Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Pazham Nirachathu (Stuffed Plantains)

Hi all,
Finally reached the new place,I think I should say 'an old place' because the present building is an old Victorian building unlike the previous flat we lived in. But its quite spacious compared to the previous one.Thank god. Normally Flats and houses in UK have quite small rooms and lounges, but the present one has quite huge bedrooms with lot of space for my little one to run around. Ya, now I too have to run around alot than before:).....There's quite lot of stairs inside the flat since it a 2 1/2 storey flat.......ya, that half is for the storage area in the attic that is few steps from our second storey!!In spite of all that I just love this place. It's a huge widespread city with big block of old buildings everywhere and city centre is just few steps away from here. We have many Asian shops as well where we get the Asian stuffs and vegetables. The city looks amazing and is really really beautiful. I will try to put up some snaps of the city when I get some, OK. I thought I would be upset thinking about the old flat and will be nostalgic about it. But no, I am very happy we moved from there. The previous flat was quite small. The weather is OK at the moment, it was sunny for the past few days and by the time winter arrives, I will be accustomed to the weather here, that was the main thing that worried me-the winter.

I haven't started my cooking much yet. Unpacking is still on the way and things are just getting settled. Loads of shopping to do and lot of arrangements to be done. But I have few recipes in my draft which I will post slowly as things gets smoother. We dint fix the TV yet and just got Internet connection recently. But I found that my life is so peaceful without those two. I feel these two inventions are a bit more than devil at times. Now, not having them, I just realized how much of my time TV and computer has been eating up!!! Before I had no time for other house hold work and I dint realise that I have been using these TV and PC so much! Now they are not here, I find lot of time everything and even have lot of time to rest after that. I think I should spend really less time on these and concentrate on something that's really useful.

Anyways, this time, I am posting the recipe of Pazham Nirachathu. This is traditional malabar snack that is mainly served for guest during an evening tea, or during Iftar. It is something like an Ethakka roast and is prepared using ripe plantains. My mom used to make it for us for evening tea whenever there are ripe plantains at home. Pazham nirachathu is made by making three slits lengthwise in the plantains and filling the slits with a mixture of egg and sugar. The whole stuffed plantain is then dipped in a batter of plain flour and water and then deep fried until golden brown. These are then served in slices.

2 large Plantains
2 large eggs
4 tbs sugar (70 gms)
1 tbs Kismis (raisins)
10 Cashew nuts chopped roughly
1/2 tbsful -1 Tbsp ghee (Clarified Butter)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder (3 crushed cardamoms)
1/2 cup plain flour
3 tbs Rice flour
1 tbs sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup+ 1 Tbs water (Just enough water to make a thick batter to coat the plantains)
Oil to deep fry

1.To prepare the filling:
Break the eggs in a small bowl and add sugar. Mix well using a spoon. Keep them aside.Heat a frying pan, add ghee and fry the chopped cashew until golden colour, fish them out and drain them on a kitchen towel. To the same pan, add the raisins and leave there for few seconds until they puff like little balls. DON'T LEAVE them for long because they will get charred and taste bitter. Take them out and keep them along with the cashews. In the same pan, add the egg - sugar mixture, raisin and nuts and scramble them by stirring continuously until the egg is completely cooked. Add the crushed cardamom and stir well. Reserve.
2. To Stuff the plantains: Peel the plantains. Make three slits lengthwise at equal distance from each other;one end to another leaving around 2 inch from the ends. The depth of each slit should be made just until it reaches the center of the plantains(near black seeds). When you make three slits as such, all three will be joining the center. Now take the filling, make a gap in the slit using fingers and fill the filling in using spoon or fingers and press them tight. Fill all the three slits in the same manner. I find it easier using fingers. Keep them aside.
3. To make the batter: Mix the plain flour, rice flour, sugar and salt. Add water and mix well using a whisk until you get a required thickness to make a thick coating for the stuffed plantains. Make sure you batter is free from lumps.
4. Heat a high sided frying pan and fill it halfway with oil. Dip the plantains in the batter completely and place them in the oil using 1 or 2 large spatula or tongs. When one side turns golden, flip over against you slowly and fry that side also until golden brown. Drain them on kitchen towel and serve warm in slices along with tea.

1. The sugar amount given here is for caster sugar.I used the proportion of 2 tbs of sugar for 1 large egg. Here I have used extra refined sugar which is slightly less sweeter than the sugar we get in India. But if you are using the sugar in India use 1 tbsful of sugar for 1 egg, the eggs in India are smaller as well. So you might need to use around 3 eggs and 3 tbsful of sugar for the above amount of plantains.
2. Sometimes it is difficult to turn the whole plantains in the oil. In that case, you can halve the plantain and stuff like the full plantains instead of stuffing the whole one.
3. This is normally made using quite well ripened soft plantains (not too soft) because if you prepare these using semi-ripe plantains, it might break when you are slits making the job harder.
4. You can also use large kadai filled with oil and deep fry these pazham nirachathu.
5. If you don't like the crispy coating outside (most people including me like it), you can just cover the slits using the batter instead of dipping the whole plantain in the batter. In that case you might need less flour.
6. Some prepare the filling using coconut and sugar instead of egg, so swap coconut for egg if you don't like egg.

