I love vazhakkai (Raw banana / Plantain) very much. Mostly it is cooked in every household on the Amavasya (New Moon) day, as a part of the lunch to give thidhi (offering) to the family members who passed away. The recipes prepared on that day are not supposed to have both onion and garlic as many fast (vrat) on that particular day. Likewise this vazhakkai podimas is also no onion no garlic recipe making it a perfect vrat recipe.
Recently when I went to my In-Laws place to celebrate Diwali, I returned with a big bunch of Vazhakkai. They were grown organically in the backyard without using any pesticides or chemicals and they were so yummy as well when cooked. I made homemade Vazhakkai chips, as the boys love it very much and some finger licking Chettinad Vazhakkai Kurma and still have some left.
- You can cook the plantain in an open vessel also but it will take a long time and needs constant supervision.
- I used home grown organic plantain which was also tender, so cooked for just 1 whistle but if you are buying it from veggie shop then cook for 2 whistles as they tend to be a bit hard.
- Do not overcook the plantain. It should be soft, cooked but still firm enough to either grate or crumble.
- If you feel that the skin is being sticky, then grease your hands with oil while peeling and grating.
- Instead of grating, you can also either crumble the cooked plantain or cut them into cubes.
- If you do not wish to add lemon juice, you can always skip it.