Side dish

Sweet and Tangy baLekai palya (Raw plantain side dish)

We can prepare numerous recipes with baLekai (raw plantain). Every single part of this plant can be used in our day to day cooking. The leaves of the banana plant are used to serve food in south India. The core of the stem is used to make various dishes. The raw fruit is used as a vegetable to make curries and side dishes. This is one among them.

Ingredients:

BaLekai (raw plantain) – 1, cut into cubes

Onion- 1 medium, chopped

Curry leaves- 3 to 4

Termeric- ¼ Tsp

Coriander or cilantro- 3 to 4 strands, chopped

Red chilli powder- ½ to ¾ Tsp

Tamarind paste- 2 Tsp

Jaggery- 1 to 1½ Tsp

Mustard- ½ Tsp

Asafetida- A pinch

Oil- 3 Tbsp

Coconut- 2 Tbsp (optional)

Salt- To taste

Preparation:

Heat oil in a pan.  Add onions and turmeric and sauté till it turns translucent, add the cut plantains, curry leaves and cook till it becomes tender but is still crispy. Add red chili powder, tamarind paste, jaggery, salt, coconut (optional). Cook for few more minutes until they are nicely mixed and crispy.

Heat 1 tsp oil in seasoning pan. Add mustard seeds, allow it to splutter and add asafetida. Add this seasoning to cooked palya and garnish with cilantro.

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Side dish

Roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus

Whenever I buy vegetables I think of recipes that I can prepare with asparagus. So I tried using asparagus along with fingerling potatoes and string beans and came up with a very simple and healthy recipe. I got this from another blog (which I’ve forgotten!) but have modified it to make it more flavorful.

Ingredients:

Fingerling potatoes- 10 to 12 halved length wise

String beans- 8 to 10 cut into half

Asparagus- 8 to 10, woody ends trimmed

Olive oil- 2 Tbsp

Kosher salt and fresh ground Pepper- To taste

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°c. Cook the potatoes for 4 to 5 minutes in salt water, drain the water and allow it to cool.

Line a thin sheet of foil onto a baking tray; arrange the potatoes and sprinkle 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes turns golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile toss string beans and asparagus with remaining olive oil and keep aside.

Remove the potatoes and toss string beans, asparagus along with potatoes and bake for few more minutes until they are tender but still crisp. This makes a great snack or can be eaten as a side dish with something like a sandwich.

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