Friday, July 11, 2008

Nalabaaham – Palaakkai (Jackfruit) Kurma

This is one of my personal favourite…especially when it is done by pattu perima. I have tried it out too and excepting Meks, people seemed to like it J. In my opinion, this kurma would go best with a nice murungakkai sambar andhot steaming puzhungu arisi. The first time I started eating puzhngarisi on a consistent basis was when I was in kkdi…and man….THAT is the ultimate arisi…maybe kavuni arisi might win over it (only wen done in payasam form), but puzhungu arisi it is for daily use….especilaly when it’s steaming hot and you add to it a spoonful of nalla-ennai.

Okay….so coming back to our palaakkai kurma….the most difficult part is to cut, peel, split…do whatever…but get the damn palaakkai out of the fruit. The first part is…make a cut….and pull the humungous fruit/kai with good force in the opposite direction (like surya abd vikram in pithamagan)…once this is done…oil your hands….and start taking out the palaakkai and cut it into pieces.remember these pieces should be sizeable enough for you to enjoy it…hmm..lets say equivalent to those soan-papdi you get from haldiram? Cut them and put them in warm water. This will prevent them from hardening and discolouring.

For this kurma, go for the red chillies….not the melaga vaththal…but the red colored chilly the same size and make of normal pachai melahai…cut them to small pieces and have them ready….coconut is an important ingredient in this recipe…so thiruvify half a shell of coconut…separate them into two halves….grind one of them in a mixer…and the other…grind it in your ammi-kallu…..while the mixer ground one will give you consistency, the hand ground one will give you the authentic flavour (its been my belief that hand ground garnishing gives the food the ulti-taste)…This kurma can be done with just these three stuffs – palaakkai, chilli, coconut and your usual salt and varattu podi….but if you have developed a liking towards any other spices, you may add them too. I almost always go for inji and poondu….chopped into fine pieces…. Ohh ya…forgot to tell…a bit of curd would add to the taste…

Fine now that you have these stuff ready….take your kadai…pour some oil in it…sauté your ginger and garlic….then add the red chilli to it and sauté further….after this put the palaakkai (including the water in which you had soaked it)..and close the lid and allow it to boil. These tend to be haraami’s when it comes to vadhangify….they take hell of a time…some set yourself ample time to cook it well….i am not specifying any time limit…allow it to boil till it suits your tongue and taste…once this is done…add a dash of turmeric powder, salt and varattu podi and nalla kalari vittufy this….after some time add the coconut thiruvals and coconut paste to it….heat it for some more time..and finally add the cup of curd and mix well…..I must say…with this..your kuruma is ready….

Be careful of: Either cut off the skin of the palaakkai or allow it to boil for longer time, else you will hate this…

Also can do: If you like vaer-kadala…you can add some to this will give you that kurkure feel…

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