Thursday, March 13, 2008

Puli Kuthi Poduthul - III (Green Banana, Eggplant & Okra With Tamarind and Streusel)

Oven-roasted poduthul!!! Here is the easiest way yet to make this wonderful and tasty dish quite painlessly! The modern convenience of oven is just fabulous. I roast vegetables in the oven for other dishes often so I don't know why I didn't think of this before. This version is very similar to Puli Kuthi Poduthul - II; the difference is the cooking method.

Roasting the veggies in the oven brings out their sweet flavor and as a bonus, frees one from stirring and watching the pot :)! Also okra doesn't get slimy or soggy this way. Another benefit of this method is that you can roast the vegetables ahead of time and then at the last minute put then together!

I find that the bananas benefit from steaming on top of the stove or in the microwave; they tend to be too dry roasted. The cooking bananas for this dish are stubby, firm, and green without even a hint of yellow or softness; in some markets they are called burro bananas. Ordinary eating bananas will work also as long as they are very green.

Caveat: Puliyogare Mix has peanuts in them; so those with peanut allergies might not want to use this mix.


2 Green bananas
2 medium Italian, chinese or Japanese Eggplants
1/2 lb Fresh Okra (Optional)
1/2 tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
2 or 3 Tbsp Puliyogare Mix

Streuesel :

1/8 cup rice
1 tsp whole Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
1 Dry Red Chili


3 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Chana Dal
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 pinch Asafoetida
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves


Toast the streusel ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. Stir and swirl the contents often to toast evenly. Pour onto a small plate and let cool. When cool, grind into a coarse powder in a clean coffee or spice grinder.

Wash and dry the bananas, okra, and eggplant. Cut off the stems. Peel with a peeler just the thin green outer skin from the bananas, cut into quarters lengthwise, and slice diagonally at about half inch intervals. Cut the stems off from the eggplants; now slice them the same way as the bananas. Cut off the stems from okra and cut them into one inch pieces.

Now for the difference in cooking: Coat a baking pan with either non-stick cooking spray or oil. Toss the eggplant and okra pieces with a little oil, sprinkle them with a pinch or two of salt, and spread in a single layer in the baking pan, and bake in a 350 to 375 degree F oven until the veggies are tender - about 15 to 20 minutes turning them once or twice. Set aside.

Mix 1/2 tsp salt, a pinch of turmeric, and banana pieces in a microwave proof dish, cover and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet and add mustard seeds and the dals. When mustard seeds pop and the dals turn pinkish, add asafoetida, curry leaves and all the vegetables. Sprinkle the Puliyogare Mix and the streusel on top, cover and cook on low heat stirring occasionally until well mixed and dry, about 10 minutes. Use a thin spatula in a lifting and folding motion to keep the vegetables intact.

Serve hot with plain rice or one pot rasam rice , any dal dishes such as Simple dal or any types of rasam such as the Lemon-Lime Rasam, pappadams and plain yogurt or as you wish.

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