Monday, 16 September 2013

Pazham Pradhaman

Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala, celebrated to commemorate the memory of Mahabali, the Great King. It marks with the annual visit of Mahabali from 'Patala Loka'. This is a festival which is celebrated by all irrespective of caste and creed. Most important part of Onam is Onam sadya, meaning Onam feast. It involves many array of traditional dishes along with desserts mainly payasam. It is served on a banana/plantain leaf. Being away from parent's place after marriage has made me miss one such awesome feast I used to enjoy. I was staying in a residential colony where every year Onam is celebrated with fun and fervor. There used to be many fun games and at the end a delicious feast to dig in. I really missed eating this sadya after I left my parent's place. Never got a chance to visit them during Onam, so as to be a part of this sadya and Onam celebration. Well, now that I couldn't just miss preparing them. We don't have any holiday today as people in Kerala enjoy. So I planned out a small menu for my family to mark Onam sadya yesterday. Well I must say I couldn't prepare much. Just prepared few dishes in small quantities in 2-3 hours that are part of Onam feast and enjoyed. I couldn't miss making pazham pradhaman, semiya payasam, cabbage thoran, olan, puli inji. These things accompanied our lunch yesterday. I'll write up recipes one by one starting from Pazham pradhaman. Semiya payasam I had already updated long back. So here goes the pazham pradhaman recipe.

Ingredients:*See notes too

Ripe banana/plantain- 1 chopped into 1 '' pieces(Nendran variety is preferred, I don't get them here so tried with Chiquita bananas we get here)
Jaggery- 2 1.5'' cube
ghee-1 tsp
Water-1 cup
Coconut milk-1 cup
Crushed cumin seeds-1/4 tsp
Ghee fried cashewnuts and raisins-2 tsp

  1. In a pan add 1/2 water and chopped ripe banana pieces.
  2. Let it cook fully after which you need to mash it. If preparing in large quantity do make use of mixer or blender to blend cooked bananas into a smooth paste. Since I had one banana, just mashed them with spatula after they were cooked completely.
  3. Add ghee to it.Now to that add jaggery and remaining water and allow it cook further on a low flame till the jaggery melts completely. Cook further till the mixture thickens.
  4. Now add coconut milk and let it cook on a low flame with continuous stirring.
  5. Once fully cooked and slight boiling bubbles come remove it off the flame and add the crushed cumin seeds.
  6. Top it with ghee fried cashewnuts and raisins.
See the below pictures for step by step pictorial representation:

Our onam sadya in Germany yesterday

  1. You should actually use nendran variety of banana for this pradhaman, but well any variety would do if this is not available, the way I used Chiquita bananas.
  2. Crushed cumin seeds are only added for this pradhaman unlike other payasam where cardamom n other spices are used. Cumin seeds offer unique flavor to it.
  3. I prepared from only a single plantain. You could definitely add more, increase all ingredients accordingly and try.
  4. Ghee fried coconut pieces are also added to it but I just topped this pradhaman with ghee fried cashewnuts and raisins.
  5. I used store bought coconut milk, if preparing at home you could use the second coconut milk collected (randampal) to cook the banana pieces, that way the flavor will be enhanced and finally add the thick coconut milk at the end and bring to a boil.
Enjoy the dish! n don't forget Eat and Eat little MORE.. :)

Sending this to Priya's page WTML owned by Gayathri, Gujarati zaika


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