Saturday, June 22, 2013

Banana - The wonder plant!


The banana plant is one of the most amazing plants. Did you know that almost every part of the banana plant has a purpose?
 
Banana Leaves


Banana leaves are used as plates. This is as organic as it gets and some say the medicinal properties of the banana leaf enters into the food for good health. Avoid plastic plates and start using banana  leaves as plates and see the difference for yourself and of course you are doing your little part to save our environment as well!

Banana Stem


The inner stem of the banana plant (called valai tand in Southern India, where its a popular dish) makes delicious stir fry and curries.  I will be updating a video soon with how to harvest and use the banana stem.

Banana Flowers



Video showing banana flower harvest: 




Banana flowers are not only delicious but also very healthy. See recipe below which is an South Indian recipe shared by a friend of mine. Most of the ingredients are available in Indian Grocery stores.

Ingredients:

Banana florets (flowers) from 1 bud - cleaned and de-weeded (the pollen stalk - also known as kalan, has to be removed) and cut into small pieces. Its very important to remove this to avoid a bitter taste.
Cooking oil - 3 tablespoons.
Onion - 1 medium sized, chopped
Mustard Seeds (Rai),  Black gram (Urad Dal) -  1 tsp each.
1/2 cup Bengal Gram (Chana Dal), 
1 tbsp shredded coconut (Frozen is OK)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For the ground paste:

1/2 cup Split Red Yellow Gram (Tuvar dal) soaked in water for four hours and then ground coarsely with two whole red chillies and salt to taste.

Method -

1. Put cooking oil in  a wok,  add Mustard Seeds and Black gram .
2. Add the Onion, fry and add turmeric powder.
3. Add the ground paste,  fry for 3 minutes.
4. Add the cut banana flowers.
5. Sprinkle shredded coconut and stir
6. Serve with Basmati Rice

Banana Fruit (The Banana!)




Bananas that ripen on the plant taste heavenly. Much different than ethylene-gas ripened bananas that you get at the store.

Hope you enjoyed this article and see you soon!



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