October 9, 2014

Raw Banana Subzi

Not all recipes that I see in a book/blog/TV show inspires me. But, this one surely caught my interest. I saw this recipe in a popular south-Indian TV cook show and fell instantly in love with this north-Indian recipe. 

Ofcourse, there are other reasons too. To my knowledge, raw bananas is a not-so-frequent vegetable in north Indian kitchen and so, I thought that this recipe was unique. I adore chef Mr. Venkatesh Bhat (who happens to be the host of that cook show) for his passion and interest in culinary field and that reason was more than convincing for me to try the recipe. Last but not the least, the recipe seemed to be simple, quick with minimal ingredients.

And, the good news is my instincts did not fail me...

Raw banana subzi is a north-Indian recipe that uses raw bananas and freshly roasted & pound spices. The speciality of this recipe is that it doesn't use onion (or) garlic and is perfect during vrat/fasting days. The taste of freshly pounded spices, the flavor of fresh herbs and that extra zing from lime juice makes it truly very enticing. I 'd never thought that raw banana and pepper would work so well together!

Raw banana subzi makes a great side for rice / any flatbread. I am sure that the same recipe would work with potatoes too! The trick to a lip-smacking subzi lies in cooking raw bananas to perfection by not undercooking / overdoing it. Towards the end of cooking, you could add more or less water and make it a gravy (or) a dry curry (see the recipe).

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 3

2-3 tbsp Oil
3 no. Raw banana
1-2 tbsp Yogurt

1 tsp Oil
5 no. Dry red chillies
1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds
1/4 tbsp Pepper
1/3 cup Fresh coconut

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
3/4 tsp Curry powder
Salt to taste

1 Sprig Curry leaves
Lime juice from 1/2 lime
a handful of Cilantro

1 tsp Oil
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
1 tbsp Whole urid dal

Cut raw bananas into bite sized cubes. Thin down yogurt with water just enough to soak the cut bananas. This is mainly to prevent oxidization of the vegetable and subsequent change in color.

Heat a tsp of oil and roast dry red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns until crisp & fragrant. Switch off the stove, add grated coconut and give a quick stir.

Heat about 2-3 tbsp of oil in a cooking pan. When hot, drain and add the cut bananas to it. Saute for about 5 mins until the bananas are starting to get softer. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, curry powder, salt and give it a good mix. Cook for 3-4 mins until raw smell of all the spice powders are gone.

In the meanwhile, add about 1/8 cup of water and grind the roasted ingredients into a slightly coarser paste. Now, add this paste, curry leaves into the pan, mix well and cook for another 4-5 mins. At this stage, you could add more / less water depending on whether you want gravy (or) a dry subzi.

Mix in lime juice, finely chopped cilantro and remove from heat.

Add a tsp of oil, splutter mustard seeds, roast urid dal until golden brown and add it to the subzi.

Serve hot with rice (or) any kind of flatbread.