Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Pazham(Banana) Pradhaman (Ripe Banana-Jaggery Dessert)

Recipe No: 150
Some days before when I posted Banana Halwa, I mentioned about a friend who, at times, calls me and to ask about what to do with the overripe Bananas.This is one other  dish that I make to save them. Once you try this, I am sure that you will buy extra Bananas just to make this!!!!
Ingredients                       Serves 6
  • Ripe Banana chopped…….....3 cups (heaped)
  • Shredded Jaggery………….....1 ½ cups loosely packed (small pieces will do, but don't pack)
  • Tapioca Pearls/ Chavvari…..2 tablespoons
  • Ghee……………………………….  1 ½ tablespoons
  • Cashew nuts and Raisins…..2 tablespoons each
  • Milk…………………………….....1 ¼- 1 ½ cups (Use according to the thickness you want)
  • Cardamom Powder…………..3/4 teaspoon (freshly made is better)
  • Dry Ginger Powder…………1/3-1/2 teaspoon (Chukkupodi. Add 1/4 teaspoon and then increase if needed depending on your taste.)
Method of Preparation
  1. Heat Jaggery with ½ cup Water till it is melted. Strain and keep it aside.
  2. Heat Tapioca pearls together with ½ cup Water till boiled and keep it aside covered, till ready to be used.
  3. Melt Ghee on medium high heat and fry Cashew nuts till it starts to brown along the edges and add the Raisins. Fry  them together till the Raisins plump up. Remove them from the Ghee and keep them aside till ready to be used.
  4. To the remaining Ghee, add cubed Bananas and cook for 3 minutes on high heat stirring now and then. By now, some of the Banana pieces will be mashed and some remain as pieces and a lot of liquid will be oozed out.
  5. Add the strained Jaggery, Tapioca Pearls along with the cooking liquid, Cashew nuts and Raisins.
  6. Lower the heat to medium  and cook for 10 minutes stirring often. By this time the liquid content will be reduced considerably.
  7. Add Milk and let it boil along the edges.
  8. Add Cardamom Powder and Dry Ginger Powder; mix well and switch off the heat.
  9. Cover the pan and let it sit for 30 minutes before serving warm or cold.
  • Raw Cashew nuts need some extra time to fry than Raisins, so add Raisins only a bit later. But if you are using roasted Cashews, fry both of them together.
  • After pouring the Milk don’t let it boil thoroughly as it may separate. Don’t forget to stir constantly after pouring the Milk.
  • The Bananas that are very common is US is the Robusta type Banana, which is used in this recipe too. Don't confuse it with Plantains (Ethakka).
  • I used lighter colored Jaggery and so this dish is lightly colored. But if you are using darker colored Jaggery then this dish will also become darker (I prefer the darker variety but for now I have to be satisfied with the lighter version.) 
  • The thickness of this Pradaman is good to be poured on a Banana leaf for traditional Kerala Sadhya (feast).

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love…


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