Friday, December 10, 2010

Vazhapindi Achar / Banana Stem Pickle for Arusuvai Season ll

T raditional recipes of Pickles belonging to Kerala are simple.The blend of ingredients in each pickle is simple, yet universal. The process of making these preserves at home has turned out lesser these days, due to busy lives of the working women.After all who wants to stress and strain wasting time on these while you have a wide choice in the market? Thanks to the village lives where women can afford more time for home made snacks and preserves.

Here's my attempt of recreating the age old Central Kerala recipe of Vazhapindi Achar, derived from amma's best pal, Shantha auty.

Palayan kodan variety vazhapindi would give the best results as they bits are crunchier and tend to have a more shelf life without turning soggy.

Vazhapindi Achar/Banana Stem Pickle

*Chopped banana stem- 1 cup
Kaduku parippu/ split mustard seeds- 1 tsps
Mustard seed powder-1tsp (mix with 2 tsps of water to make a thick paste)
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Asafoetida/kayapodi- a pinch
Salt- to taste

To season:

Sesame seed oil/nallenna- 2 tsps
Mustard seeds- a pinch
Green chillies 2-3 nos- slit lengthwise and once across breadthwise making 4 pcs each
Ginger- 1/2 tsp julienned
Garlic- 1 tbsp julienned
Small onions/ulli- whole small sized-1/4 cup
Curry leaves- a sprig

To boil together:

White vinegar- 1/2 cup (I needed 1/2 cup.Add a little more or less depending upon the quality)
Water- 1 cup

*Remove the outer layers of the banana stem and cop them into thin rounds carefully removing the fibre simultaneously while slicing each. Cut each slice into 4 strips across lengthwise and again 4 times breadwise leaving equal gaps to get small square shaped bits. Click here for a tutorial. Do not make the pieces too tiny as they might get soggy after pickling.

Dissolve salt in 1/4-1/2 cup of boiled water.Cool to room temperature and mix this solution to the banana stem bits (uppu vellathil ittu vekkal). Stir in turmeric and asafoetida powders along with the split mustard seeds and mustard powder paste.

Heat oil and the seasoning ingredients one by one in order. Take care the chillies, ginger, garlic and onions have to be lightly seasoned to retain the crunchiness, which is quite important!
Add this to the banana stem mixture.

Boil the water and vinegar together. Let it stand to get the steam evaporated. Pour this over the pickle while still HOT.The heat of this liquid mixture will be enough to ward off the raw smell of the ingredients, if any.

The Arusuvai ingredient from Sayantani!

The original recipe calls for 2 tsps of split mustard seeds/kaduku parippu.I used a tsp of it and substituted the mustard powder fro the other half, the Arusuvai ingredient. Again, if you cannot get hold of small whole pearl onions, you can use the regular small onions each cut into 4 pcs.The pickle keeps well under refrigeration.

Banana tree - picture courtesy-Derick Thomas


  1. Totally new to me..looks very tempting and nice click too

  2. Wow,sure it sounds very new and looks mouthwatering,look at all those green chilli seeds floating on the top,slurrrrrp!! Lovely post!

  3. Never heard of this pickle. Looks so inviting. I have a banana stem at home. Off to kitchen!
    Thank you for the lovely comments..

  4. hi Bharathy, How are you? after long time in your lovely place. This pickle is really new to me:)

  5. Wow pickle looks simply wonderful, feel like having some..

  6. slurppp...This pickle is new to me...

  7. Wowo i have never heard of this achaar, really new to me. I would love to taste it though just to know how it is.

  8. absolutely new and nice.. you rock :)

  9. Interesting and unique recipe...I bet it tasted great.

  10. very new recipe for me.miss banana stem over here....

  11. We don't get banana stem here,looks super yummy.

  12. Never heard of this acgar..thanks for sharing.. will try..


  13. I didn't know that we could make achar with pindi. Even if the making takes a little bit of time, the taste of homemade achar is definitely worth it.

  14. Wow!! looks delicious... nice space you have... following you..

  15. Wow nice recipe and healthy one.. sure I am bookmarking it . I am really missing this veggie in US. But for sure I am going to ask my mom to do this .... Thanks for sharing this bharathy.

  16. This pickle recipe is new to me .I am also new to your blog .Do drop by Padhuskitchen when u find time

  17. Can we preserve it for a year?

  18. I also want to know shelf life? can we preserve it for a year?


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