The Tamil name for Plantain is Vazhakkai.
In Tamil language, the word "Vazhakkai" is formed by "Vazhai" + "Kai"
"Vazhai" means Banana
and "Kai" means Vegetable
So it is the Banana that is vegetable (unripe) or Green Banana. Please note that not all unripe banana can be used for cooking as a vegetable.
Almost all parts of a plantain tree / banana tree is useful for us.
In present day, Tamil cuisine and in Asian cuisine, Vazhakkai plays a major role.
It is a main ingredient in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine too. In Tamil cusine, there are various ways of using "Vazhaikkai":
Remove the skin and Just cut the Vazhaikkai in thin slices. You can make chips (Plantain chips) out of it or you can fry them with Sambar podi to get Vazhakkai fry. This makes a great side dish.
Note that, Banana chips, Nenthiram chips and Plantain chips are all different.
Vazhakkai cut into small pieces:
When Vazhakkai is cut into small pieces, we make Vazhaikkai poriyal.
Popular dish where Vazhakkai is used:
Vazhakkai chips, Vazhakkai fry and Vazhakkai poriyal
Spelling variations in Tamil name for Vazhakkai:
Vazhaikai, Vaazhaikai, Vazhakkai, Vaazhakkai, Vazhaikkai, Valakkai (as some poeple cannot pronounce zha)