Aah the name of this recipe is quite fancy. But we mallus (Malayalis) (from the state of Kerala in India) know that this Raw Banana Stir-fry also known as ‘Kaaya Mezhukkuperati’ is a very regular side-dish at our homes, not to mention – often hated by teenagers. How can I be so sure? Erm.. I was once a teenager who hated it. I don’t remember when I started loving it, guess it was after my mom added a partner to the forever single Raw Banana. Thus Potato graced Raw Banana’s life and I fell in love with the now-delightful couple.
To give a small gyan – In every Malayali’s house, there are 3 vegetables with which they play permutations & combinations for the best stir-fry.
Raw Banana (Kaaya)
Long Beans (Payar/Achinga)
Goes like, Monday it will be raw banana-long beans, Tuesday it has to be long beans-yam, Wednesday it could be yam-raw banana, Thursday it will be raw banana-long beans-yam – all 3 together – stir-fry. It is real, called the Kaaya-Chena-Payar trilogy, you can ask any Malayali or for that matter even Tamilian.
So this recipe is very simple. There cannot be possibly anything difficult with stir-fries. But if somebody must know how I can love Raw Banana and Potato stir-fry, please read along. Oh and there is this awesome way to peel the raw bananas. One day I will do a super quick video on that. You just cut half an inch long of the peel – still on the knife – do not cut it ‘off’, and then pull it along the length of the banana, it will come off smooth and even.
Oil – 2 tbsp
Raw Banana – 2
Potato – 1 medium
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing – 1 generous pinch
Green Chillies – 2 (mom style) or Pepper powder – 1 tsp (mom-in-law style) — either works fine for me – in the recipe and in life
Curry Leaves – 5-6
How I prepare:
1) Cut the banana and potato into equal sized cubes.
2) Take oil in kadai/pan, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to crackle add urad dal – adding this later because it browns very quickly.
3) Add curry leaves, green chillies (if using) and asafoetida; and immediately add the cut raw bananas and potatoes. I just hate the way oil splutters and throws itself all over the world when curry leaves are thrown into it. So sometimes I avoid putting it at this stage, instead put it after the veggies.
4) Add salt and pepper (if using) to the veggies and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Then mix and let it cook without the lid, that will help fry well.
5) Taste test for salt and rawness. Better if you taste the potato, that will make you feel confident and happy about the whole day ahead.
6) Serve as a side with dal-rice, sambhar-rice.
Raw Banana and Potato stir-fry is a very modest side dish and you will definitely enjoy it. Especially the crispy parts of potato and banana stuck to the kadai saved from burning by mixing at the right time.