January 19, 2008

Vazha Pindi Thoran / Banana Stem Cooked with Coconut

The banana plant is one where almost all parts of it is edible or useful. The fruit of course is versative and even finds place in religious poojas. The leaves are used to serve meals (sadya) and also to wrap food when you need to carry it with you. I can almost smell the lovely after effect of wrapping warm rice and curries in wilted banana leaves. Its gives the food an authentic flavour. Then comes the vazhapoo or the banana flower, which again can be cooked with coconut. The process of cleaning and cutting it is quite unique to the southern parts of India and honestly, I don't think I will have the patience, even though the taste of the curry is worth every bit of it.

The stem of the banana plant, also known as pindi, is rich in fiber and also edible. Check out how to clean and cut banana stem. During my vacation to Kottayam in December, amma had made this amazing pindi thoran and I immediately wanted to document it. Simply because I don't see myself going through this tedious process.

So here is amma's PINDI THORAN RECIPE

What She Used:

Cut, cleaned and chopped banana stem/pindi - 1 cup
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Shallots - 5-6, shopped finely
Curry leaves - one strand
Mustard seeds- for tempering
Salt - to taste

How She Made It:

1. Put the pindi in a pan and pour enough water to just cover it. Simmer on low heat and cook covered.

2. Grind coarsely - coconut, shallots, chilly powder, jeera powder and turmeric.

3. Heat a little coconut oil, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Next add the ground coconut paste and fry for a minute. Finally add the pindi pieces and stir well till the excess water leaves the thoran. Add salt.

Serve hot with rice.

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