It’s generally believed that “Man” is God’s greatest creation. And hence he can be rightly named as the supreme blessing to the whole planet. And if you take into consideration all that our Mother Nature has to offer us, we can definitely call her as His best blessing to mankind. Can u ever imagine a planet without nature taking its' various forms like water, air, trees, fruits, rivers, oceans etc… too difficult to swallow up, rite?? So, let’s give a very big thx to the Almighty and Mother Nature for all their handouts without which, as we know, man wudn’t have existed nor survived…and maybe I wudn’t have been here writing this article….:)
Wondering why this rather unusual intro to a simple recipe…well, coz… amongst all the nature’s wonderful gifts, one such gift to humanity is the Banana tree or a plant rather. Wondering why??? Well, it’s coz a banana plant by itself is a complete medicinal treasure. One of it’s distinguished feature being the fact that each and every part of it is edible except for the leaves which of course serves various other purposes.
The banana flower, blossom, or bud popularly known as Vazhappoo or Kodappan with a deep crimson colour, is infact highly rich in Vitamins and is highly good for women. Similarly, the Vazhathandu popularly known as Pindi when taken as a juice extract, is extremely beneficial for diabetic patients. And of course, the final fruit known as bananas needs no intro and can be taken as itself when ripe or can be had cooked when raw. It simply boosts your energy level apart from aiding in various other health aspects too. High in vitamins and other nutrients, intake of these would do just justice to your body in all respects. Talking about the leaves of the plantain trees, though they are not edible, they are infact used as a serving plate for sadhyas…apart from being used as umbrellas years back….:) They are even used for folding purposes to cover the luscious ela adas (my personal favorite) to initiate that magnificent aroma. Honestly, truly spectacular indeed!!!
Coming back to the consumption of these banana parts, there have been various concoctions tried and experimented by our ancestors…and one of the most commonly used one is in the form of thorans. And believe me, this seems to be the only edible way….mainly coz of the texture and the bitter taste it possesses…. :) So, do try out variations and make thorans with the flower or the stem or the raw plantains along with a suitable coupling like Red oriental beans (Van payar) or Whole green gram (Cherupayar) or Red gram (Thuvaraparippu).
Though the most popular one in the duo is the Green gram or Red gram, I like it with Van payar…though you can change accdg to your tastes, moods and ingredients’ availability….
So, here’s how the recipe goes….
1 no Banana flower (Vazhappoo/Kodappan)
½ cup Red oriental beans (Van payar)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
½ of one Coconut
A little Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilly powder or a few Green chillies
Salt – As required
1 tbsp of Oil
1 tsp of Mustard seeds
2 – 3 broken Dry red chillies
A few Curry leaves
1)Clean the van payar well and get rid of the unwanted stuff from it.
2)Cook it separately with water in a pressure cooker and make sure u don’t overcook it.
3)Remove the first 3 – 4 outer covering of the vazhappoo and chop the rest very finely as u do for thoran.
4)Add coconut oil and turmeric powder into the above chopped kodappan and mix well the whole thing using your hands to remove the kodappan’s serum.
5)Place together the grated coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds and curry leaves in a mixer bowl and run it once to make it into a coarse form.
6)Mix it along with the chopped kodappan mixture.
7)Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and sauté dry red chillies and curry leaves.
8)Add the kodappan mixture and mix well.
9)Cover and cook on a low flame.
10)After sometime, remove the cover and add the cooked van payar into this and mix well.
11)Continue cooking without the lid on, till done, making sure that it doesn’t get mashed.
And your thoran is ready within no time…. Not equally appreciated by all, this recipe infact brings mixed emotions on the dining table…. A frown on the face to show the disappointment for those foodies who like aromatic dishes for lunch/dinner and a big smile for those on a diet and like to have good, healthy food…. :-) An honest confession at this point....I used to be in the first category during my childhood days and now considering the nutritional and medicinal values it offers, a slow transition has occurred to the latter one. No regrets though!!!! As said, eat healthy….be healthy!!!
So, on that note, happy cooking!!!
Labels: Naadan Veg Curries