Thursday, August 27, 2015

Kele Ambat

Sutha Punav is celebrated by Konkani Brahmins on a full moon day in the holy month of shravan. On this day the renewal of the holy thread or jhannuve is done. Jhannuve is a sacred thread worn by the men after their Bramhopadesham/munji /thread ceremony.This is celebrated by tamil brahmins as well and is known as Avani Avittom. 

A special set meal is cooked in every Konkani household on this day. The day starts with Hitu..special idlis seasoned with ginger and jeera steamed in baskets made from jackfruit leaves. Lunch comprises of rice, thoi (dal), ghasi/valval (coconut based veg gravies), ukkeri
(dry subzis), pappad, kele ambat, alle and payasam and is served on banana leaf.

My favourite among the above is ghasi and kele ambat. So here I proudly present an authentic Konkani delicacy Kela Ambat made in all GSB households in Kochi/Ernakulam on this auspicious day. This is made with ripe yellow kerala banana/etha pazham, jaggery and coconut. Do try this delicious, lip smacking dessert. I love the one that my Grandmother makes yummmm!! Due to unavailability, I have used white jaggery here hence it has got a light yellow colour.The original recipe calls for dark brown jaggery and the ambat is dark brown in colour.

Servings : 6
Yellow Kerala Banana - 5 medium size
(etha pazham)
Channa Dal - 1/2 cup
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup grated
(Dark Brown preferably)
Red chilli - 1/2 piece
Cashewnuts - Halved, a handful (optional)
Ghee/ Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Pressure cook channa dal well. Switch off flame and let it cool.
  • Peel and cut banana into 1/2 inch roundels.
  • Blend the grated coconut and 1/2 red chilli into a smooth paste in a mixie and set aside
  • Open the pressure cooker, keep aside one tbsp of the dal and mash the rest well.
  • Add the bananas and cashew nuts to the dal and boil well until they become tender and get cooked. Do not overcook them.

  • Once the bananas get cooked, drop in the grated jaggery, water and mix well.
  • Add in the reserved channa dal too.
  • Bring to a boil and stir in the coconut paste.
  • Let it boil once and immediately remove off the flame.
  • Prepare a seasoning of ghee/oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Pour this seasoning on the banana gravy and mix well.
  • Kele Ambat is ready to serve. It can be served hot or cold as per your preference.
  • Use ripe bananas and do not overcook or over mix them.
  • Add dark brown/ black jaggery to get the authentic taste.
  • You can even use strained jaggery syrup in the place of grated jaggery.

Happy Cooking!!!

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