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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am no fruit seller, what do I do with Sixteen Dozen Bananas Growing in My Backyard?

One of life’s most delightful gifts is to be able to plant your own food, watch it grow and eat what you planted. The feeling of contentment and the taste of that food is irreplaceable, even if it is a little pot with some herbs you planted at your window. One of the privileges of living outside the city is that I am able to grow a lot of my own food and a lot of the fruits and vegetables I cook are garden fresh, seasonal, organic and therefore full of flavour. It’s not very difficult, may be I will post how you can plant your own herbs and you can try it, water it everyday and watch it grow, I also talk to my plants, it helps, you might think I am crazy but you can just try growing them at your window and you will know what I am talking about. 

So, I have sixteen dozen bananas growing in my backyard and every morning I get up, look at it with motherly love and get ecstatic thinking about the tasty bananas. So you can imagine, soon we are going to have banana split, banana cake, banana Koftas on our recipe list. Today, I am trying a recipe that my grandfather loved to eat during his weekly fasts, the Raw Banana Dahi Bada. It is an age old recipe and you will love this unique cousin of the Dahi Bada.

Raw Banana Dahi Bada – Serves 4

Raw banana           1
Potato                     1, boiled
Yogurt                     1 ½ cup, strained
Salt                         to taste
Black salt              ½ teaspoon
Roasted Cumin Powder      ½ teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder            ¼ teaspoon
Curry leaves           few
Mustard seeds        ½ teaspoon
Oil                          for frying
Ghee                     1 tablespoon

Cook the raw banana in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles, until it is soft, cooked and the skin comes of easily OR cook the raw banana in boiling water in closed deep pan filled with water and cook for forty five minutes until it is cooked and the skin comes of easily.

Mash the cooked raw banana and the boiled potato together in a mixing bowl. Add in salt and mix it in well. Now, divide the mixture into eight equal portions with a knife. Smear some oil on your palms and round up the divided portions and then flatten them between the palms. Once all the badas are shaped.

Heat oil in deep pan or a wok , check the oil by putting a small piece of the mixture, if it comes comes up the oil id ready for frying. Remove the crumb, then start adding the raw bananas badas one by one and let them fry until golden brown. When they come on the surface, remove them and put them on a paper napkin to remove the excess oil.

To prepare the yogurt, add in the black salt, roasted cumin powder and red chilli powder , mix well and strain the yogurt.

In the serving bowl, place the fried raw banana badas and pour the yogurt on top. For the flavour to soak in, allow the badas to stand in the yogurt and chill in the refrigerator for thirty minutes.

Garnish with red chilli powder and temper by heat ghee in a pan, once the ghee is hot add in the mustard seeds, once the mustard seeds begin to crackle add in the curry leaves. Add this tempering on the raw banana chilled dahi bada.

Note:  You can also flavour the yogurt with grated ginger, green chilli and salt instead of flavouring it with black salt and roasted cumin powder.

You can serve the raw Banana Dahi Bada with a Mint and coriander chutney and imli chutney or the sweet sour chutney made with ginger and Jaggery (Gud) called Sonth in the regular chaat recipe.