Monday, 16 February 2015

Kodappan Thoran (Vazha Poo / Banana Flower stir fried with grated coconut)

The plantain or the banana plant is one perfect example of how all parts of a plant/tree can be used. 
Apart from the banana fruit which is one of the favourite fruits on the planet, raw banana is also used as a vegetable, plantain leaves are extensively used in South India as a plate for eating food and also for many other cooking purposes, the banana plant stem is also used as a vegetable and is an excellent coolant, high fibre vegetable. 
The banana flower is also a highly nutritious part of the banana tree and is used extensively used in south India. 
The most commonly known benefit of the Banana flower is that it known to help increase the female progesterone hormone which reduces bleeding during menstruation. According to Tarla Dalal, the noted chef, consuming the cooked banana flower with curd or buttermilk reduces pain and bleeding during menstruation. 
Banana flower is also a very good source of Vitamin A and C and hence improves immunity and is also is a good antioxidant...

Now lets prepare this tasty Banana Flower dish.


Banana Flower - 1 no
Coconut - 1/4 grated
Onion - 1 no., big OR Shallots – 10 nos. Shallots are better and add to the taste in a big way.
Green Chilies - 2 nos
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Final banana flower to be used - after peeling off petals
Red Chilly - 2 nos
Curry leaves - 4-6 nos
Salt to taste

Peel off the outer petals  of the banana flower to reveal  a white inner flower as shown.

Applying little oil (preferably coconut oil) on your hands before you begin to chop prevents banana glue stains on your hands.
Chop the flower into very small pieces. All parts of the flower can be chopped together.  

After the complete flower is chopped, pour 1 teaspoon oil again on your hand and mix the chopped flower well with hands, rubbing the chopped flower between your palms and fingers.
As you rub you will see webby fibres – this is to be discarded. Continue rubbing the complete chopped flower this way and you will be left with a small portion that is sticky with a web like fibre. Discard this portion and set the remaining part aside.
Chopped Banana Flower
The above is the most important part of preparing anything with plaintain flower and once the above is done properly, 80% of the job is done!!

Chop the onions/shallots too into small pieces and keep aside.

Next, take a frying pan and pour 2 table spoons of oil into it. Once the oil is hot, put one teaspoon mustard ,wait till the mustard splutters. 

Once the mustard splutters ,break and add the dry red chillies into it and mix it to get fried.
Then, add the chopped banana flower into it. Add turmeric powder, salt into it and mix thoroughly. Close the lid of the pan and allow it to get cooked for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped onions and green chillies, vertically slit, into it. Mix it again and close the pan with the lid.
Cook in low flame for around 5 minutes. Once it is cooked, add the grated coconut into the mix and stir well.

Allow it to get a little fried for 2-3 minutes without closing the pan. Add curry leaves into it and mix.

Delicious thoran is ready…
It serves around 3-4 people in a family

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