- Course: Main Course
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 1 Time
This is the signature dish of the Nairs of Kerala. It is both a popular home-style dish and one served at weddings.
- 1 cup (250 mL) plain nonfat yogurt, at room temperature
- 1 tsp ( 5 mL) cornstarch
- ¾ cup (175 mL) grated coconut, preferably fresh (or frozen, thawed, or dry unsweetened coconut powder)
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) minced green chiles, preferably serranos
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
- 1 green plantain
- 1 chayote squash (mirliton) or 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, cut into 2-by ¼-inch (5 by 0.5 cm) batons
- 10 green beans, preferably slender, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths
- 1¼ tsp (6 mL) salt or to taste
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) turmeric
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) coconut oil (see Notes)
- 1 sprig fresh curry leaves, stripped (12 to 15 leaves)
1. Stir yogurt and cornstarch together until creamy. Set aside.
2. In a blender, combine coconut, chiles, cumin seeds and ¼ cup (50 mL) of the yogurt mixture. Grind coarsely. Set aside.
3. Cut plantain, unpeeled, into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) thick disks. Cut each disk into ¼-inch (0.5 cm) strips, so that there is some skin on each piece.
4. Place plantains in a saucepan. Top with layers of chayote, carrots and green beans. Stir salt and turmeric into 1½ cups (375 mL) water. Pour over vegetables. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are half-cooked, 5 to 8 minutes.
5. Stir remaining yogurt and coconut mixture into vegetables and simmer until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. The sauce should be fairly thick.
6. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut oil and curry leaves. Serve over steamed rice.
Coconut oil is available in Indian markets. If unavailable, use any oil you prefer.
© 2007 Suneeta Vaswani
This recipe serves 8.