Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Banana Preserves/Banana Jam/ Pazham Varattiyathu/പഴം വരട്ടിയത്

Ripe bananas- 6
Jaggery-3-4 medium sized pieces (you can substitute with 1 cup of regular sugar or brown sugar)
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Cardamom-2, crushed
Clarified butter/ghee- 2 tsp

This is one of the methods to use overly ripe bananas. You can use this preserves  as a spread on toasts, pancakes or to make banana bread or eat as the way it is.

1. Mash up the bananas. You can use a blender to mash them up into a fine paste (or it is also perfectly fine to leave a few chunks, for the texture of the preserves). Do not add any water during mashing.

2. Melt jaggery with 1/2 cup of water.

3. Select a wide and deep non stick sauce pan and a long stemmed wooden spoon. Combine the mashed banana with melted jaggery (If you are using regular sugar, simply mix the sugar with mashed bananas).

4. Continuously stir the banana mixture in medium heat. You will see the consistency of the mixture changes while you stir. When the volume of the mixture has been reduced to half, add the rest of the ingredients (lemon juice, vanilla essence, crushed cardamom and ghee).  

5. Keep stirring until the volume is almost 1/3 of that you have started with. Let it cool and then transfer into a clean jar with air tight/screw- cap lid. Leave the jar in refrigerator.

The taste of the preserves is very similar to chakka varattiyathu.

Caution: While preparing the banana mixture, it is very important to stir it continuously. Otherwise, it is going to bubble and splutter vigorously. Adjust the flame to minimize spluttering. Also, make sure you choose the right sized sauce pan and spoon.

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