I prepared this thaali for Tamil New Years Day and I haven’t had a chance to post it. Don’t get this wrong, I haven’t taken up thaali theme for this week’s marathon. I just conveniently chose to post this thaali as part of the combination theme. I don’t cook elaborate dishes but sometimes when we include simple yet different items in the menu it becomes a feast.
One of H’s friend presented us with a banana plant and we were totally elated having the plant in our backyard. One of the many things that I totally miss in US is not having to eat in banana leaf. For this feast I did pluck the only mature leaf from the plant and served the dishes in small cups. Such simple things does give me immense happiness. The colorful spectrum of different curries and gravies adorn the thaali appetizing even a person with no appetite.
The main highlight of the Tamil New Year’s feast is the pachadi. This pachadi is supposed to have different tastes such as salt, sugar, spice(hotness from either green or red chillies), bitter, and sour. The pachadi is cooked with more sweetness than any other taste to indicate the wishes and prayers of having sweeter year ahead and a lesser mix of other phases of life. This pachadi can be prepared with mango or tomato giving the sourness, tempered with mustard seeds and green/red chillies giving the hotness, jaggery for sweetness, salt, and garnished with fried plantain flower for bitterness.
In the center — Urad dal Vada, Tomato Pachadi.
Tomatos (ripe ones) — 3 medium (finely chopped)
Mustard seeds — 1 tsp
Red chillies — 2 (crushed)
Jaggery (molasses) — 2 Tbsp (powdered)
Salt — to taste
Plantain flower — 1 tsp (fried in 1 tsp of ghee/oil)
1. In a small saucepan heat a tsp of oil and fry plantain flower. Keep aside. In the same kadai, heat 1 tsp of oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add red chillies and finely chopped tomatoes, and salt. Let the tomatoes cook till they are mushy.
2. Add jaggery and combine well. Let the pachadi thicken. Add fried plantain flower and remove from flame. Serve with your choice of rice/roti. Enjoy!!!
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