Banana Blossoms / Banana flower is not that common here in USA except for some coastal and tropical regions. Spring is almost here and this week to my surprise found fresh babana flower in my local market. Most Chinese stores have these but again, they are not fresh always… sometimes end up with stale flowers inside. When picking a banana flower, always look for bright purple color petals with less dirty spots plus they have to be tightly packed.
Cooked version of banana flower is an excellent and effective medicine for painful menstrual disorders with bonus nutrition like Vitamin A and C. Hope every women will have some kind of story about painful chronic ailments relating to menses, menorhea… and this does help with it. Good alternative medicine for stomach ulcers, dysentery and painful digestions. Now you all know why i have make these at least once a month.. 😉
Little about the recipe: There are quite a few ways to cook this flower…. add them to kootus, make dry poriyal, deep fried as vadas etc. My favorite way is to make puttu… with lentils. Every community calls their style in different colloquial terms but the result is almost the same. Chettinad version is referred to as Vazhaipoo Kola, some call it plain poriyal while some refer this as Usili.. in our family anything in scrambled form is referred to as puttu and hence I choose this for my title. You can choose to use combination of lentils, my pick for puttu is always Kadala Paruppu / Channa dal / Bengal Gram.
Vazhaipoo Kola / Vazhaipoo Paruppu Usili / Vazhaipoo Poriyal / Banana Flower Poriyal / Banana Blossom Curry / Stir-Fry / Dry Fry / Vazhapoo Thoran / Vazhaipoo Puttu / Scrambled Banana Flower / how to make vazhaipoo usili? / Usili recipes / Vegetarian dry curries / Side dish for rice / Side dish recipes / Dry curries / Vegetarian curry / Poriyal recipes / Banana Flower Stir fry
|1 teaspoon||Fennel seeds.|
|2 long||Dry red chili|
|¾ cup||Bengal gram|
|6 leaves||Curry leaves (chopped)|
|¼ teaspoon||Turmeric powder|
|¼ teaspoon||Cumin seeds|
|1/2 cup (chopped)||Onion|
|1 & 1/2 cups (chopped)||Banana flower|
|¼ teaspoon||Cumin seeds(tempering)|
|¼ teaspoon||Fennel seeds(tempering)|
|6 leaves||Curry leaves (tempering)|
|¼ cup||Grated coconut or desiccated|
|¼ teaspoon||Salt (for saute)|
|3 teaspoons||Coriander leaves (chopped )|
Clean the flower , remove the stamen a separate the petals, soak them in buttermilk until ready to use. Cleaning banana flower is little tedious and time consuming and its all dealt with picture here. Soak bengal gram for at least 1 hour and then drain all the water and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Grind it along with dry red chili and fennel seeds to a coarse texture and keep aside. (Table-1)
Now drain all the buttermilk and squeeze the petals to get rid of any water and chop them. Combine ground bengal gram mixture , chopped petals, chopped onions, curry leaves, cumin seeds, turmeric and salt (Table-2) and form little dumplings. This step is optional but I normally do it, you can also directly saute in oil after tempering. Grease an idli plate and place the dumpling on it and steam for ten minutes in an idli steamer. Once done slightly scramble the dumpling and keep aside.
Now heat oil in a pan, splutter cumin, fennel and curry leaves. After tempering add in the scrambled mixture and saute over medium low flame for another 20 to 25 minutes until it resembles the texture shown here. Grated coconut is optional too, if adding include them at the last stage just 10 minutes before switching off. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve as a side for rice.