Vazhakkai /raw plantain is a regular vegetable at home. It is usually made into a thoran (stir fry seasoned with coconut and green chilly)or a mezhukuperatti ( a medley of veggies cooked and sauted in oil). Its after marriage, I was introduced to this podimas. I guess this is a tamil way of cooking. I learnt this from my MIL. According to MIL, the ponthan variety of vazhakkai is usually used for this and it gives the best results. And I have not tried with any other kind. May be other varieties might also give good results. The ponthan variety is generally used for making bajjis. Though the preparation of podimas is simple, the taste is marvellous. This is a favorite of my husband and I make it often. It goes very well with sambhar/ vethakozhambu or any tangy gravy.
Vazhakkai/Raw plantain - 2 nos
Oil - a tblspn
mustard seeds - 1 tspn
chana dal - 1 tblspn
red chilly- 1 nos
green chilly - 3 nos
hing - 1/2 tspn
Grated coconut - 2 tblspn
Chop both the ends of the bananas. Cut them into two or three pieces depending on the size with the skin on. Cook them in enough water with salt in it. Its done when you can see cracks on the skin. Drain the water. Cool. Remove the skin. Grate the cooked bananas. Be gentle when u grate so that it doesn't turn mushy.
Matured bananas are used for this so that it retains shape when grated.
Heat a kadai with oil. Add mustard seeds. When seeds crackle, add chana dal, broken red chilly, slit green chillies, curry leaves and hing. slowly add the grated banana and give a gentle stir to mix everything. Check the salt and cook for a minute or two for the flavors to steep in. Garnish with grated coconut.
Some prefer to add turmeric to get a yellow color and also a tablespoon for lemon juice for a tangy taste.