I travel a lot to research and document food and also take people with me on culinary holidays to explore food, culture and the arts in every region. We’ve done trips to Madurai, Chettinad, Thanjavur and many other places in Tamilnadu, Kerala & Karnataka. This trip was to Palakkad.
Lush green fields, age old Tharavad (ancestral homes) and warm, hospitable people signify Palakkad. On this trip I get to visit Olappamanna Manna, a beautiful homestay in the Vellinezhi village which is also the birth place of Kathakali and learn to make Nendra Pazha Pradhaman or Paayasam made with a certain type of banana found in Kerala. One needs to see this place to believe the surreal setting!
Here is the recipe.
- Nendram Pazham – 3 ripe ones, cut in roundels
- Thin Coconut Milk – 2 ½ cups
- Thick Coconut Milk – 1 cup
- Powdered Jaggery – 2 cups
- Cocount – ¼ cup, cut into small pieces and fried in ghee
- Ghee – 3 tbsp
Peel the skin of the Nendram pazham and cut in roundels
- Heat a heavy bottom vessel with water. Once it boils add the nendram pazham and cook til mushy and soft.
- In a separate wok/ vessel, add jaggery with ½ cup of water. Dissolve the jaggery and strain for impurities. Set aside.
- Add the strained jaggery to the nendram pazham pulp mixture and mix well.
- Stir well and mash to ensure there are no lumps.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, till the banana and jaggery mixture come together.
- Now add the thin coconut milk and cook on medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes.
- After the mixture has cooked well, switch off flame and add the thick coconut milk.
- Heat a small frying pan with ghee, fry the coconut pieces till golden brown.
- Add these fried coconut pieces to the nendram pazham pradhaman and serve hot with a dollop of ghee.
- The same can be done with fresh jackfruit too. Cook the jackfruit (cut in small pieces) the way you would cook nendram pazham
- Nendram pazham has a peculiar flavour that normal yellow/green bananas cant replicate.
- I used fresh coconut milk, but you could use coconut cream too. Dilute the coconut cream adding water for the second coconut milk.
Here’s the video of how it is made:
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