Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan

Raw Papaya Stir Fry (Thoran)

Back home we mostly cook backyard vegetables like mango, jackfruit, raw banana, banana flower and stem, amaranth leaves, drumstick, colocasia, drumstick leaves, etc. Papaya is also commonly found and used often in the kitchen. Papaya thoran (Kerala style dry subzi) is delicious and easy to make and a great side dish to serve along with rice.

Ingredients:
Raw Papaya – 1 medium sized
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Garlic – 2 cloves (optional)
Green chilies – 2 – 3
Curry leaves – a few
Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 2-3 cups

Method:
Wash, peel raw papaya, and grate into thin 1-inch long pieces. Keep aside.
Heat an iron skillet and add coconut oil and mustard seeds.
When mustard seeds begin to splutter, add urad dal, chopped green chilies, garlic, and curry leaves. Saute until urad dal and garlic turns golden.
Add grated papaya and turmeric powder. Mix well and close with a lid. Keep the heat on minimum. Slow cooking is ideal and retains nutrients. Do not add any water. Cook for about 7-10 mins, stirring every 1-2 mins and then closing the skillet with a lid.
When the papaya becomes soft and cooked, add salt, jeera, and grated coconut. Mix well and turn off the fire.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan

Thaal Avial – Colocasia Stem Avial

“Naattinpuram nanmakalaal samruddham”
This line from a Malayalam poem loosely translates to “Goodness abounds in the village.” Life in the village is so much about sharing. Produces from your garden, special items made in the kitchen, sweets and savories that relatives bring, everything is shared with neighbors. Commonly cultivated backyard vegetables like drumstick, drumstick leaves, mango, jackfruit, all these items are shared with neighbors. Colocasia is one such plant/vegetable that neighbors share. Pictured here is a very sweet and super-efficient Saraswathi chechi, a great lady. One of her many roles include being a domestic help to my mother and many other families in our neighborhood. All special items such as banana stem, drumsticks, colocasia stem, tender jackfruit, raw mango, pass hands through Saraswathi chechi and a portion reaches all households in the vicinity.

Tender leaves inside colocasia stemI would say that the colocasia plant is highly underrated. All parts of the colocasia plant – leaves, stem, and bulb can be used for cooking. Not all varieties are edible. Some that grow in wilder areas are to be avoided, I hear. Gujarati cuisine has colocasia leaf rolls called Paatra. The Mangalore region also has recipes using the leaf. I am not sure if any cuisine apart from Kerala uses colocasia stem. At home, we make 3-4 different varieties of dishes using colocasia stem and the leaf.

Thaal (colocasia stem) avial is a dish that I learned from a neighbor while I stayed in Kochi. The best part about learning a recipe from someone is that you can never forget them even after many years. The first time you tasted that dish and how it smelled then lingers in your mind forever. Along with that the people involved with that memory stay on too.

There have been many requests for this recipe. Due to lack of availability of ingredients, I have had to wait long before I could make the dish and click photographs. I was super excited yesterday when I finally got to make the dish after waiting for several years; all thanks to Saraswathi chechi.

IngredientsIngredients:
Colocasia stem (medium sized) – 2
Long beans – 100 gms
Raw banana (long) – 1
Raw papaya – 200 gms
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
Tamarind – lime sized
Water – as needed
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

To Grind:
Grated coconut – 1 half coconut
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Shallot – 1

Peel colocasia stemMethod:
Wash all the vegetables. Peel the skin from colocasia stem. Remove the edges from long beans. Peel raw papaya and raw banana. Cut all the vegetables into one-inch long pieces. Keep the raw banana pieces separately. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder to a bowl of water and put the raw banana pieces in this bowl of water. Keep aside. The colocasia stem pieces seem like a lot but it shrinks to 1/4th size when cooked.

Keep raw banana pieces separately

Soak tamarind in 4-5 tbsp of water and keep aside.

Add tumeric, chilly powder, and saltPut all the vegetables except raw banana in a thick-bottomed vessel. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Add 1/2 cup water to the vegetables, close the lid, and maintain medium fire. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 mins. When the vegetables start looking pale and getting cooked, add the raw banana pieces. Stir well and close and cook for another five minutes. Extract tamarind juice from soaked tamarind. Add to the vegetables being cooked. Mix well.

Meanwhile, grind the grated coconut, shallot, and jeera to a coarse paste without adding much of water. When the vegetables are well-cooked and the salt and tamarind extract has been absorbed into the vegetables, mix the ground coconut paste with the vegetables. Cook for two minutes. Add curry leaves. Turn off. Add coconut oil and mix well. Enjoy the wafting aroma when you mix fresh curry leaves with the hot vegetables and coconut oil. Serve hot along with rice.

If you enjoyed reading this recipe, please consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and you will receive e-mail notifications with each updation.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, South Indian, Vegan

Colocasia Stem (Thaalu) Avial

A quick post about colocasia stem avial on demand.

Ingredients:

Tender Colocasia stems – 200 gms
Long beans (payar/chowli) – 100 gms
Raw banana – 100 gms
Raw papaya – 100 gms
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as needed
Tamarind – size of lemon
Water – 1/2 glass
Coconut – 1/2
Shallot – 1-2
Jeera – 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 2 stalks

Method:

Wash and clean the vegetables. Peel the colocasia stem, raw banana, and Papaya and cut into slender 1-1/2 inch long pieces. The colocasia stems are porous and reduce after cooking. So cut them slightly more thicker than the other vegetables. Remove the edges of the long beans and cut them to 1-1/2 inch long pieces. Put the cut vegetables in a cooking pot and place it on fire. Add Turmeric and chilly powder and half a glass of water. Stir and close the pot with a lid. Stir occasionally to ensure vegetables do not stick to the bottom. Cook in medium fire.

Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in 2 tsp of water and extract the juice. Grate half a coconut and grind the coconut along with one shallot and jeera to make a fine paste. Keep aside.

When the vegetables are tender and cooked, add the tamarind extract. At times colocasia stems tend to cause itching. Adding tamarind juice removes this itch. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add the grinded coconut paste. Stir well and cook for 2 mins. Remove from fire. Add salt as needed and then sprinkle curry leaves and then add coconut oil. I cannot describe the aroma that will fill your kitchen when you add the curry leaves and coconut oil to this warm avial. You need to experience it. Anything that smells great tastes great too!

I do not have any pictures to post at the moment. I hope I get a chance to make this avial and share the pictures very soon!

If you enjoyed reading this recipe, please consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and you will receive e-mail notifications with each updation.