A lot of people shy away from cooking vazhathandu at home simply because the prep work is time consuming. Well, chopping this vegetable up finely is definitely hard work, but given the fact that it has several health benefits, it is totally worth it.
To cut the thandu, slice it into thin circles. Then stack a few circles one on top of the other and cut them into thin vertical strips. Cut these again horizontally to get small pieces.
I usually cut it the previous night and refrigerate it. When refrigerating, you should cover the veggie with water and add a bit of tamarind or buttermilk to it to prevent discoloration. I also make sure that I refrigerate it in a microwave safe box so that the next morning, I only have to drain off excess water and pop it into the microwave. While it is getting cooked, I grind the ingredients for the pachadi and then, bringing it all together only takes a few minutes.
What you need :
Vazhathandu (banana stem) - 1 cup, chopped fine and cooked
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Coconut - 1/4 cup, grated
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sour curd - 1 cup (Alternatively, you can use a gooseberry sized amount of tamarind)
Grind to a smooth paste green chillies, coconut, mustard and tamarind(if using).
Take the cooked vazhathandu in a pan. Add the ground paste and salt to it. Let it boil until the raw smell goes away and most of the moisture has evaporated. Switch off heat . Stir in the curd just before serving.
Note: If you are using tamarind, add fresh curd just before serving. If you add sour curd, the pachadi will be too sour.
Check out what my fellow marathoners Srivalli, Priya Suresh, Monika, PJ, Azeema and Reva are cooking.