Banana….Nana….Fo….Fa….Fanana….


Well, we dropped off our first-born daughter  to college in Grenada, West Indies. I was fine until the very last moment on the night before we were to leave…..saying good-bye to her in the dorm. My heart felt like someone was squeezing it and it was going to explode with sadness. The f irst week back was horrible and I slept most all day. I am better. It has been a couple of weeks and I do miss her terribly but it is better. . Daily life is not the same. She is fine ,of course.  She likes her roomies and will have to find her way and figure things out for herself. She can do it. The only immediate issue on the island is food. There are no cafeterias on campus. Only one coffee shop and a sit down restaurant that takes forever for food to come. Typical laid back carribean atmosphere. No one is in a rush! There is one grocery store nearby and she takes the college bus to do grocery. It is really expensive! A bottle of shampoo is $15!. Yes,  I said $15!  So,  I have been sending weekly care packages full of instant masala mixes, rice mixes, noodles, etc. She actually made a beef curry, a pork curry, okra with spinach…..they looked pretty good on SKYPE. It’s amazing to me considering she never stepped foot into the kitchen to cook until her last few months at home.this summer. Maybe those sessions have paid off! She also went to aunties houses to learn some of their signature dishes. Anyway, I hope this blog will help her in her culinary adventures. 

 Since this is my first recipe post, we should start with something sweet. My husbands’ cousins’  wife, Savita,  made this one day for breakfast while we were visiting them in Maine. It was delicious. Being a Mysorean brahmin vegetarian she makes some of the best veg dishes. Thanks to Savita for introducing me to this recipe, which has become a staple in my repertoire. Being from the southern state of Kerala, I  had to take some  liberties with the recipe and added grated coconut.  Kerala is all about the coconut! Enjoy it as a dessert, breakfast side or with tea.

Banana Kesari

Ingredients:

2 cups Rava (Semolina, Cream of Wheat)

2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter

2 ripe yellow bananas- mashed

2 cups sugar

4 cups water

few strands of Saffron or yellow food coloring

1/4 tsp ground cardamom powder

2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut

Method:

In a large sauce pan, add the ghee and mix the Rava into it. Roast on medium heat until a dark straw yellow color. Watch carefully or it can burn in a flash.

Remove the rava onto a plate. In the same sauce pan add water, cardamom, shredded coconut and bananas.

Let cook for 4-5 minutes then add sugar and saffron or food color. When it is boling, carefully slide rava in small amounts into the sauce pan, mixing constantly to avoid lumps. The rava cooks quickly. Pour into a greased pie plate and garnish with Shredded coconut. It well get firm as it cools.

You can add cashews and raisins,  fried in a little ghee as well to garnish. My kids hate nuts so I omit these.

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