Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kaayasoottu ? Or one more to the list of snacks with identity crisis?

I think it was almost towards the end of the first year of my blogging that I added a note to my blog title, “Rekindling the memories and Re-creating the forgotten taste…” At that point in time I was not conscious of the depth and spectrum of the word, “The forgotten taste..”. Till two days back, it meant the taste of my childhood….the taste of teenage and early adulthood….the taste of those days I spent with my family and friends. Sometimes, it was the taste I was beginning to forget or the taste and smell of my homeland or the taste I was unable to recreate in my American kitchen but it was never the taste I literally forgot or the taste that has been completely washed away from the shores of my memory lake…………….

Last time the culprit was Mathew and this time it is Maria who ignited my chamber of taste memories. As a comment for my previous post, she left a note for me,” hi shn, we make this at home & we call it unda payasam. we also add steamed or fried banana along with this. It's one of my fav palaharams :)” Hmm….steamed banana in coconut milk…?? I have tasted something like that!!!! I knew that it was part of my childhood …I knew that I know this dish!!! The image was blurred and the taste memory was vague…I was not sure if I had it at my grandma’s or at my mother’s. Yet, I knew it was one of my favourite evening snacks….. Winding back, digging up those days, it was hard this time. After 8 or 9 hours, I found a strip of light to the past….I could see the little me sitting on a wooden bench in my grandma’s kitchen and slurping a spoonful of steaming thick cream of coconut with some quartered pieces of ripe plantain, from a stainless steel plate !! What was vague and blurred few hours ago, was now dancing on my palate as taste dolls……the natural sweetness from the ripe plantains, the creaminess of the coconut milk …..I could almost feel it on my tongue….yet, I could not figure out what was that secret ingredient that gave the distinct flavour and a whiff of fragrance.

The next day I was talking to my parents and sharing all the possible traditional names you all left here, for the snack I featured a couple days back. Suddenly I heard my mother saying,” aah….there is one more thing Amma used to make…instead of rice flour balls, fully ripe plantain was cooked in coconut milk and then flavored with a hint of cardamom.” At that moment, I was amazed at the synchronization of our thoughts. And yes, it was the cardamom that gave a unique twist to such a simple lovely snack!!

You guessed it right…I recreated it in my kitchen following my mother’s suggestions and guess what, it was the same taste and the smell that pleased the palate of a 8 or 9 year old, decades ago :) I was delighted with each spoonful though it lacked my grandma’s Kaipunyam, the magic from a blessed hand and the sweetness of the native variety of plantains available in Kerala. Here’s how I made it:

  • 1 fully ripe plantain, peeled and diced into small quarters
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk/Randaampaal
  • ¾ cup thick coconut milk/Thanipaal
  • 8 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • 2 whole cardamom crushed
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice flour
  • 2 tbsp water or thin coconut milk
  • In a sauce-pot, heat diced pieces of plantain and thin coconut milk together; bring to a boil, in medium heat. Now reduce the heat, add sugar and cook until the plantain pieces are fully cooked and soft. Meanwhile mix rice flour with water and make a creamy paste (this works as a thickener) and add to the pot and blend well with the coconut milk for a minute; add thick coconut milk, cover with lid and let it cook in medium heat, until bubbles start to pop up. At this stage, it should have the consistency of Payasam. Add more sugar if required. If it is still liquid-y at this stage, reduce heat and let it simmer for some more time in low heat. Just a minute before turning off the stove, add the crushed cardamom and stir well. Turn off the stove and let it rest for 20-30 minutes and serve warm.
Well, again I don’t know the name of this snack…. :-) My mother is uncertain but doubts that my granny used to call this as ‘Kaayasoottu’. Though she checked with her sister, both of them are not able to confirm it. I should be happy that atleast I could revive a real forgotten taste of my childhood even if I fail to find the name!

Readers, you are welcome to drop a line if you know the traditional/regional/household name of this snack but no guesses and assumptions please. :)

Dear Maria, Thank YOU for this tasty experience :)

UPDATED on Oct 19th, 2008: Based on comments, this snack is also known as Ethakka Kurukkiyathu, Pazham Kurukku and Ethappazham Stew.


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  1. Hi Mish
    U don`t believe ,yesterday i also made this dish and abt to blog ..But i think nw no need of that ..!!! :) Will do later ..
    My cousine was complaining abt her 2 year old daugher tht she is nt eating anything .when i made this dish and gave it to her ,she finished with in seconds..!!i was so happy ..u knw

    I love this pazham kurukku d my son childhood fav dish ..hmm....
    ..We used to do the same with ripe chakka pazham ..In that we add grated coconut also .Its soooooooooooo day u try that k...

