Hey dear everyone..welcome to my foodie space..:)..feels good to be back after quite a few days..First of all,lemme give ma heartfelt thanks to each of you ,who find time to come here n drop a word as comment..It really brings a smile on my face..:).These days I am not able to spend as much time as I want to, on blogging in this space n also visiting you all guys.Personal issues n stuffs at home are keeping me busy most of the time.Hope you guys get it..I am trying to catch up with everything as much as I can,n sometimes I just read n have to move on without commenting ,what with all the slow issues of blogger n word verification n all that, it can be sometimes quite a drag..n sometimes you know ,mood swings..:(..Anyhow I guess all my Muslim friends and readers are preparing for the grand feast of Ramadan n I wish you all a great Eid..:)..Also Navarathri is gonna be from this Friday n I know many of you are gearing up for that..I guess I’ll be able to make a post before it to wish u all..;) We had a nice warm weekend,with movies n some shopping n eat-outs n all that..I saw PS I Love u again … n cried again..:P..All my readers in Ireland,I am sick jealous of you..:D..hmmph..So that's what’s been happening with me n we have our fingers, toes all crossed for some much awaited thing,which I can hopefully share with you soon,once things work out..:)
Kaya or raw plantain/green banana’s n Chemmen or Shrimp/prawns is a classic combination in authentic kerala cuisine.Even though its not much heard around like a chicken roast or karimeen pollichathu (pomfret roast),it is one awesome dish and an amazing combo which at the same time is real simple.It was a main piquant delish side dish of old malayali kitchen n I know at least few of you might have heard or tasted this from your grandma’s kitchen.My grand mom or ammamma as I used to call her, was an expert with dishes made out of raw plantain.She passed away when I was still a kid,so whenever I remember her ,there are some images n some fragrances that rushes into my mind.She was an very elegant n calm lady with serenity n a lovely warmth always exuding from her.She was smiling always,I cant ever remember a moment when she got angry or irritated, the least..As I told,I was a really small when she demised n hence I guess,that time I didn’t feel much pain or so then..But now,sometimes I really feel like missing her ..Even though I was super peevish n naughty she used to be so calm n patient with me..My mom tells us that,I used to find this devilish pleasure in riding my small tri cycle over her legs..imagine..!!..still she used to just smile..:P...The fragrances I can relate to her are that of Nycil powder n Chandanam/Bhasmam.She spent most of her day time as well as whole life in kitchen cooking for my grand dad n kids(my mom n siblings).Her masterpiece dishes,which immediately comes into my mind,which she prepared all the time were this one dish called Mulakooshyam n also a side dish with Kaya(plantain) n Achinga (Chinese long beans)..I have that in draft,will post soon..n sometimes ,during seasons this shrimp-plantain combo used to be the hit.I was a fussy eater kid,who hated veggies but loved meat n prawns,so my mom used to add these small shrimps in all stir fried veggies like carrot ,beans etc (thoran n poriyals) n I used to dig in for shrimps thereby taking in some veggies also..I have a grandmom special kaya poriyal here..:)
As we all know,shrimp or prawns has this immense flavor which they give out while cooking.No over cooking,or you get flavorless rubbery stuff.So this awesome flavor of prawns when combined with veggies,it creates a palate-teasing effect,n that's the magic of this dish.Small shrimps are best suited for this ,but I didn't have it in hand that time,so I used prawns which I cut in half..you can do butterfly cut as well.Also the plantains or kaya that I get here don't take much time to cook,so I can easily cook them both together in a pan.If your plantains are the opposite,do half cook them in a cooker before proceeding..Anyhow the veggie should cook for a while with the prawns,n yet should be firm n soft.Normally there are two types of raw plantain that you get in markets/Indian stores.Larger light green-pale yellow ones n small dark green ones.The former ones are the one stage before Banana’s(ethapazham’s) n are subtly sweet while the latter ones are ripe n not really sweet.I like the former ones better but be careful to choose firm green ones,’cos pale yellow ones can be lil too sweet to be combo-ed with shrimps, for a side dish ,that what I feel.
Peel n chop the plantains into small cubes ,about 2 cups.Wash it well in 2-3 rounds of water.Clean n devein the shrimps/prawns,about 1 cup.Mix these together in a bowl n add 1 tsp turmeric powder,a few curry leaves n salt n mix well.Keep aside.
Take a deep bottomed pan,smear the base with some coconut oil n dump the shrimp-plantain mix into it.Sauté for a while in high heat,then simmer ,sprinkle a few tablespoons of water on top n close with a tight fitting lid.
After 5 minutes ,open n see if the plantain is half -cooked ,by pressing it with spatula.It should be lil soft..n the prawns ,all pink n curled up.Now,with the lil moisture in the pan that's from the prawns,remove it to the bowl n keep aside closed.
In the same pan,heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a pan n when its hot add 1.5 tsp Mustard seeds,1/2 tsp fenugreek seed,1 stalk fresh curry leaves.Fry till fragrant.
Chop red onions/pearl onions into thin slices n add it to the pan.Sprinkle salt,a pinch of turmeric n sauté till soft.
Now pop in the half cooked plantain n shrimps with all that moisture, into the pan n mix well.
Close with a lid n simmer for 5 more minutes till the plantains are soft to bite into.
Now open the lid,n sprinkle 1 tsp of chilli powder n 3/4 tsp of fresh pepper powder on top.Sauté well to mix with the veggies n shrimps.Adjust salt.
Sprinkle more oil time-to-time ,n fry in medium high heat till the plantains get browned on all sides n onions slices turn dark brown.tastes best that way..(I was in hurry that day,so couldn't wait to get it really browned all around..)
Verdict: True yummy stuff.The flavor of shrimp mingled with the healthy veggie n onions n tempering n curry leaves in coconut oil,everything just blends to give an amazing mildly spicy side dish.The plantains when browned well gives this nice crunch which is too good.With quick cooking plantains,you can simply pop it n the shrimps directly over the tempered onion base n close n cook.Sometimes I do that too.Its much more easy than this,but do that only if you have quick-cooking plantain.Don't be too stingy with oil,fried plantain tastes yumm..!! :)
Hope you all try n like it..:)
Thanks n hugs to Uma,Sharmilee n Shobhana for the tags which I’ve done before n cute awards which is on my side bar..thanks gals..:)
Have a great week ahead all of you..hugs..:)