ഓണാശംസകള്‍ !
A prelude to good things to come - Plantain skin and Green gram thoran

Onam once again is so merrily upon us, for me like many others this festival is not about celebrating a single day, but it is all about mentally re-creating a season slathered in golden sunshine. This of course is a time many of us take a walk down the memory lane, reliving the good times we had in the past or raking our brains about how Onam has evolved over the years into the big time shopping season that it is now. But when we sit down for that one meal of the Onam day known as “sadya” , served on a banana leaf, we realize that the spirit and cheer of Onam as we once knew never left us for good.

A meal sometimes if not always can do wonders, forget the calorie highs you get, a sadya properly served is a reassurance of your connections to the past, a promise of good things to come, it is no grave matter if your avial contains Zucchini, or lacks drumsticks in it. My first Onam sadya in the US for that matter was made out of dried coconut flakes, canned coconut milk, and those vegetables I found in the nearest grocery shop. A marked absence of banana leaves topped it all. There was hardly enough time between my arrival here and Onam that it felt seemingly impossible to look for the resources back then. Managing with what we had was the best way to go. Two banana leaf shaped melamine platters I found at Macy’s just two days before Onam immensely lifted my spirits up, and I hold on to them dearly still. You may never know where life will take you next !

Over the past couple of years, as I made more friends and started exploring the city, there came answers for all sadya shopping needs. Now we live close to the two good Indian grocery stores in town, so this year I am assured that I might find all the necessary vegetables neatly packed and stacked in freezers there. I might even find frozen grated coconut shipped from Kottayam ! Sadya being set in that way, there is something else I look forward to cooking this season, which serves as a humble prelude to the grand gastronomical events associated with Onam. My mother every year makes a thoran made out of plantain skins, which regularly appeared along with rice in our plate in one of the days preceding Onam. The day of serving this dish was a sheer a matter of convenience. The day my mother found time to make fresh banana chips was the day this curry was made. A simple statement of sustenance in cooking popular in my hometown, this thoran tastes as good as any other vegetable thoran if not slightly better if you ask me. Hope all of you are having a nice time, enjoy the rest of the summer days.



Green gram – 1/4 cup
Finely chopped unripe plantain skins – 4 cups
Fresh grated coconut – 3/4 cup
Green chilies – 1-2
Cumin- 3 pinches
Curry leaves – 15
Turmeric - ½ tsp + 2 pinches
Dried red chilies – 3
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil- 1 tbsp

Cook green gram with salt till soft not mushy, drain and keep. Finely chop plantain skins and soak in water mixed with ½ tsp turmeric. Drain after half an hour. Coarsely grind grated coconut, green chilies, 2 pinches of turmeric and cumin. Cut the dried red chilies into 1 cm long pieces; remove the seeds if you wish to control the heat. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, and let it crack. Lower the heat, add red chilies and curry leaves. When curry leaves start curling up add chopped skins, salt and stir well to mix. Add the ground coconut mixture, sprinkle 2 tbsp water, and mix well. Cook covered under medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the heat up. Stir in the cooked green gram and keep stirring till the thoran is dry (about 3 minutes on high heat). Serve with rice and a curd based curry or rasam on the side.

Skinning a plantain – You need unripe or medium ripe plantains. Make a long shallow vertical cut on the skin, using your hands unwrap the plantain out of its skin working through the incision.


Chandrika said...

A very Happy Onam to you and your family, Archana! The thoran is delightful. I never knew that plantain skins could be used till now. Thank you for an excellent recipe.

Mishmash ! said...

Archana, wishing you and T all the fun and festivities of Onam...as u rightly said, even though we re miles away from our loved one...and we may be using the frozen coconut or using zucchini in our curries but what we relive and relish is those sweet memories that hit the shores of our mind during this season...!! I think I have never had this combo or atleast i dont remember having it :P

Bharathy said...

Hrudayam Niranja Onasamsakal!!

I love this combo.Mom makes this regularly.
I am planning to post banana chips/ aethekka upperi tomorrow.Can I link this traditonal thoran in my post,archana?:)

bee said...

with you a happy onam, archana, and a prosperous and fruitful year ahead. we've missed your posts and your beautiful pics.

Ashwini said...

So good to see you back Archana. Wishing your family a very happy onam.

Anonymous said...

A very happy Onam to you nad your family Archana!I knew only abt those beautiful rangolis made during onam.Plantain skin thoran is really new for me.i never knew plantain skins can also be used in cooking.Enjoy and have a nice festive day

Suganya said...

First time I see plantain skins in a dish. Happy Onam to you Archana. Hoping to see more of yr recipes.

FH said...

Happy Onam Archana!:)
I am seeing plantains everywhere. Thoran looks yummy.Great combo too.Enjoy the festivities!

Mrs. K said...

Happy Onam to you too...

Anonymous said...

Happy Onam to you and your family Archana.


Anonymous said...

Archana, Happy Onam to you and family. I'm glad that you are back.

It was at a sadya, last year, here in new york, that an aunty made plantain skin thoran and i tasted it for the first time.


