chips from Kerala are pretty famous :)

ruchikacooks said...

Simple and lovely. Adding peas is a new twist. I just make it plain.

Superchef said...

LOL. Even I used to find the word podimas very funny! No idea what that means. Love the potato podimas that is a more common variety made at home. I have had this plantain one a couple of times too, but mostly at weddings. Thanks for bringing back the memories :)

notyet100 said...

ummmm yummy nd healthy

Nandita said...

Ruchika - even i make it plain, this was just an emergency measure to increase the quantity :)

Superchef - though most words have their origins in the right places, this one probably like some others got distorted over the years. Surprisingly I've never had it at any wedding, possibly I haven't attended too many weddings ;)

thanks NY100

PJ said...

oh wow, this is such a nice recipe with plantains and coconut! Infact all your recipes are so unique, creative and healthy. I just stumbled over your blog but I am so glad I did, this sure is a scrumptious space!

Raaga said...

I have 2 versions of podimas... both slightly different from yours... but it is one dish I love!



My boss had potato and peas podimas at Novotel in Hyd... ever since he told me about it I've been wanting to try.

sra said...

I'm a convert to grated plantain - ever since I saw it on Suganya's blog about a year or so ago! This looks nice with the peas in it!

Nandita said...

Thanks PJ

Raaga - have updated some more podimas recipes including yours in the post.

Sra - my granny would just crumble it, but I prefer grating. Potato is better off just crumbled as the grated ones would turn very mushy! Haven't seen Suganya's version, would have missed it.

ramya said...

I love Vazhakkai...nice additon of peas...

Global Tastes & Travels Inc. said...

I made them and posted them to my blog (giving you credit for the recipe of course). It was absolutely delicious - Thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

I've made this a number of times now and it's simply superb! Thank you!

shanthi said...

Looks awesome and delicious

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