After voting in the Kerala Assembly Elections, I thought of trying out something very traditional from memory.
I said it’s natural but process oriented. I am talking about the time consuming process of getting ripe Kerala bananas, sun dried. It took a few weeks.
Now that I have the dried banana, I can use it for about a year. I took a few, cut them into small squares. Added some grated coconut and I really miss the third ingredient.
That’s paani, the boiled down thick sweet honey consistency of toddy, the extract of flowers of a special variety of palm trees called ‘choondapana’.
It’s difficult to come by a bottle of paani. The right of palm tree owner is nationalised and went to the excise licensed toddy shops colloquially named ‘shaap’.
In my childhood days, we used to get the toddy from our trees, every alternate day. 12 bottles of it used to give a bottle of paani. My mother used to make 2 bottles of paani every alternate day.
In the absence of paani, I used the second best thing, honey.
This dish is so delicious and natural.