“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” – John Keats
While in Kerala recently, I saw this beautiful Aambal flower in the languidpond. It struck a chord in my heart . This wonderful flower has been a source of inspiration for many a Malayali poet. Innumerable immortal melodies like
“Alliyaambal kadavillinnarakkyu vellam
annu nammal onnayi thuzanjille kothumbu vallam“
(Film: Rosy, Singer: K J Yesudas, Lyrics & Music – P Bhaskaran-Job)
“Aambal poove… Aniyam poove…
Neeyarinju, neeyarinju… Ivalente Murapennu, murapennu…”
(Film: Kavaalam Chundan, Singer: K J Yesudas, Lyrics & Music – Vayalar-Devarajan)
have enthralled us for decades.The charm of these songs exist in all its vitality today and for all tomorrows.
Overwhelmed by the sweet strains of a long-gone time, I savoured the nostalgic flavours of a period very precious. I wish I could freeze this delightful moment, lock it in a casket and throw away the key.
Pulissery has been a constant for lunch in my house. Whenever I make pazha pullisery it is a big hit. The sweetness of the banana with fresh coconut – chili paste and the sourness of curd makes it a topper.
Preparation Time – 20 min. Cook Time – 25 min. Serves – 4
- Nenthrapazham / Ethapazham / Ripe Plantain – 1, big, quartered, cut into pieces
- Red Chilly powder – 1/4 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Fenugreek powder – 1/4 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Curd – 1 cup
- Salt – to taste
Grind To A Very Fine Coconut Paste
- Coconut , grated – 1 cup
- Green chilly – 1
- Jeera seeds / Cumin seeds – 1 pinch
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilly – 1, cut in two
- Curry Leaves – 1 stalk
- Cook ethapazham pieces in a thick bottomed pan with chilly powder and turmeric powder in 2 cups of water.
- When pieces are cooked, mash a few pieces with a ladle. Add coconut paste, fenugreek powder and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes .Take off heat. Beat curd and add to it. Sometimes it happens that the plantain is not sweet enough to combat the heat of the curry. Why worry – as my aunt would say – when sugar is available on the kitchen shelf. Add a teaspoon (or two) of sugar.
- In a kadai, heat oil, season with mustard, red chilly and curry leaves, and pour into the pazhapulissery.
Quick Tip – Did you know that coarse coconut fibre is excellent for cleaning pots and pans.
Quick Snack – Take a few dates. Slit it carefully on one side only. Deseed them. Insert one whole roasted cashew nut in the seed’s place. Close each date. Now you have a healthy and tasty snack ready.