    I have added u in my blogroll with out asking ur permission ... :)

  2. 3 posts backward! The Allipiddis look awesome, that post was surely brain racking..Swapna came to aid! Mom, frnz, relatives all put to work on name finding! Phew..finally baby undas in sweet milk got their name! This post too looks very delicious!! Thks for sharing recipes!! :D

  3. Hi Mishmash, In our house,it was called by name 'Eethapazham Stew'.:))

  4. Shn, you are on a roll. Each one memerizing than the other. That looks delicious.

  5. Whatever they may call,its awesome !! Banana,coconutmilk,riceflour and sugar ? Sure to hit the line..

  6. wow! u are on a trip, next thing i know u will be booking tickets to kerala.:) we have a Paliayakka(Pal vayakka) which is a payasam with plantains, coconut milk and sabudana. this looks like a simpler version of that.

  7. hi shn...
    looks like its raining coconut milk in the US of A!! he he..
    btw thats a new recipe for me...never had this ever before..wud love to make it but unfortunately we dont get nendrapazham here :(

  8. Mishmash, I've added a link to your Sadhya post at my blog, The Urban Gardener. I hope you dont mind. If you do, please let me know and I'll remove it.

  9. Hmmm...again one of the dishes which i havent tried...but i have seen my cousins having similar kind of dish but with milk and banana....I loved the serving dish....


  10. uh..i dont have anything to say...Ammaaaaaaaa!!!!

    another dish I havent ever had...this would be a perfect breakfast..:-)

  11. Shn,
    I had posted this pazham stew with Idiyappam recipe, this is a side dish for idiyappam.. :) But no rice powder..
    As Veena said, you can make this with chakka too... :)

  12. Shn thats simply superb! What an elegant dish. Love to have it right now!

  13. Shn..
    My ammamma used to make this very often as an evening dish. we used to call it jst ethakka payasam...must not be the real name i knw; but guess wat we used call alli pidi kozhukatta payasam. :)

  14. woooww...this looks great.....vaayil ninnu vellam varunnu...:)...I never had them before too even though I prepare quite lot of dishes with plantains....Would definitely try this one day. And Allippidi is also new to me. Or did I have it before?I dont remember.Great posts.

  15. WOW, ive never tried this, soundss yumm, thanks so much for putting up dishes that we ve never had a chance to try when we were small, no memories about these kinda dishes, but then iam gona make new memories by trying them out :D

  16. Veena, aah...sheer coincidence :) Infact while having it, i did think that it is a great baby wonder ur nieced polished off the plate :) I havent had the one with jackfruit i guess....but it must be a really tasty,,,,,pazham kurukku sounds like a more convincing name! :) Go ahead and publish yours .

    Purnima, baby undas....LOL :) Thank you !

    Anon, really..? yeah it makes sense .....somehow i have always associated the word with savory items , so should get used to this :)

    Indo, yeah I was :P Thank you :)

    Ann, hmm..if that combo sounds interesting to u, then you will like it too:)

    Mallugirl, hehehe....ticket book cheyyan delay aakunnathinte prashnangal aanu ee kaanunnathokke....:D I remember seeing that in ur blog, should check out again....yeah, this is a simple snack-y version of it :)

    Divz, should I send some nenthrapazham from US ? :D

    Sunita, Linking is absolutely fine .....thank you....btw, i loved ur blog :)

    Rashmi, yeah...that must be paalum pazhavu,....njan kazhichittilla but i have heard of that!

    Mathew, hehehhe...engane vilichal amma pedichu pokum :P yeah, perfect on a rainy day....sitting on the patio and slurping this in spoonfuls, enjoying a naadan mazha...hmm...thats heavenly!!

    Seena, checked out ur recipe....that gets a curried touch with kunjulli i guess....this is purely on the sweet side...a junior to payasam :P

    Nirmala, thank you :)

    Surya, atleast you have a name that u were used my case , i just ate whatever was tasty...never bothered to find out the name...and infact for my previous post, i saw comments with payasam aaded to u re right :)

    Shab, the only way to find out is try and see :)

    Vidya, yes ...thats the right attitude.....ethokke praayam/kaalam nokkathe kazhikkanam :))


  17. There u go again. But this is not as forgien to me as the other one Alli pidi. THis was eztha pazham stew to me. But to honest all this was the yucky stuff compared to burgers and cutlets.

    But now I have no words for recipes like this

  18. Hello Shn,

    Thats a lovely dish!!
    well, do u know the recipes for kinnathappam and kallathappams? its yummy, u know!!Its mainly made in kannur I guess.. if any of you who have visiters here, have authentic recipes which u have tried, pls let me know.


