This is pure indulgence. I just posted an oil free rasam recipe few days back and here I am posting this potato side recipe that takes a little more oil than normal vegetable sides. I L.O.V.E. this traditional, simple potato poriyal so much so, while growing up.. we had it two or three times a week. Now I always pair this poriyal with rasam or yogurt rice , so that the fat content of the entire meal is at bay. This may not be how you want to make the poriyal always, but once in a while it is okay to dive into the indulgence :).
- Boil and peel the potatoes and cut them into big pieces. Sometimes when I am in a hurry I microwave the potatoes (Heat a medium size potato for 3-4 mins without water in the microwave) also.
- One small red onion or half of a medium onion
- curry leaves – few
- Garlic – 2 cloves crushed with peel (optional)
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Sambar powder – 3 -4 tsp
- Salt to taste.
Also you will need mustard seeds or cumin for initial seasoning which is also optional.
[Sambar Powder is readily available in all Indian grocery stores. Most of the available brands are good. If you do not have sambar powder you can replace it with cayenne or red chilli powder.]
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok, and fry mustard seeds or any of your preferred seasoning like cumin or fennel or cloves and cinnamon… I used mustard seeds and urad dal . Then saute the onions and curry leaves.
- Once the onions turn slightly brown, add the turmeric, sambar powder and salt directly to the oil. This will cook the masalas in a flash. Reduce the heat and make sure not to burn the sambar powder.
- After 30 seconds, add the potatoes to the wok and mix well. This method of adding the masalas to the oil directly, ensures that the potatoes get evenly coated with the spices.
- Cook for a minute and then add the crushed garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
- The dish as of now is ready. But you can leave the potatoes in the wok for another few minutes to crisp.
Once you have the boiled potatoes ready, this will be done in five minutes. As I mentioned earlier, this is usually served as a side for rice, but it can also be used as filling for wraps or sandwiches. These potatoes are crispy, spicy , garlicky……and you will like everything about them 🙂
Every state in India has its own version of thali meal. A thali meal is a complete meal with many components, including rice, lentils, curries, soups, stir fries, deep fried sides, desserts and pickles. Tamilnadu’s meal looks something like this :
Picture Courtesy : http://boffinnews.blogspot.com/2012/02/tamilnadu-special-foods-meals-special.html
The thali meal cooked at homes on regular days usually has 2 or 3 vegetable sides and on special days the meal is prepared with 4 or 5 vegetable sides and the wedding thali meals come with about 7 or 8 sides. Bigger the occasion, more the number of sides. The beauty of the meal is that each side is cooked by a different method of cooking. There are thorans (stir fries), koottu (vegetables cooked with lentils), varuvals (vegetables shallow or deep fried with jacked up spices), aviyal (a wet mix of a combination of vegetables cooked in a yogurt and coconut base) and then the podimas or puttu (steamed and shredded vegetables with coconut seasoning).
Here is the method of preparation for podimas (which is also called as ‘puttu’ sometimes). I have used raw plantains for this recipe, this can also be done with potatoes or carrots or yam. This is a very simple recipe, but the trick is to get the texture right.
- I am using “naattu vazhakkai”, the unripened plantains that we get in Indian stores. Any green plantain can be used.
- Steam the plantains with their skin on, either in a steam basket or in an idli maker. You can also drop them in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. If the plantains are overcooked, the dish wont turn out that great. Once the plantains are steamed , allow them to cool down completely , peel off their skins and grate them. If you are using potatoes, shred the steamed potatoes with hands instead of grating, and avoid using the potato masher.
- For seasoning , you’ll need :
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Urad dal – 1 tsp
- channa dal – 1 tsp
- cumin – 1 tsp
- fennel – 1 tsp (optional)
- onions – 1 medium , chopped
- green chillies – 4 or 5 (use red pepper flakes instead)
- minced ginger – 2 tsp
- curry leaves – few
- grated coconut – 3 tbsp
- In a pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil and splutter the mustard seeds, fry channa dal and urad dal to golden, fry the cumin and fennel. Saute the ginger, onions, green chillies and curry leaves.
- Once the onions brown lightly, add the grated coconut, toast for a few seconds and turn off the heat.
- Add the grated plantains to the pan and mix gently with the seasoning. Make sure the heat is off while you are doing this. The shredded plantains are delicate as they are already steamed, continuing to heat or going hard with the spatuala can easily mush them. This is the most important step in the recipe. Gently mix everything together, and then turn the heat back on to warm the podimas.
And now your podimas is ready to be served as a side to rice and curry. This goes well with any curry like sambar or rasam , but my favorite way to serve this is to pair up
with super spicy curries like vattha kuzhambu, kara kuzhambu or pulusu.
As I said already, this is just a method pf preparation, try to cook your favorite vegetables this way and let me know how it goes 🙂
This is a very mild side. If you are looking for a spicy plantain recipe check out Spicy Plantains.
- Carrot Poriyal (subbuskitchen.com)
- Beetroot Poriyal/ Side dish (riya14310.wordpress.com)