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.
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.