Sunday, January 25, 2009

Vazhapoo / Banana Flower Thoran

I had no idea that banana flower could be cooked and is edible until the day i tasted this thoran cooked with it. It tasted so good and i wanted to have more of it. Deep purple in color with shades of pink to it, this flower's outer layers are discarded until you get a inner layer that does not have this deep color. Rather a pale colored inner layer is used for cooking. Discard till you reach that layer, then chop the flower in the center into two parts and then chop into small pieces. Immediately immerse chopped pieces in water, in which a little turmeric powder has been added. Wash well before using for cooking. keep immersed in water till you have to cook.


2 – Banana flower
1 cup – Chana dal
½ cup – Shallots chopped
½ cup – Freshly grated coconut
1.5 tsp to 2 tsp – Crushed chili flakes
½ tsp – Turmeric powder
Salt to taste


2 tsp – Mustard seeds
3 to 4 sprigs – Curry leaves.

Coconut oil


1 ) Wash chana dal and soak in enough water for one hour. Then in little water cook chana dal till it is fully cooked, but should not get mashed up. Add salt to taste. Check dal while cooking, so that it doesn't get over cooked. Switch off stove and drain off excess water, if any.

2 ) Heat a pan with little coconut oil, add mustard seeds and pop it. Then add shallots, curry leaves and fry till shallots are very lightly browned. Now add chili flakes, turmeric powder and fry for a few seconds. Then add coconut and fry for a minute.

3 ) Squeeze out all the water from the banana flower and add to the pan. Stir and mix in well. Cook on low heat till the flower is cooked, stirring in between. Add salt to taste. Once the flower has cooked, add chana dal and mix in. On low heat cook stirring occasionally, till ingredients are mixed well and cooked. Adjust salt to taste. Turn off the stove and serve.

Serve hot with roti or steamed rice.


Nags said...

its yummy isn't it? nice pics :)

Anonymous said...

Hey its vazhappoo everwhere,,looks delicious,,even i make the same way.

Superchef said...

i have never tried this so far as i always thought (and still think) that working with vazhapoo is very tricky..mayb i shud try one of these days..

Pecos Blue said...

Not sure I can get banana flour : )

Pravs said...

Nags : Yes indeed :)

Ann : like this so much now.. want to learn more recipes with banana flower.

Superchef : but.. its not hard to work with vazhapoo. Try once and see.. you will fall for the taste.

Pecos : Its banana flower. Do check out in Asian stores. Looks like a big bud.

Vij said...

Hi ya
This is my first time here. U have a lovely space.

Daa!Yummy vazhappu thoran. I love it with rasam rice.

Happy cook said...

My mom used to make this, and i used to love them.
it is long ago i had these.
Looks delicious.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

This is a very nice recipe. So traditional. YUM! Looks so good. Perfect picture....

amrita said...

Hi, chanced upon your blog by accident. Must say, love this recipe. Had no idea that banana flowers are eaten by people other than us Bengalis, so doubly thrilled to find a variation of a very traditional Bengali recipe. We call it “mocha”. And we eat even the florets (the bunches of yellow stringy things you find as you peel the purple petals). They can be chopped up and added to the dish, they’re very nutritious. All you need to do is make sure to take out the black-colored style & a translucent fish scale-like part inside the florets else they can cause a tummy upset. Also, as a variation, you can use Bengal grams (the black chanas) soaked overnight & boiled instead of chana dal. And since onion and garlic are strictly forbidden in Bengali veg curries (much like Jain cuisine), we use a little garam masala & a few drops of ghee instead. I personally like to add a little milk towards the end to get a nice creamy texture. Hope you try this variation sometime, I’d love to know how the two recipes compare

Joie de vivre said...

Beautiful, beautiful. Do you get your banana flowers fresh or is it possible to buy them dried? I just ask because living nowhere near banana trees I'd never be able to get them fresh.

Pravs said...

Vij: Thank you so much :) Do come often.

Happy cook : Do try if you can get fresh banana flower.

Sukanya : Thanks :)

Amrita : Glad you stumbled upon my blog :) I will love to try the way you have suggested. Banana flower tastes amazing and i would love to try different recipes with it.

Joie : Only try with fresh banana flowers. I have not come across dry ones. I am not sure how frozen will taste. Do try if you come across fresh ones.

Anonymous said...

This looks so good!

Shreya said...

hi, I had posted it last wk sometime, and love this thoran! I will try it with Chana dal next time I make it:-)

Purnima said...

Pravs, the dish looks yum! We hv manglorean upkari aka upperi simple one..with these. Glad that you atleast tried, I hv not touched the purple yet! Loved this recipe n snap!

Vibaas said...

that looks so yummy! I dont get it here in nashville :(

Cilantro said...

Vazhaipoo is good for health too. I love the taste of it and make different recipes with them. We call this poriyal. Looks delicious.

mathew said...

This used to be one of my favourite thorans though it has been ages since had it...If i manage to get it I now know where to find the recipe..

AMIT said...

Yummy Yummy recipe.

Lingerie Alley

vaidyanathan said...

Nice Blog.

Pravs said...

Vaidyanathan : Thank you :)