Vazhakkai Vadai (Raw Banana Medallions, Kacha Khela Vada)

In the part of the country where I live, raw banana is hardly used. Folks in this region consume only the ripe ones. And even with the ripe ones, there is only one variety available. All that is fast changing, at least among vegans where the demand for raw bananas is slowly increasing. Raw bananas are really versatile and a wide variety of dishes can be prepared with this incredibly tasty vegetable. It is my pleasure today to share the recipe for a raw banana vada. With winter upon us, this makes a great tea-time snack.

2 medium sized raw bananas
10 shallots (or 1 large onion)
2 tbsp chickpea flour (besan, kadalai mavu)
1 tbsp rice flour (optional)
1 tbsp flattened rice (poha, aval)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
A pinch of turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
Cut the raw bananas into medium sized pieces and pressure cook for 3 whistles
Soak the flattened rice for 10 minutes
Once the raw banana is cooked, remove from the pressure cooker and mash well (I do not remove the skin as most of the nutrients are to be found there)
Mix the rest of the ingredients (flattened rice should be squeezed and added) and knead to make a dough
Make equal sized balls of the dough and flatten to form a medallion
Transfer to a steamer and steam for 10-12 minutes
Transfer to the air-fryer and ‘fry’ for about 15 minutes or till golden brown
Serve hot with your favourite chutney

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