Shah cooks said...

Happy Onam Archana!

sudha said...

A very happy onam to you and your family archana..

Visala Manaskan said...

പ്രിയ അര്‍ച്ചനേ‍,

വിഷ്യു എ വണ്ടര്‍ഫുള്‍ ഓണം.

ദുബായില്‍ നിന്നും വിശാലം

ദേ ഞാനും കുക്കിങ്ങിന്റെ ഗോദായിലേക്ക് കാലെടുത്ത് വച്ചു ട്ടോ. അനുദിനം ഞാനൊരു ഭയങ്കര കുക്കായി മാറിക്കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുകയാണെന്നാ തോന്നണേ. നാളെ, നിങ്ങളെയൊക്കെ കടത്തി വെട്ടില്ലാന്നാരു കണ്ടു?? മനുഷ്യന്റെ കാര്യമല്ലേ? ഒന്നും പറയാന്‍ പറ്റൂല.

(ഞാനുണ്ടാക്കുന്ന എല്ലാ കറിക്കും ഒരേ ടേസ്റ്റാണെന്നൊരു ശ്രുതിയുണ്ടിവിടെ. എനിക്കങ്ങിനെ തോന്നിയിട്ടില്ല)

Shella said...

Happy Onam to you Archana & your family. Our memories are full of love for our homes & our loved ones back in Kerala, or anywhere in the world. I have never enjoyed Onam in Kerala, but whenever I speak to them, n they tell me about all they do & the food cooked, n the pookalam etc., I really wish I had a chance to be part of the festivities of the season. Maybe I will do so next year!! Wish me luck. I couldnt have any celebrations at home too this year, coz my FIL passed away in March.

J said...

Onashamsakal to you and your family!

Purnima said...

Dear Archana,
Wish you and your family a very very Happy Onam!!!

indianadoc said...

Wishing you and your family an Onam filled with all happiness...and stomach filled wih Ona sadya!

Seena said...

Happy Onam Archana!

Hope you had a wonderful Onam day..

Bharathy said...

Thanks, Archana!I have linked the recipe..Right away!!Hope you had a wonderful day!!

archana said...

Thank you. This is one of my favorite thorans, may be it tastes better just because i make it only once a year.

Hope you enjoyed a very happy Onam. You are right, Onam is a feeling,no matter where we are we always make pukkalams in our hearts. Thank you.

Hugs, here is another one who had this. Your upperi looks fantastic, we are set on trying it soon. I am sure with upperis of that splendor,your Onasadya will be perfect. Onsamsakal.

Thank you, hope you had a wonderful celebration.

To you too bee and Jai. Thank you.Is Maveli still stuck up at your home, drinking margaritas?

Thanks a bunch , good to see you back too.

Thank you. WE did not make a pookkalam for Onam, may be next year. Next time you skin a plantian please do try this.

Thank you so much for the greetings. I am hoping to post more often, it is always so nice to be with all of you.

Thank you Asha,plantain is such an essential sadya element. Glad that you liked it.

Thank you. Sadya evide vare ayi?

Thank you so much

Happy Onam to you. Now that you mentioned it, may be i will take this for an Onam potluck too. Did you like the throan?

Thanks bunch, hope you enjoyed a very very happy Onam.

Thank you Sudha, WISH YOU A HAPPY ONAM.

Alla ithara ? Onasamsakalkku nandi. Visalan chettan nammude blogineyokke marannu ennu vicharichu.
Food blog vayichirunnu, athinte link ippol kananillallo.
Food blog world-ine thakarthu tharippanamakki munneran ella asamsakalum.
Onam sadya gambheermayirunnu ennu karuthunnu.

THank you for your greetings. Onam primarily is a celebration in your mind, when you yearn deeply for being part of what you once had you are celebrating Onam on your own. That feeling is just wonderful,and you have it already. I am sorry to hear about your father in law. I am sure next year you will enjoy an Onam of your dreams. Onasamsakal.

Thank you so much

Thank you for your greetings.

Hope you enjoyed a magnificient sadya. Thank you for your greetings.

Nandi. Hope you had a fabulous time.

Thank you. We did.

Anonymous said...

Wish you a very happy Onam Archana. So nice to see you back. I have heard so much about Onam Sadya. I wish I could eat it somewhere. May be one of these days I will cook it myself with all your wonderful inputs :). Thanks for posting this...

Anonymous said...


Yes I did like the thoran very much. Hope you have lots of fun at the Onam potluck.


Anonymous said...

Happy Onam!

Mandira said...

Archana, wishing you and T happy onam. The thoran looks wonderfully delicious.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

Hi Archana
I want to make Indian buns, do you have a recipe for it by any chance?

Suganya said...

Hi Archana...
Ur thoran is looking awesome.... Never tried it before....Hope u had a great Onam......

zobars said...

Happy Onam to you Archana. Welcome back.

Rohini's kitchen said...

Hi I am new to ur blog and loved ur blog very much..Ur thoran is very delightful..Thanks for ur nice recipe..I just add u to my blog being a new blogger..

