Today i am going to share you one of the traditional kerala dish that is none other than one of our favorite dish vazha koombu thoran. vazhakoombu (banana flower)has different names as vazha choondu, vazhaipoo, ariti poo(Telugu), mocha(Bengali),balle hoovu (Kannada), kele ka phool(Hindi).It is a very healthy dish to eat.Here in usa it is not available at all time..but sometime we can find this in indian grocery shops or chineese groceriy shops. In kerala, i think everyone has at least one or two banana plants at their backyard ..Usually all the part of this plant is useful for one or the other purposes..the leaves,stem,the flower and banana (ripened and raw ). I always love to watch the time the banana flower is coming out from the banana plant. Everyday the bracts are coming out and we can see the flowers and within days the flowers become bananas..What a wonderful process and seeing the different stages of growing this is really a wonderful experience..Whenever I get chance, I love to have the sweet honey coming from the flower threads, that's one of the joyful experience I ever had......Another thing is the vazhakoombu thoran that mom used to prepare at home...some of these tastes always brings us back to home...nostalgic ...
Last time when i saw the banana flower in the indian grocery shop,i thought of buying it and i thought i can share the recipe with all of you..most of the people may think it is a very tough job to do cleaning and chppong the flower..but frankly speaking,it is not that difficult . it is so simple as we do with other vegetables. Just wash the whole banana flower in running water and peel off the 2-3 outer sepals. The color of the bract will change from dark maroon to a light maroon color after removing the 2-3 bracts..and the flower will be more tendered inside..That is good for cooking..that won't give the bitter taste to the dish. I used those sepals for serving the thoran..(just for the presentation). Finely chop the flower into small pieces (if you have a large stainless steel vegetable grater, you can use that)...Wash these in water (with a pinch of salt )and strain out..Add some turmeric powder and salt and keep it aside for 5-10 minutes...and also ..Hope all of you will try this traditional kerala vazhakoombu thoran...
Cost of the item : 1.49 usd/pound
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Banana flower:1 no
Sprouted mung dal: 1/4 cup
grated coconut: 1/4 cup
cumin seed :1/2 tsp
Garlic pod: 1 pod
Pearl Onion: 4 nos
Green chili :3 nos
Oil :1 tsp
Mustard seed:1 tsp
Black gram: 1 tbs
Dry Red chili: 1 no
Curry leaves: 1 spring
Step1: Mix the finely chopped (grated) banana flower and the sprouted mung dal in a cooking pan add some water and cook for 5-10 minutes in medium heat
Step2: Make a coarse paste of coconut ,cumin seed, Garlic, pearl onion and green chili .add the mix into the cooked flower-mung dal mix.
Step3:Mix well then close the pan and cook the mix for another 4-5 minutes.
Step4: Heat oil in a pan,add the mustard seeds ,once it started spluttering add the black gram(urad dal),once it get light brown color add the dry red chili and curry leaves...pour this into the cooked banana flower thoran...
- If you use mung dal soak it in water for 4-5 hours and cook it separately in a cooker then only add with the chopped banana flower...If u use sprouted not necessary to cook it separately.
- do not add more water for coking the flower..the flower itself have enough moisture .
- If you like to make this spicy add 4-5 green chilies