Plantain Flower Curry with lentils/ Vazha Poo Koottu

Plantain flower, otherwise called as banana blossom or banana heart is the most commonly used vegetable in South Indian cooking. Not only in India but in various parts of the world. It’s really an interesting thing about nature that this tender, starchy, slightly bitterly, waterproof, conical flower would turn into heavy bananas hanging out in the stalk.

It is one of the tasty vegetables can be cooked in many forms like curry, fritters, stir fry, etc., Now the important thing is in cleaning the flower. The below image clearly explains how:

Image Courtesy: Google image.

Plantain flower curry is a very traditional south indian recipe which is normally served with rice. Personally I like it with dosa as well. The blend of yellow lentils (Toor dal) with plantain flower adds a fantastic taste without any masala. Also this flower is an excellent source of vitamin A and C.

Plantain flower curry with rice and potato dry roast.

Recipe:

  • Prep time – 40 mins
  • Cooking time – 30 mins
  • Serves – 3

Ingredients:

  • Plantain flower / Vazha Poo – 1 ( medium size – cleaned and chopped)
  • Yellow lentils / thuvaram paruppu – 1/2 cup (80 ml)
  • Onion – 1 medium ( diced)
  • Tomato – 1 small ( diced)
  • Green chillies – 2 ( slit)
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground turmeric – a pinch

Note: Put the chopped plantain flowers in the water ( rice washed water can be better) because of it’s oxidising nature can turn it dark in colour.

For Tempering:

  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Split black gram – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

Method:

  • Boil the yellow lentils with a pinch of ground turmeric and 3 drops of cooking oil till it becomes very soft and get mixed with water. This can be done with pressure cooker or by using a deep cooking pot covered with lid over low and medium heat.
  • Place the pressure cooker or the deep cooking pot over medium heat and add the chopped flower in along with salt. Let it be cooked over low heat.
  • In another sauce pan, pour oil for tempering over low and medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, black grams along with curry leaves.
  • While the mustard splutters, add the green chillies and onion. Once the onion becomes translucent, add the tomato and saute well.
  • Then add the entire tempered mixture into the lentils and half cooked plantain flower. Cook them well and bring it to reduction over high heat.
  • Serve hot along with rice or tiffin along with some dry roasted vegetable.

Hope it is an another interesting recipe. Stay tuned. I will share another interesting recipe in my next post. Your feedback and suggestions are welcome. Happy cooking!

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