There are some things that are close to food heaven. In my books, this Vazhakkai Varuval(Tamil)/Aratikaya Vepudu (Telugu)/Raw Plantain Fry with Tomato Pappu is such an awesome combo. Although raw plantain fry was very common in our house while growing up, the Aratikaya vepudu/fry was quite different. Having only tasted that, this fry when tasted for the first time was a flavor explosion in my mouth. My MIL is a great cook and so is my mom. Thankfully, I am placed in such a position that I can learn from both these wonderful ladies 🙂 No prizes for guessing, this recipe is from my MIL’s kitchen. She usually makes this to go with Sambar and it such a deadly combination 🙂 Although her Sambar powder is used in preparing this fry, it tastes totally different and not so spicy for the Sambar (though the same powder is used in preparing both). When had hot, it’s very crispy but still tastes good for later as well. On the bonus side, this can be made very quickly – roughly ten mins of resting time and ten mins of cooking time – perfect for busy days!
To make Vazhakkai varuval | Aratikaya Vepudu
What I used –
- Raw Plantain/Vazhakkai/Aratikaya, 1
- Sambar Powder, 1.5 tsp
- Turmeric Powder, 1/4th tsp
- Tamarind Pulp, 1/4th tsp (optional)
- Salt, as required
- Oil, 2 tsp
- Water, 1 -2 tsp
How I made –
1. Start by washing and peeling the raw plantain. Cut it into roundels of 5mm or less in thickness.
2. In a bowl, add the cut raw plantain. Add sambar powder, salt, turmeric powder and the tamarind pulp. Sprinkle 2 tsp of water and mix well. The powders should coat on the plantain slices. Let it rest for 10-15 mins.
3. In a nonstick pan, heat oil. Spread the oil all over the pan. Add each piece of marinated plantain into the pan. Reduce the flame to medium. Let the pieces cook for 4-5mins on a side. Gently turn them over to the other side. Cook for another 4-5 mins. Both sides should be golden brown and crispy. Remove from heat.
4. Serve hot with rice and Andhra Tomato pappu 🙂
- Instead of sambar powder, red chilli powder can be added. But sambar powder has a lot of other spices and forms a good coating on the plantain fry.
- The minimum marinating time is ten mins and it can prepared in advance as well.
- Adding tamarind gives it a slight tangy taste. It is not mandatory to add it. Plain water can used in its place.
- Do not place the pieces of plantain one over the other. Place the pieces in an order next to each other.
- If the pieces begin to stick to the pan, add a few drops of oil around each piece.