It is very hard to cut and clean Vazhaipoo/ Banana Flower /Banana Blossoms. It’s a difficult and time consuming process but it ultimately pays off. It usually takes about 45 mins to an hour to clean one whole Banana Blossom. Asian grocery stores carry fresh ones once in a while and I make it point to get one inspite of the fact its time consuming as its loaded with nutrition. The cleaning process is the boring stuff and I usually clean them the previous night watching TV shows and soak the cleaned flowers in buttermilk and refrigerate. The next day proceed with the preparation hassle free.
Banana Flower Stir- Fry / Vazhaipoo Poriyal / Vazhaipoo Curry / How to clean Vazhaipoo / How to clean Banana Flower
|Ingredients for soaking|
|Vazhaipoo||1 Whole Banana flower (I’ve used medium sized)|
|Buttermilk (Diluted)||3 cups (1/2 cup yogurt mixed with water)|
|Ingredients for Boiling|
|Turmeric powder||1/4 teaspoon|
|Red Chili powder||1/2 teaspoon|
|Coriander powder||1 teaspoon|
|Ingredients for Tempering|
|Onion||1 medium size (chopped)|
|Garlic||2 cloves (chopped)|
|Mustard seeds||1/2 teaspoon|
|Cumin seeds||1/2 teaspoon|
|Dry Red Chili||1 count|
|Asafoetida powder||1/4 teaspoon|
|Curry Leaves||5 count|
|Fresh Grated Coconut||3/4 cup|
Here’s how we clean the Banana flower-
1. Apply oil on your palms before you start the cleaning process, this will reduce discoloration on your finger nails. Remove each red petal and collect the florets.
2. Here’s a closer look of the floret bunch.
3. Continue collecting the floret bunch after each red petal until you reach the inner part when you’ll not be able to remove any more petals and see a yellow bulb like center.
4. This is how each floret will look with the stamen.
5. Remove the stamen from each floret. (the one which looks like a match stick )
6. Keep discarding the stamen from all the florets. Bunch all the florets together and cut into fine pieces. You may also cut the yellowish bulb into pieces. Soak them into bowl filled with diluted buttermilk and pinch of salt to reduce discoloration.
Now its ready for use, if you intend to prepare the next day then soak them in buttermilk and simply refrigerate.
After cleaning the florets, cut them into small pieces.
Soak the chopped florets in buttermilk and salt mixture until ready to use.
Now drain all the buttermilk and keep the florets aside. Boil water along with turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Add the florets and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once done, drain all the water and keep the cooked florets aside.
( This step is optional: You may skip if you wish to cook directly in the pan. Takes about 7-8 minutes over low flame when cooked covered. )
Now for the last part, heat oil in a frying pan. Splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chili and curry leaves. Sprinkle asafoetida and fry the onions and garlic until translucent.
Add the cooked florets, give a quick stir-fry and then add the grated coconut and switch off.
Serve as a side for sambar saadham or rasam saadham.
Yield- 4 adult servings.