Vazhaithandu Mor Kootu | Plantain Stem Kootu

Finally a Vazhaithandu/Plantain Stem recipe on my blog. :-) I am super happy to share one of my favorite recipes today – it’s the vazhaithandu or the plantain stem mor kootu, a close cousin of Avial. For avial, we use mixed vegetables, but for this, all you need is plantain stem. With the goodness of yogurt, coconut and coconut oil, this rich and creamy kootu is sure a relish.

The banana plant – what an excellent and a beneficial plant it is. Right from stem to flower to fruit to leaves, we use it all, and every part of the banana plant is loaded with nutrients. So what’s Vazhai thandu? It is the stem, the vertical part that bears and holds the entire banana plant. The stem is layered and we discard the outer part and consume the tender white part inside. This plantain stem is packed with dietary fibers, and with its detoxification properties it is an excellent remedy for health related issues like diabetes, kidney stones etc.

One vegetable that is hard to find in the USA is the vazhai thandu. I have posted quite a few recipes with banana (banana splits, banana halwa and more), plantain (Yeriseri, plantain fry and more) and oh yeah not to forget the plantain flower and the baked plantain flower vada. I always plan to prepare some traditional vazhai thandu recipes during my India trip, but I was able to succeed only this time.

As I mentioned above, this kootu is more like avial. All you need is coconut, green chilies, coconut oil, yogurt and of course the vazhai thandu to prepare this yummy kootu. We usually don’t temper for avial, but for this kootu, we do the tempering with coconut oil. But like avial, you can skip the tempering as well.

So without any further ado, here comes the Vazhai thandu mor kootu recipe,

Ingredients:

  • Chopped plantain stem / vazhai thandu – 3 cups
  • Thick Yogurt – 1 cup
  • Turmeric – a pinch (optional)
  • Water – for steaming the plantain stem
  • Salt – 1.5 tsps
  • Curry leaves and cilantro for garnish
  • To Grind:
  • Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup (heaped)
  • Green Chili – 1 big one (adjust according to your preference)
  • To temper
  • Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa Dal – 1 tsp

Prep-Work:

  • Pressure cook the chopped plantain stem with water (approx 3 cups), salt and turmeric powder for up to three whistles.

  • Grind the freshly grated coconut and green chili with a little water.

  • Mix this coconut paste with the thick yogurt and make sure the yogurt and the coconut paste are combined nicely.

Steps:

  • In a heavy bottom pan or kadai, add the cooked plantain. Do not discard the water.
  • Add the yogurt-coconut paste and mix them thoroughly and let it simmer on low heat. Check for salt and add if required.

  • Let this kootu mix simmer for 5 minutes. The kootu will be frothy on top and at this stage turn off the heat.

  • Add the chopped cilantro and curry leaves and in a separate tadka pan, heat the coconut oil.

  • Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, and channa dal and as they start to splutter, add it to the kootu.

That’s it. Yummy mor kootu is ready. Serve hot with rice.

VazhaiThanduKootu

Notes:

  • You can prepare similar kootu with ash gourd or chow chow by replacing vazhai thandu.
  • As we are adding yogurt, do not cook on the medium or high flame. Yogurt might churn.
  • Adding turmeric is entirely optional.
  • Adjust salt and spice as per your preference. I used one big green chili, and it was more than sufficient for us. But if you are using the small ones, you can go up to 2 or 3.

Vazhaithandu More Kootu | Plantain Stem Kootu
A healthy and delicious plantain stem / Vazhaithandu gravy/kootu with the fresh ground coconut masala and with the fragrance of coconut oil.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. Chopped plantain stem / vazhai thandu - 3 cups
  2. Thick Yogurt - 1 cup
  3. Turmeric - a pinch (optional)
  4. Water - for steaming the plantain stem
  5. Salt - 1.5 tsps
  6. Curry leaves and cilantro for garnish
To Grind
  1. Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup (heaped)
  2. Green Chili - 1 big one (adjust according to your preference)
  3. To temper
  4. Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
  5. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  6. Urad dal - 1 tsp
  7. Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Prep-Work
  1. Pressure cook the chopped plantain stem with water (approx 3 cups), salt and turmeric powder for up to three whistles.
  2. Grind the freshly grated coconut and green chili with a little water.
  3. Mix this coconut paste with the thick yogurt and make sure the yogurt and the coconut paste are combined nicely.
Steps
  1. In a heavy bottom pan or kadai, add the cooked plantain. Do not discard the water.
  2. Add the yogurt-coconut paste and mix them thoroughly and let it simmer on low heat. Check for salt and add if required.
  3. Let this kootu mix simmer for 5 minutes. The kootu will be frothy on top and at this stage turn off the heat.
  4. Add the chopped cilantro and curry leaves and in a separate tadka pan, heat the coconut oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, and channa dal and as they start to splutter, add it to the kootu.
  6. That's it. Yummy mor kootu is ready. Serve hot with rice.
Notes
  1. You can prepare similar kootu with ash gourd or chow chow by replacing vazhai thandu.
  2. As we are adding yogurt, do not cook on the medium or high flame. Yogurt might churn.
  3. Adding turmeric is entirely optional.
  4. Adjust salt and spice as per your preference. I used one big green chili, and it was more than sufficient for us. But if you are using the small ones, you can go up to 2 or 3.
Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/

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