Vazhai thandu / Banana stem / Plantain stem is a fiber rich food with lot of health benefits. Very good for constipation problems, UTI , diabetic friendly and also helps with weight loss. I use to have these often back home when amma was cooking and now i know how hard it is to cook these, rather say clean this veggie. It is just a pain… but for all the health benefits it offers i make it point to cook atleast once a month. I rarely see them in Indian stores and even if I get to see one, its either stale or matured. Our local Patel bros stores do carry this once in while and if its there, then it has to be in my shopping cart. Like to make poriyal and kootu with it which every one enjoys… haven’t attempted soup yet..
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|Banana Stem||1 small or 2 cups chopped|
|Onion||1/2 cup (chopped)|
|Split yellow Moong / pasi paruppu||2 tablespoons|
|Fresh grated coconut||1/2 cup|
|Mustard seeds||1/2 teaspoon|
|Split black gram / Urad dal||1 teaspoon|
|Cumin seeds||1/2 teaspoon|
|Dry red chili||2 (long)|
|Curry leaves||5 leaves|
|Turmeric powder||1/4 teaspoon|
|Salt||1 & 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste)|
|Curd / yogurt||3 tablespoons (Dilute to make buttermilk with 2 cups of water)|
|Water||3/4 cup (to cook the veggie)|
Banana stem that i got was slightly a matured one, this is how it looked.
The outer ring will be very tough and we need to remove the dark yellow shade outer layer. Strip off one more layer if you can, until you see a clean tender young stem.
Cut them into discs, apply oil to your fingers and remove the fibers that come while cutting.
Cut them into little cubes, you still see a lot of fibers stretching out. Keep a bowl filled with buttermilk on the side.
Dunk the chopped stem into the diluted buttermilk to avoid discoloration.
Now this is how we do at home to remove the fibers. Put a stick (I used a chop stick) and swirl around the buttermilk solution.
All the fibers will cling on to the stick, clean and repeat the process.
Swirl some more until the stick comes out clean. Keep them soaked in buttermilk until use. Cleaning is all over and now its ready to be used for the dish, finally!
Now before making the poriyal, soak the moong dal for atleast 30 minutes. If you don’t have time to soak, then cook them in little water until partially soft. I soaked for 45 minutes until they become plump. Drain all the water and keep it ready.
Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard, split black gram, cumin, dry red chilies and curry leaves.
Fry the chopped onion until translucent.
Now add the soaked moong dal / pasi paruppu to the onion mixture.
Now drain all the buttermilk and separate the banana stem pieces using a colander.
Add the veggie to the onion, dal mixture.
Now add turmeric powder and salt.
Add little water to cook the veggie. (just enough to cover the veggies)
Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes over low flame. This will give enough time to cook the veggie as well as the moong dal.
Once done they become soft and transparent.
Add in the grated coconut and give a quick stir and switch off.
My favorite way to serve this poriyal is with kathirikai kara kuzhambu, piping hot rice and appalam
- Serve 2-3 adults approx.
- Keep the chopped banana stems dunked in buttermilk until ready to cook to avoid discoloration.
- Always look for tender young banana stem.
- You amy either use red or green chili for the tempering.
- If you not soaking the moong / pasi paruppu, then paritally cook it with some water before adding it to the onion mixture.
- You feedback, shares, likes motivates me a lot. If you try this recipe, do click and share a pic