Vaalakkai Varuval

Back home after an amazing two weeks of travelling around Yunnan province, it was comforting to be greeted by the familiar. So, my first post for this month will be to share my mother’s recipe for her regular fried ash plantain which I really enjoy.

Vaalakkai varuval/ Ash plantain fry

Time taken: 40 mins

Serves 3

Ash plantain fryIngredients:

  • Ash plantain/ Vaalakkai – 2
  • Malu miris or red capsicum – 1
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Onion – 1
  • Garlic – 4 or 5 cloves
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp or pepper – 1 tsp
  • Gingelly oil – 2 tbsp


  1. Boil the ash plantain with skin for 15 minutes.
  2. Set aside the ash plantain to cool. After it has sufficiently cooled, remove skin and chop the boiled fruit into small pieces.
  3. Chop up the malu miris, onion and garlic.
  4. Mix the chopped ash plantain, malu miris and ½ tsp turmeric and ½ tsp salt and let the flavours soak in.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp oil of sesame oil in a pan and add the fennel seeds and the chopped onion and garlic.
  6. When the aroma of the onion and garlic wafts about, add the turmeric and salt coated chopped ash plantain and malu miris and the curry leaves. Cook until they are sufficiently fried which will take around 10 mins.
  7. Just before removing the pan, add 1 tsp crushed chillies and mix well for a minute.
  8. Serve hot with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.


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