In Malabar, we cook a lot with plantains, aka kaaya, kaayi, nenthrapazham… it is known by various names. There are so many ways we recycle our ripe plantains – it becomes nirachathu, a part of paal vazhakka, a combination with kooka or semiya, tossed up with eggs or with aval or just with coconut, as a part of puttu or becoming pradhaman, and how can we forget the favorite way of many Keralites – pazhampori and if it’s for the Malabar, then it’s unnakkaaya! I guess I have noted down all the ways that I have tried them into my cooking, even though there are many more ways, which InShaAllah, I will . Every Keralite will stock up their homes with ripe plantains, mainly because they are a very handy breakfast when you don’t want to cook anything and gets transformed into a snack, for unexpected guests! Such a versatile ingredient this is…
In my house too, we love plantains. Whenever my parents are coming or B goes for his super short trips, I am guaranteed a few kilos of unripe plantains, that would then sit on the counter-top, ripen and gets used within a couple of weeks, mostly eaten up as is! Sometimes, I have to hide some quantity to cook with it… 😀
This recipe is quite similar to the Madhuracurry I shared on the blog a couple of years ago with some differences – even though the ingredient list is the same, this recipe has an addition of rice flour that makes the dish thick like a sauce. This was among one of our childhood favorites, which umma used to make when she was actually lazy to make the kadalapidi. The cooked chana dal, the soft plantains, the coconut milk thickened with the rice flour and the mild sweetness of the cardamom just gives this dish the completeness it has! I actually used to pray that umma makes this instead of the kari that was really not a favorite of mine. 😀
This was definitely among the forgotten dishes when I accidentally landed up on this link and was pushed off into a nostalgic era. Though the name may make it feel like a savory dish, no it isn’t! It is a mildly sweet dish, that makes you feel like you are getting a tight hug from your mother on a cold night… 😉 Off to the recipe…
Kayi Curry ~ Malabar Sweet Plaintain Curry
- 1/2 cup chickpea lentil/ bengal gram/ chana dal
- 1/2 cup raw rice soaked for an hour
- 1 coconut grated
- 1 large ripe plantain
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- A pinch of salt
- Boil the lentils till done. Strain and set aside.
- Drain the rice and grind the rice with one cup of water till smooth. If your blender is like mine not grinding smooth, then strain the mixture and set aside.
- Add 1/2 cup water to the coconut and grind. Extract the first milk and set aside.
- Put back the squeezed coconut, add 4 cups of water and blend till smooth. Strain out the thin coconut milk.
- Mix the ground rice mixture and thin coconut milk and start boiling the mixture.
- As it heats, add the boiled lentils and chopped plaintains and cook till the mixture thickens and the plaintains are soft.
- Add in the first coconut milk, sugar, cardamom and salt and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Serve warm.