Kaalan or Banana kaalan is one of the traditional dish of Kerala which is prepared by using banana nendran, coconut and yogurt. Kaalan plays a major role in the onam sadhya. There are many recipes of kaalan with slight variations in the ingredients used. Some people uses plantain (raw banana) or elephant yam to prepare this dish. I had used banana nendran, which is sweet as I basically loves sweet curries with hot rice.
The consistency of this curry is little thick. This curry, which plays an integral part of onam sadhya is easy and simple to make. This curry has a long shelf life and you can prepare and refrigerate it for a week. When needed, you can just reheat it. Kaalan is served with hot boiled rice or Kerala matta rice along with sambar, thoran, etc.
This creamy dish is a must try recipe at home. This curry is almost similar to pulissery. But pulissery texture is a bit loose compared to kaalan. The total time taken to cook this dish is approximately 30 minutes.
Here, the bananas are peeled and then cut into small cubes. These banana pieces are then boiled with salt and green chillies to become more soft and tender. When the bananas are getting cooked, you can prepare the coconut paste. Coconut paste is prepared by blending grated coconut, cumin seeds, shallots and garlic along with water. Then this coconut paste is added to the cooked bananas.
Bring the curry to boil and add fresh curd also to this curry. Curd need not be blended. Thicker consistency is always good for kaalan. So I had poured the curd directly without blending. Mix the curd well with the gravy. Once the curry is hot, you can switch off the flame. Kaalan becomes more thicker when cooled. So, if you need a pouring consistency, you may add water to adjust the thickness of the gravy.
The last and the final step is tempering. Heat coconut oil in a Tadka. Coconut oil provides a better taste than other vegetable oil. Splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Be careful not to burn. You can pour the tempering over the prepared banana kaalan kept aside. Serve this delicious curry with hot rice along with pickles.
Boiling Bananas :
- Banana, cut into cubes – 2
- Green chillies – 2
- Shallots chopped – 3
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Water – 1/2 to 3/4 cup (water should cover the banana cubes )
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Making Coconut Paste :
- Grated Coconut – 2 cups
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Shallots – 3 to 4
- Garlic pods – 3
- Water – 1/2 cup
Adding of curd :
Fresh curd – 2 cups
For Tempering :
- Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
- Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Dry red chillies – 3
- Kashmiri chilli powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Method of preparation :
- Peel, rinse and chop the banana into cubes or squares. Then add the chopped bananas to a pan.
- Add 2 split green chillies, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 3 shallots chopped and 1/2 teaspoon salt into it.
- Then add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water to the pan. Make sure the water has covered the banana pieces.
- Keep the lid closed, switch on the flame and cook the bananas in low to medium flame until the water has completely evaporated.
- By the time the bananas are cooked, you can take a mixer to blend the coconut.
- In a mixer, add 2 cups of grated coconut, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 3 shallots, 3 garlic pods and 1/2 cup of water.
- Grind the coconut mix to a fine paste and keep aside.
- Then check if the bananas are cooked and become tender.
- Once the bananas are cooked, keep the flame to low and then add the ground coconut paste to the bananas.
- Once the gravy starts boiling, add 2 cups of fresh curd to the curry and mix well.
- If you feel the curry is too thick, you can adjust it by adding 1/4 cup of water. Kaalan becomes more thicker once cooled.
- Heat the curry till you can see vapours coming out from the spatula used to stir the curry. ( expose the spatula to light to see the vapour)
- Switch off the flame.
- For tempering, heat coconut oil in a tadka and add 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, followed by mustard seeds. Keep the flame low.
- Once the mustard seeds splutter, add 1/4 teaspoon of kashmiri chilli powder, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Make sure you do not burn them.
- Pour the tempering mix over the kaalan curry.
- Mix well with curry and serve with steamed rice.