Unknown said...

A very happy onam to u.

Sumitha said...

Hi Archana,I am very late in wishing you Archana but I hope you had a lovely Onam.All my best wishes for your family!And hey I had made vazhakka tholi thoran for sadya but with vanpayar:)Shall try it out with green gram next.

Rachna said...

hey happy onam to you... i know how it is... recreating onsadya with the local ingredients doesnt give you the same sadya...but sure puts you in the onam spirit.... wishing yur whole family a properous onam...

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana, it's so nice to see a post from you! Thanks for sharing this most interesting recipe -- I would not have thought one could cook with plantain skins!

I heartily agree with your words of wisdom: "you may never know where life will take you next"; it helps to cheerfully make do with what we have as best we can. Hope you're having a wonderful summer :)

SMN said...

hi Archana,

Nice blog..happy onam to u and ur family.. nice recipe with moongdal.. we call it Usli. we do add the unriped banana. i hope u do skin sabji too.. thnx for sharing,,

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, do you chop all the vegetables by hand or do you use a food processor?

Savitha said...

Archana,came across your blog 3 weeks ago and was totally mesmerised by your cakes.since then ive baked 2-3 times and am trying frosting.unfortunately, we dont have cake decorating classes in Oman and am learning new decorating techniques online from wilton.com.ive been searching for wilton cake decorating tips here and couldnt find it anywhere.one of my cousins are visiting US and she has agreed to buy me wilton master tip set.she wants to know in which stores it will be available.she will be visiting chicago,seattle and north carolina.do u have any advise for a beginner like me..like wat kind of decorating items should i get etc...Please advice,
Savitha Ajith

archana said...

Hi Savitha,
Good to see you here, thank you for all your kind words. Your sis will be able to buy wilton master tip set from the Micheals craft store from any of these cities. Lot many other stores sell Wilton products as well, but going to a Micheals store will be a good idea as you will find everything you need grouped together in one bay. Joanns craft store will be another place to buy the kit. Wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

hello archana:

just thought i'd leave you a note to say that you and the work of your hands are missed. i visit your blog everyday in the hope that i will be surprised as i was on thiruvonam. hope all is well with you. take care. God bless.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much archana for your immediate response.i have one more doubt,am using pastry bags for frosting..and planning to buy wilton tips hoping it will fit into the bags.Or are these tips meant for the wilton pro decorator only?How good are their disposable pastry bags??

archana said...

Anytime ! Wilton master set tips will fit into any pastry bag,you have to cut the corner of the bag in a similar size to fit these bags. Buy a couple of couplers for these tips so that you can use the same bag of icing for many tips. I am sure that you can use the bags that you have, but if you are in doubt buy a couple of "Featherweight Decorating Bags" from Wilton. THose are reusable. I use their disposable pastry bags all the time. Those are good, you can even reuse it 1 or 2 times if you wash it properly with warm water.Hope this helps. In case if you need more info, do let me know.

zobars said...

Hi Archana, where are you ?? Long time no see. Miss your posts neighbor.

Sumitha said...

Hi Archana!Hope you are fine.I made the thoran today and it was yummy.Reminded me very much of vazhapindi thoran,my mum uses green gram in that so.
I didnt know we could make thoran with vazha tholi until I read Annita's post.I am happy that atleast eating it provides us with some fibre which is almost nil in our diets.

Purnima said...

Dear Archana,
Its been little over a month now..I hope you are fine, there have been no new posts on your blog.Kindly check my blog..especially the BFC...you and Shilpa of Aayis Recipes are my true inspiration.(My first post -coffee carries thanks to you...)
Let me have your expert advise please. Thanks and have a great month!!

Anonymous said...

hi archana,

i have some frosted chocolate cupcakes left over from a birthday party. i would like to store them to eat later. can you tell me what the best method would be? can i place the frosted cupcakes in a gallon ziploc bag and freeze them? what do you suggest? how long do you think they will keep?


KayKat said...

This looks awesome - the second plantain skin dish I've come across this week. Got to love RCI :)

Mrs. K said...

Grrr... I am tired of saying "long time no see" to all my favorite bloggers. Where are you, dear?

ഉപാസന || Upasana said...

സോ ഇംഗ്ലീഷില്‍ മാത്രമേ ബ്ലോഗൂ മാഡം...

Anonymous said...

where have you disappeared to, I hope everything is great on your side. Miss your interesting posts.

Anonymous said...

Hf8iow Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

Anonymous said...

e1l2Dx Wonderful blog.

Anonymous said...


Linda said...

Archana, are you ever coming back :):)

Anonymous said...

Good job!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Inji Pennu said...

ഓണമൊക്കെ കഴിഞ്ഞ് ക്രിസ്തുമസ് വരാറായീ‍ീട്ടോ!:)

Amna said...

Hi there! lovely blog and great baking recipes and photos,just linked you on my blog!

Anonymous said...

hmmm....Onam sadya thattitu, ksheenathil aano Archana? :) Hope you're doing well.

Waiting for your christmas specials too.



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