Vazhakai Chili Recipe| South Indian Lunch Recipes

If you have read the title and that has left you a wee bit stymied ( you know that south indian and chili part?), then no i have not lost my mind. This is a Chettinad style dry curry made with raw plantains. Another recipe that i have tried from Mrs. Menu Rani Chellam s book. It always works wonders when i m hosting a lunch. Makes a very good accompaniment for rasam or sambar or even some lemon rice. I usually make it on those days when we crave for some spicy food. This is perfect for cold winter nights too.

When i was going through the contents part of the cookbook, i actually thought this would be some indo chinese style recipe. But when i read the recipe, i was surprised to see a melange of flavors. I was instantly sure that this recipe would work like a charm with Mr.P and a couple other friends. The secret to getting this fabulous is cooking the raw plantain just right. If you overcook it, you will have a mush. So do take care while you cook the plantains.  The original recipe uses mushrooms. But since we dont eat much mushrooms at home, i subbed them with raw plantains.

Recipe: Vazhakai Chili 
Prep Time:  10 mins             Cook Time: 20 mins                             Allergy Info: Gluten Free, Nut Free                               
Cuisine:South Indian                                 Course: Accompaniment To Rice 

Raw plantains 2 medium size peeled and sliced thickly
Onion 1 large chopped finely
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Garlic 5 cloves
Ginger 1 tsp grated
Dry red chilies 7
Cardamom 1
Cloves 1
Cinnamon 1/4" stick
Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
Thick curd 3 tbsp
Lemon juice 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves 2 tbsp chopped finely


Immerse the sliced plantains in enough water and cook till just tender.
Drain completely.
Heat a pan with oil.
Crush the coriander seeds coarsely.
Add fennel seeds, clove, cinnamon and cardamom to the heated oil.
Now add dry red chilies and coriander seeds.
Tip in the garlic and ginger.
Saute till garlic is lightly browned
Add onions and fry till transparent.
Now, add turmeric powder and the cooked sliced plantains and mix gently.
Add salt to taste.
Whisk the curd well and add to the mixture.
Cook till the mixture thickens. Takes 3 mins on medium flame.
Once done, garnish with coriander leaves.
Add lemon juice just before serving.
Serve hot with tomato rasam and hot rice.

Note: The number of chilies may seem a bit too much but it s perfect because of the addition of curd and lemon juice.
Add lemon juice only after taking off the flame.
You can try this recipe with mushrooms too. But you need not precook them like we do for plantains.

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