Relishing The Onasadya: Recipes Of Chef Pramod !

 Chef Pramod Shankar Executive Chef at Fragrant Nature shares his special Onam recipes  

Onam is one of those rare festivals that binds every Malayali to his roots. It’s a festival that celebrates history, tradition, culture, cuisine and the unity of Kerala. Although the arrival of King Mahabali, the exotic ‘Pookalams’, the vibrant Vallamkali (boat race), the magical Pulikali and the elegant thiruvathirakali (dances) are some of its enchanting traditions, the Onasadya is definitely an indispensable part of this gala festival. As Kerala prepares to celebrate yet another Thiruvonam, RITZ catches up with the top Chefs in Kochi who share some of the traditional Onam recipes!

Compiled By: Riya Sonny Datson 

Chef Pramod Shankar Executive Chef at Fragrant Nature

Chef Pramod Shankar hails from Mavelikara, Kerala and has 17 years of experience in the culinary field. He joined ‘Fragrant Nature’ two years ago and specialises in Continental, North Indian and Chinese cuisine. 

Chakka Payasam 

Ingredients

  • Ripe jackfruit pieces (Chakka) – 150gm
  • Grated Jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 3/4 cup
  • Hot water – 2 cups
  • Grated coconut – 1 cup ( Coconut Milk – 1 cup)
  • Cardamom
  • Cashews – few
  • Roasted coconut pieces – 2 tbsp
  • Ghee – 1-2 tbsp

Wash Jackfruit pieces, remove the seeds and grind it to a paste. Take the grated jaggery in a wide bowl and add 1/4 cup of water to cover it. Melt it to make the syrup. Strain this syrup and add the jackfruit pulp to this. Add 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and allow it to boil well till raw scent of jackfruit and jiggery disappears. Add a teaspoon of ghee. Keep the flame on medium and check for consistency. Stir continuously, until it comes to a thick consistency.

Sprinkle a little hot water over grated coconut and squeeze the mixture over a strainer. The liquid that you get is called the Onnampal. Keep this aside. Add half cup of hot water to the remaining strained mixture and squeeze out the liquid again over a strainer. The liquid you get is the Randampal. Set aside. Add Randampal to the payasam and allow it to boil well for few minutes. Finally add the Onnampal and mix well. Cook on low flame for a little while, check for sweetness and add more sugar or jaggery syrup if needed. Heat ghee in a pan and roast the cashews and chopped coconut pieces till golden brown. Add it to the payasam and mix well. Garnish with fried nuts.

Puliyila Chammanthi

  • Valan Puliyila – 1 cup
  • Grated coconut – ½ cup
  • Kanthari Mulaku(chilli) – 4nos
  • Curry leaves – 1sprig
  • Ginger- Small piece
  • Shallots- 4nos
  • Salt to taste

Grind all ingredients together. Add a bit of coconut oil. 

Kadachakka Mezhukkupuratti(Breadfruit)

  • Kadachakka – 1 no
  • Shallots – 10nos
  • Crushed  Red Chilly – 1tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1sprig
  • Mustard seeds- ¼ tsp
  • Coconut Oil -3tsp
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Peel, wash and cut kadachakka into small pieces. Heat a cooking pan and add kadachakka pieces with a cup of water and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Switch off the flame and keep it aside. Now crush shallots and dried chilli together. Heat 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan and sauté the shallot and dried chilli mix along with curry leaves till the raw smell disappears. Now add cooked kadachakka to this and mix well. Sauté and mix slowly until all ingredients are mixed. Garnish with fried curry leaves & chilly.

Kootucurry

Raw Green Plantain    1/2 cup

Elephant Yam             1/2 cup

Black Channa             1/2 cup (to be soaked overnight)

Turmeric powder        ½ tsp

Chilli powder              ½ tsp

Salt                              to taste

Grated Coconut          1-2 tbsp (for garnishing)

For Coconut Mixture:

Fresh Grated coconut   1 cup
Cumin seeds                 ½  tsp
Pepper corns                 ½ tsp
Garlic                            3 pods
Green chilies                1

To Temper:

Coconut oil                  2 tsp
Mustard seeds             ½  tsp
Dry red chilli                          1
Curry Leaves             a small sprig

Method:

Peel the skin of raw banana and yam and cut into cubes. Cook it along with ½ tsp turmeric powder and little salt. Cook until soft. Pressure cook soaked channa overnight until soft. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut mixture to a semi fine paste and keep aside.

In a pan, add cooked vegetables, black channa and coconut paste. Check seasoning and add salt if required. Sprinkle little water and saute till the raw smell of coconut disappears. Prepare the tadka – heat coconut oil in a pan add the ingredients listed under ‘to temper’ and let it splutter. Add this mixture to the curry, mix well and switch off flame. Roast grated coconut (for garnishing) till dark golden brown. Garnish the curry with roasted coconut.