Sunday, June 11, 2006

When Life gives you Plantains...

This is what you make when your attempts at making green banana kofta's goes terribly wrong because you bought home plantains instead guessed it, green bananas. Wait!! this gets better. You pressure cook the stuff on hand because you have still not realised your mistake and whistle a merry tune while the pressure cooker whistles its own whistle merrily. You sit around and twiddle your thumbs while it sits around and cools down. Sitting done,you open the lid to find two nicely cooked green bananas inside..yippee! Now you take the masher to the big chunks and well, well lets just say the masher does not feel to good after his date with partially boiled plantains. The masher looks postively enraged, the stuff in the bowl eyes you suspiciously and you...realise for the first time that you MESSED up real bad!!At this stage, you can give up and chuck the semi mashed, semi boiled bowl of whatever you think it is into the trash or you can transform it into this lovely dish and act like all that ugly stuff never happened. You could even make a mental note to get home some extra plantains the next time around.

Plantains - 2
Onion- 1 small, sliced
Mustard Seeds - 1.5 tsp
Dry Red Chilies - 2, broken
Curry Leaves - 5 to 7
Asfoetida - a pinch
Fresh Coconut -1/2 cup, shredded
Oil - 2 tbsps
Salt - to taste
Cilantro for garnish

1. Treat the plantain as outlined above or alternately you may cut each in two and pressure cook for two whistles. The skin will readily peel and the plantain will remain half boiled. Now mash this roughly with a masher. There should be some big chunks left. Don't pay too much attention to the masher and his bruised ego. Time shall take care of it.
2. Heat oil in pan and the add the mustard seeds, red chillies, asfoetida and curry leaves. Once the violence in the pan starts reaching epic uncontrollable proportions add the onions.
3. After the onions turn pink add the mashed plantains and season with salt.
4. Add a cup of water and cook covered on low to medium heat till the slightly hard pieces of plantain get cooked. This when you have finally conquered the lowly plantain and cooked its goose>
5. Add the fresh coconut (can subsitute with the dry variety) and check seaoning one last time. Garnish with cilantro, a dashof lemon juice (optional).

PS: I believe this dish was inspired on a sub conscious level by the insipid "kela" dish that was served in the Mera Bhawan mess at BITS...a dish I consumed with alarming frequency during my four years there with even more alarming proportions of Contadina ketchup. Partial credit also goes to my friend Vrishali's avial...which totally bowled me over with its everything (even green bananas/plantains/whatchamacallit) cooked in coconut milk tastes yummity yum philosophy.

PPS: This dish shall have no name.


Shilpa said...

Funny description :). Good recipe, I would like to buy plantains for this dish :).

archana said...

A very entertaning story, nicely told. Don't we all go through these kind of situations !!!!

Annita said...

Nice presentation Anyesha..!!
I used to cook a similar dish with Plantaion..