  19. Shn, Thanks for visiting and leaving that very nice comment. It was sweet of you to not object to my linking to your blog (which is amazing, by the way).
    I replied to it on my own blog, realizing too late that I should have posted that here instead. Sorry, its too early in the day, I think.
    You wont want me to retype all that here again, would you? I'm the procrastinating type ... thats why I garden instead of cook. At least things wont burn if I leave it too late before doing it!
    Thanks again.

  20. Hi Shn!How are you doing dear girl?We call this as ethakka kurukkiyathu.Mum used to make it when we had lots of ripe ethakka.Also a common baby food.

    The kozhukatta u asked the name for in your earlier post was called paal/thengapaal kozhukatta.we as kids used to refer to it as juice kozhukatta!I used to love that bz the coco milk was soo tasty.And i used to finish all the coco milk part of it leaving the rice balls aside and remember my mom handing us the plate with a warning that eat the rice balls along with the coco milk too!

  21. how neat. we eat plantain a lot but never like this! i did a full out post on the the common use of plantain in Latin culture. Check it out:

  22. Do these simple tasty dishes need a name?? Just make and have them!:)

  23. hai!nocaption wud do justice to ur blog other than this new one....very very much, gets all mallus back to their past!!.and trust me, for a split of a sec, me too went..!my!! i used to like this very much too...but we used to have it with chakka...ripe chakka cuked in coconut milk..and my dad even used to have it along with puttu, for breakfast..and cardamom was never a miss in its making...

    do keep in touch, okie..never want to lose trail o fu..
    hey, come on to orkut....more easy to be in contact, thats y..or, are u already there??

    luv n warm warm regards who always takes me back home

  24. Mishmasssssh!!
    I came here to make a list of ingredients :D
    I'm going to the Indian store now and I've finally got time this month to make some recipes from your blog. Damn! I used to pride myself that I'd make every new one from your blog!! But now i've LOADS of catching up to do!!

    *hugs* How been yew?

  25. Pooja, hahahha...yucky stuff...i liked that one :)

    Prathibha, I will try to blog those recipes but may take check out kerala food blogs and am sure there will be many with these recipes.

    Sunita, you can backlink need to ask for permission...and it is not a big deal at all :)) I did read your reply message...thank you :) I will cook for you if u can share those garden fresh veggies from ur garden :)

    Sumitha, hellooo...who's this!!!! I am doing re you..? Its been long since I saw you here...hope all is well with you.....i have updated the post.....thanks again for dropping by ....btw, either you start blogging again or come to say hello once in a while :D

    Bren, that was a neat article you posted....thanks for leaving the trail here :)

    Jyothsna, right from rockets to hurricanes we have why this policy change to these humble snacks? :)

    Sona, hey....what a surprise!! how re uuu? has the new member come? girl or boy? :) Looks like you re getting some spare time...nice to see you here...and glad to know that my posts gives a glimpse of your childhood :) Thanks a lot ....your words are always ego boosters :))

    Mac, long as you manage to eat something good everyday, and as long as you get time to do your assignments at the design school, I am happy...checked out ur new blog....saw your designs....very re so talented :) I am good, mystery lady...:P


  26. hi shn, u remind me of another banana snack quite common with grannys. ripe bananas sun dried and kept for long in 'bharani's. they will have a golden brown colour.when guests come, dice them like coins and put in a bowl full of 'paani'. its delicious. does this ring any bell?

  27. When I read ur blog, I had similar feelings....the distinct feeling of having tasted the dish in the distant past, but no clue of when or where!! :)

  28. Hi,
    Its the first time to your blog and came upon this dish. My mom used to make this to...but we used to have it for breakfast along with Puttu. some of my relatives serve this with Appam and idiappam too. but its my fav with puttu. just rekindled some old memories. thanks!

  29. You have a lovely blog here..What I love most is the little intro you give.Though its a year late I thought I should reply to this one...Among the malabar muslims We call it curry...just that "curry".. though I ve always wondered why anyone would call a sweet dish, curry...anyways in north malabar, in vatakara, mahe etc its indispensable for ramzan and eid...I think you can find the recipe in Mrs. Ummi abdulla's Malabar muslim cookery too...

  30. hi shn,
    i'm anu i've tried ur recipes &got good feedback.I'm having nostalgia.thank you.

  31. Hi,
    We call it as pazhakkool and is mostly enjoyed with idiyappam.

  32. hi
    We call this PAZHAKKOOL. It is mostly enjoyed with idiyappam

  33. Akarsh Said

    i had try to make kangi was an awesome recipe.i made that when a party was held at my house. everyone loved that

    thank u for posting such wonderfull recipes

  34. last night i made egg rolls and sweet was very friends and family loved that.

    thank u so much for posting such wonderfull recipes


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