Did you know that, there is no part of a banana tree that goes unused?? The fruits, of course, we all know, then there is the banana blossom, banana stem and roots.... I don't know how many are aware, but all of these are edible and tasty as well, and then yes, there are the leaves which we South Indians use, to eat from. Quite a tree , don't you agree!!
Vazha Koombu thoran is quite a common dish in Kerala,India and is usually accompanied with rice. It's one of my favourite dishes and a really healthy one too. Its a heavy source of Iron as well as of vitamins A and C.
Though, banana blossoms are not that common in this part of the world, we do get some every now and then and yesterday was one such lucky day :)
And also with Onam round the corner, it only seemed appropriate to post something homely and traditional!!
This recipe has been handed down to me by my mom.
VAZHA KOOMBU/POOVU THORAN
Vazha Koombu (banana blossom) - 1 chopped finely (remove the outer purple coverings completely, until you reach the white inner bud. Chop this finely. This could be a little sticky affair. So oil your hands and knife before you start) . drop the chopped pieces in water and twirl a fork or egg beater through it. This helps remove the sticky, fibrous stuff present along with the chopped pieces. Once this is done, you are good to start.
Shallots - 3-4 big ones crushed
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - a handful
Chilly powder - 1 - 1 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp ( I used coconut oil)
Salt as per need
Heat oil in a pan. Tip in the crushed shallots and curry leaves and sauté till the onions turn a golden brown. Lower the flame, add chilly powder and salt and stir well for a minute.
Add the grated coconut and mix well. Finally, drop in the chopped banana blossom, stir well and then cover and cook.
Give a stir once in a while.
The blossoms will turn tender when done.
This makes a delicious and healthy side dish with some hot, steaming rice.