Step out of the place you call home, and there you are craving for home cooked meals which you had until then thought of as humdrum. Food you grew up on then becomes a symbol of all you have left behind. A crisp vada is no longer just a vada, it is delicious in itself, but its lure lies in its power to evoke cherished memories- stories shared on rainy afternoons, raucous college canteens, buzz of family celebrations.On days I am inclined towards tending to the past, I cook up a home-style meal and devour it, washing it all down with a good dose of nostalgia.These three curries, plaintain pulisseri, beans-sweet potato curry, and fish curry with kokum star, come from my mom’s kitchen, and is eaten with plain white rice.
A traditional kerala vegetarian fare, pulisseri can be made with yam, ripe mango, pine apple or plantain. The sourness of yogurt and sweetness of the vegetable makes this dish a sweet-sour experience, like memories.
Ripe plaintain, peeled and chopped into large chunks : 1
Green chilli, sliced : 2
Turmeric: ½ tsp
Water : ½ cup
Grated coconut: 1 cup
Cumin : 1/2tsp
Yogurt: 1 cup
Fenugreek powder : 1/4tsp
Mustard seeds: ¼ seeds
Dry red chilli : 3
Curry leaf: 3 -4
Oil (I prefer using coconut oil for all typical kerala fare for that authentic flavor): 2 T
Grind coconut and cumin into a fine paste.
Boil plantain pieces in water along with salt, turmeric powder and green chili .When the pieces get almost cooked, add the ground coconut-cumin paste, and fenugreek powder, bring to a boil and take off the heat. Meanwhile beat the yogurt into a smooth paste, add this to the pot, mix well.
Heat oil in another pan, fry mustard seeds until they crackle joyously, add the red chillies and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds and pour this seasoning on your prepared curry.