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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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pazham/ Banana Varattiyathu – Nurukku Gothambu/ Broken Wheat Pradhaman

Recipe No: 281
Jack fruit or Chakka Varattiya Pradhaman is one of my favorites (I had this Pradhaman more than one time from a friend of ours at Indianapolis) and as Jack fruit is not available in this part of the world (my friend used to bring Chakka Varattiyathu from Kerala), I settle with Pazham/ Banana instead of Jack fruit. Along with its tempting an addictive taste, this is a good way to use the overripe Bananas (with black/ dotted skin) that most of your family members may ignore. This Pradhaman should be thick so that it can be easily poured on to a Banana leaf without running for a traditional Sadhya/ Feast.
Ingredients                                       Serves 6-8
  • Broken Wheat……......1/4 Cup (Nurukku Gothambu)
  • Jaggery………………....1 ½ Cups (broken into small pieces)
  • Mashed Banana……..2 Cups (4 large ones)
  • Ghee……………………...3 Tablespoons
  • Cashew nuts…………..2 Tablespoons (broken into small pieces)
  • Raisins…………………..2 Tablespoons
  • Milk……………………….1 Cup
  • Cardamom Powder…1/4 Teaspoon (homemade; if not, add a bit more)
Method of Preparation
  1. Add a cup of Water to the washed Broken Wheat and cook till soft. If you are doing this in a regular pan let it boil on high heat; reduce the heat to minimum and let it cook covered (There are chances of boiling over if this is allowed to boil at high temperature for a longer time.). If you are using Pressure cooker, cook it for one whistle. (I used a regular pan method.)
  2. Melt Jaggery in ½ Cup Water on a medium flame and strain it twice to remove the impurities.
  3. Heat Ghee in a pan on medium heat and fry the Cashew pieces till it starts to brown along the edges. Add the Raisins to the Ghee along with the Cashews and fry till plump. Remove this from the Ghee and keep aside till ready to be used.
  4. To the remaining Ghee and the Mashed Banana and the strained Jaggery and cook till most of the Water is absorbed.
  5. Add the cooked Broken Wheat (I add the remaining Water too as it was only a little.) and most of the Cashews and Raisins (keep some for garnish); cook till the mixture starts to leave the sides. Stir occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom. Once the mixture starts to reduce considerably, do stir almost continuously. (Please refer the picture to know the stage at which you can proceed to the next stage).
  6. Add the Milk and let it start to simmer along the edges. 
  7. Add Cardamom Powder and switch off the heat. Mix well and serve hot or cold.
  • This Pradhaman is on the sweeter side; but it is meant to be eaten only in very less amounts. If you wish to make it less sweet, do reduce the amount of Jaggery. (Well I don't prefer that at all...)
  • I used the most commonly available (in US) Robusta type banana (Not plantains) for this preparation and only 4 of them. If you are using small variety Banana, you should mash at least 8 of them to make 2 cups of mashed Banana.
  • I used the dark Kerala style Jaggery and hence the dark color. The color of the dish will be a bit on the lighter side if lighter colored Jaggery is used.
  • If you are using already roasted Cashews, add both Cashews and Raisins together to the Ghee. But if you have to settle with raw Cashews, do give it a head start.
  • Don't let the milk boil vigorously in the Pradhaman or it may separate. Also do stir continuously at this stage.
  • I like this Pradhaman on the thick side; if you want it thin, add a bit more of Milk. But I don’t recommend adding too much Milk in order to preserve the uniqueness of this Pradhaman.

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


Faseela said...

wow thatz lovely....the color is so attractive and carving.....superb recipe

sojo said...

wow...looks tempting....

Pari Vasisht said...

Hi Asha, First time here and now following u.
That's such a healthy and tasty looking sweet. Drop by whenever time permits.



Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

thats a yummy dessert recipe Asha.

Julie said...

Very tempting n delicious..We do neglect the overripe bananas but they are always good!!

Erivum Puliyum

Teena said...

looks awesome!! thx a lot for sharing the recipe :) Hoping to see your participation for my 'Valentine's Day event'

Lifewithspices said...

wonderful color. n super yumm one..

Priya Suresh said...

Mouthwatering here, wat a terrific and super tempting pradhaman..

Anzz said...

Looks terrific... Loved the color and the effort you have put in. Am sure it tastes great..!

Radhika said...

Wonderful pradhaman recipe. Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked.

Tickling Palates
Event : Let’s Cook - Rice

abraham said...

The payasam look hearty and filling.

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