Another Thing about this post is my sweet friend faiza has passed me few awards with a tag and a bunch of questions. Thank you so much!
Here are the awards and then comes the tag

Now the answers to the questions...

1.what is your current obsession?
Baking and Blogging.

2. What are you wearing today?
Skirt and top.

3. What’s for dinner?
Malabar Chicken Curry and Puttu (Steamed rice cake)

4. What’s the last thing you bought?
Few clothes and a Scarf.

5. What are you listening to right now?
Light snoring of my 2 year old and sound of the traffic on street.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
She is a sweet friend with a bunch of lovely recipes and a beautiful blog.

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
In Abu-dhabi, U.A.E. or where ever my parents plan to settle, there.

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
A napkin is a must, then comes my indispensable Nivea (for men-I dono y, but I like the men's deo)deo roll on, and Body cream.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
India, my parents and siblings are there at the moment. If they were in UAE, I would prefer going there. I am very attached to them.

10. Which language do you want to learn?
Nothing preferably. I would love to speak Arabic fluently though rather than just mixing Arabic and English.

11. Who do you want to meet right now?
My parents and siblings. I always miss them.

12. What is your favorite colour?
It changes from time to time. Once it was pista green. Then in few months time, I noticed almost all my clothes were pista green colour. Then it changed to baby pink, then to white, then black.....now, nothing favourite as such. Whatever looks good in any colour I go for it.

13. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own closet?
My beautiful Choli, that I wore for for my wedding.

14. What is your dream job?
Ahhhhh…….Love the job of an architect, But I am not.....Love cooking, But I am not a chef......I donno...

15. What’s your favourite magazine?
Vanitha and all food magazines.

16. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Ahhhh.....may be a handbag and few baby clothes.

17. What are the most essential things you carry while going out?
Mobile phone, Purse, Pen and a paper.

18. Who are your style icons?

19. Describe your personal style?
Simple and cheerful and always excited.

20. What are you going to do after this?
Have a cup of coffee.

21. What are your favourite movies?
Not a movie person at all, but I enjoyed watching ‘Vietnam Colony’ (malayalam). It’s a hilarious movie.

22. Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
Light make up especially Lining eye and lips to make it prominent, using facial scrub once or twice a week to keep the skin fresh and smooth, wearing comfortable clothes.

23. Coffee or tea?
Both depending on my mood. When I am in a coffee mood, I can't have tea and when I am in tea mood, I can't have coffee. Weird right?

24. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
I try to keep myself busy by doing something and totally distract myself or make a phone call to my mom and talk to her just for some relief.

25. What is the meaning of your name?
Best friend

26. Which other blogs you love visiting?
All other blogs.

27. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Cheesecakes, tiramisu, Kalakhand….oops, I don’t have a favourite dessert, I have many!

28. Favorite Season?

29.Which is your dream destination?

30. Who/what inspired you to start a blog?
Other Blogs and for personal reference.

31. Which is your favorite international cuisine ?

My question:
Which is your favourite cookware?

The rules are:
Respond and rework – answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, and add one more question of your own. Then tag eight or ten other people.

Another sweet Blogger friend smitha has passed on this beautiful Kreative blogger award to me.
The Kreativ Blogger award comes with some rules:-
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

So here are few about me for you to know:
1. I am a born chocoholic. Apart from chocolates, any sweets makes me crazy and drool.
2. I am a very sensitive person.Little things make me very happy and little things makes me very sad and upset.
3. I love shopping like many other woman, especially clothes and crockeries, but window shopping is what I do most of the time:). Since I am very choosy by nature, it always takes very long time for me to choose clothes, handbags, shoes and anything which always drove my parents crazy and now my husband.Hehe....I remember when we (Parents and myself) were shopping for my wedding dress back in UAE, we spent three days roaming all over Abu- Dhabi looking for clothes and I liked none. You know finally what my parents did? They went and bought one of my wedding dresses without taking me! But I liked it.
4. I am a chatterbox by nature. I never run out of topic to chat. My phone calls always lasts for more than an hour and my mom and husband always wonders what's there to talk sooooo much!!! Not to talk is like a torture to me. But when it comes to writing, I am worse at it.
5. I love cooking and love trying out new recipes no matter what is.
6. I am a very family oriented and homely person and love to spend time with my family.
7. I love my friends and I really care for them. I always try to keep in touch with them through calls, mails and visits. I still have contacts with friends from my U.K.G., ie Senior K.G. They are a big part of my life.

I want to pass these awards and tags to these lovely people. Please accept these awards.

Kitchen Flavours
Divya Vikram

Ufff...that was a long post guys. See u all later.....taaataa....

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