When I went to visit my elder aunty that evening, she gave me 3 ripe combs of bananas to take home with me. There were 2 bunches of sour bananas that had got ripe at aunts place. At the same time brother also had cut the Ambum banana bunch which was in our garden! He didn’t know that I was bringing bananas too. Since our bunch of bananas is almost ready to cut, both of us agreed last night to cut it today. Since we got 3 ripe combs of bananas from my aunty, I felt it was a waste to cut the bunch of bananas from our garden as well. Yet since it may take few days for our Ambum bananas to ripe fully, No banana will be excess and go waste at all, in our home thats to my brother.
That night I planned to make “Pittu” for dinner. So very early on that day, I washed the rice well, and after soaking them for few hours, I drained the rice and kept it for drying at room temperature. Once I came home from my elder aunts place, I pounded the rice into flour, sift them for fine powdered rice flour and again let it dry. Since there should be an accompaniment with Pittu, I cooked soya meat (TVP) curry to go with it. I fried potato pieces and capsicum in oil until lightly done and crunchy. Then I added the TVP which was soaked in hot water with spices and cooked until reduced with a bit of gravy.
Pittu gets that yum taste, only by mixing with tender scraped coconut. So I cracked open a tender or some calls it “kalati” coconut and scraped it. Then comes my difficult job, which is to crumble the flour for Pittu. Yes, now it’s easy as I am used to it. But I remember how difficult it was initially. It is a very tricky process to be done carefully by adding water, grated coconut and rice flour together with a rhythmic movement from the hand, to get that equally sized little flour crumbles. If the process goes wrong, there will be small and big granules that will be complicated. Since we steam the Pittu, the big granules will get undercooked and the small ones will get overcooked, which won’t be tasty at all. Though Pittu is one of Sri Lanka’s traditional staple dishes, South Indians also make the same for their meals & they call it "puttu". In Sri Lanka, the most common and traditional way of steaming is by using a bamboo pittu mould, which I have been using for year’s, unlike the stainless steel or aluminium moulds which are very famous in South India. When the steam sprays out of the top of the mould, it is an indication that the Pittu is fully streamed. It usually takes about 2-3 minutes for the Pittu to get fully cooked on top of a pot of continuously boiling water.
Very quickly I prepared an onion sambol before taking the cooked Pittu off from the stove. It’s a time-old tradition in Sri Lanka to prepare either a lunu miris, katta sambol or onion sambol together with coconut white curry or coconut milk as accompaniments to eat Pittu with. Yet now some people cook hot spicy meat or TVP curry to go with Pittu as well. These days we get heavy rain showers around 2 or 3 pm but the rain stops and cease off by late evening which makes the nights so cold. After reheating the TVP curry, I called Grandmother & brother to have dinner as pittu should be eaten very hot. Suddenly after finishing his dinner only my brother remembered, that he didn’t keep a piece of Pittu to eat with bananas. I also forgot about bro’s usual favourite practice of eating the last pittu with bananas and sugar. Since I felt bad for my Brother, again I made Pittu after two days. Since grandmother knows how to weave pittu baskets( another variety of pittu mould) with coconut leaves, I used that baskets as so many of them are at home. I added dried raisins & sultanas to the Pittu mixture as they go well with bananas. The banana bunch which was cut from our garden by Brother, was perfectly ripe by that time. It was such a joy to share few combs with our elder aunty and with our neighbours though we were left with only one comb at the end. We truly love and enjoy eating Pittu with sugar, treacle and bananas ever since we were kids. Of course with coconut milk as it not only gives the Pittu a nutty coconut flavour but it makes each mouthful, easy to swallow.
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I had to make Pittu twice at night & during rain with two different tastes & shapes
乡村烹饪 cuisine de village गाँव का खाना बनाना cucina del villaggio طبخ القرية Dorfkochen 村の料理 dorp koken 마을 요리 pagluluto ng nayon деревенская кухня cozinha da vila ഗ്രാമീണ പാചകം cocina del pueblo গ্রাম রান্না vesnické vaření landsby madlavning ចម្អិនអាហារតាមភូមិ kylän ruoanlaitto गाउँ खाना पकाउने masakan desa கிராம சமையல் masakan kampung หมู่บ้านทำอาหาร gotowanie na wsi köy pişirme làng nấu ăn ရွာချက်ပြုတ် μαγειρική στο χωριό villa coctione
Inspired by 李子柒 Liziqi and Dianxi Xiaoge
Music - Traditional Me ©
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