Raw Banana is called Vazakkai in Tamil and this recipe is an old and almost forgotten one which used to be made in the beautiful city of Ootacamund or Ooty.An octogenarian who ran a small tea and snack stall gave me this information while I was sipping a hot cup of the most delicious tasting Orange Pekoe variety freshly sourced from the lush tea gardens.She told me that as Bananas did not grow in the cold climate,they were sourced from the city of Coimbatore – the nearest Tamil Nadu Banana growing region as early as 1950s – 70s.They were carefully preserved – the ripe ones in jaggery syrup and the raw ones were boiled,mashed and refrigerated.They were made into these great tasting Vadas and were relished by everyone including movie stars who occasionally came to shoot for their movies.
I fell in love with this Vada at the first bite – It was piping hot from the fry pan,crispy on the outside and soft and flavourful with a whole burst of flavours in the mouth.I asked her for the recipe and told her about my blog for which she readily agreed to share the recipe.This Vada is so easy and delicious.There they serve it with Coconut and Tomato Chutneys.I served it with Ketchup – delicious!
These Vadas are shallow fried and not deep fried as the other kind of Vadas.That adds to the health quotient!
Preparation Time : 1 hour
Makes : 11 – 12 Vada
4 Raw Bananas – peeled and pressure cooked till fork tender
1 big Potato – pressure cooked till fork tender and skin removed
2 medium Onions – peeled and chopped finely
3 Green Chillies – chopped finely
1 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
1 tsp Cumin Powder (Jeera)
2 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhania)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Chilli Powder
4 tbsp Oil
To serve : Onion Rings tossed in salt and lemon juice
Put the cooked Raw Bananas and Potato in a large bowl and mash very well with a potato masher till no lumps remain.Heat 1 tbsp Oil in a pan and add the chopped Onions and Green Chillies. Sauté till Onions are transparent and add the Raw Banana and Potato mash.Add the dry masalas – cumin,coriander and chilli powders and salt and mix well.Add 2 tsp Oil if the mixture becomes very dry.Mix well and taste for salt.Empty onto a plate to cool down.
After it cools to room temperature shape the mixture into evenly shaped round Vadas.Heat the remaining Oil in a fry pan and shallow fry each Vada for at least 5 minutes on medium heat.Take 2 – 3 minutes per side.If the heat is kept on medium each side would be crisp and delicious with a lovely soft centre.
Remove onto a serving plate and serve warm with the prepared Onion Rings and any Chutney of your choice or Tomato Ketchup.