Monday, March 5, 2012

Rajali Banana Bhaaji - Bananas in coconut gravy

Ever since I remember, I have loved this recipe. It is a typical GSB recipe, but I didn't find a mention of it anywhere on the net. All I could find was Rajali banana halwa.

Rajali bananas are a specialty of Vasai. These long bananas are yellow when raw, and black spots appear on their skin when they are ripe. The ripe bananas are used for this recipe, as against raw bananas which are commonly used in gravies. Although the bananas used here are ripe, do not substitute the Rajali bananas with the regular green-skinned variety. They won't hold their form and the mass will be reduced to a gooey mess.

The ingredients are such that you can easily have this recipe for a vrat or a fasting day too. The taste is an amalgamation of flavors, sweetness of the bananas and coconut, combined with the sourness of tamarind and hot spiciness of the chillies. The cumin seeds add a spicy quotient to this lovely recipe.

I am also posting a picture of Rajali bananas, so you can identify them when you see one.

  • 3 ripe Rajali bananas
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • half small lemon sized ball of tamarind (imli)
  • 4 to 5 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds for tempering
Peel the bananas, and chop them into one inch sized pieces. Make a slit on one side of each piece.

Blend the coconut, tamarind, green chillies and 1 tsp cumin seeds to a thick mixture with little water, salt and sugar. Fill this mixture into the slit on the sides of the banana pieces.

Heat the ghee in a wok and add one tsp cumin seeds.  Now add the stuffed pieces of bananas into the ghee and the remaining coconut mixture. Toss quickly for one minute on high heat. Lower the heat and cover the wok with a lid. Allow the bananas to cook for 5 minutes on simmering heat, stirring frequently.

Serve hot with chapati (or by itself if being made for a fast)

Happy Cooking!