Banana flower thoran recipe: banana flower (also known as banana flower, vazhapoo, vazha koombu) thoran is a dry Kerala recipe with banana flower, coconut, and some basic spices and chillies.
The banana plan is a thing of wonder, isn’t it? We have a few at my house in Kottayam and every single part of it gets used – the leaves, the stem, the flower, and of course the fruits. Banana flower is arguably my favourite part of the plant though. It’s rice in fibre, helps to control diabetes, and is very low in calories. Cooked with coconut, it’s really one of my favourite thoran recipes that Amma makes.
While banana flowers are abundantly available in Little India, Singapore, the time consuming process of cleaning and chopping them makes me lazy and I rarely buy them. To prepare the banana flower, you need to open the layers of red petals and remove the small yellow flowers inside. Then, remove the plasticky transparent petal and the black-headed petal inside each yellow flower. This takes time and patience but the reward is well worth it. Or, you know, just let your mom help you with this like I did .*Grin*.
Once the flowers are cleaned, they are chopped up into tiny pieces and cooked with the coconut-shallot-cumin-chilli paste that’s typically used to prepare Kerala thoran. Paired with rice and any theeyal or sambar, it’s quite a treat!
- 6 cups cleaned and chopped banana flowers
- ¼ cups chopped shallots or onions
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp split urad dal
- A few curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup grated coconut (fresh or thawed if frozen)
- 3-4 shallots
- 1-2 small cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 dry red chillies or 1.5 tsp red chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- Prepare the banana flowers before chopping based on detailed instructions below
- Chop the banana flowers and place in a large bowlful of water to prevent browning
- Coarsely grind the coconut ½ cup coconut with 3-4 shallots, ½ tsp cumin seeds, 2-3 small cloves of garlic, 1.5 tsp chilli flakes (or 2-3 dry red chillies), and ¼ tsp turmeric powder without adding any water
- Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan and add ½ black mustard seeds
- When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the split urad dal and fry until golden brown
- Then, add the remaining ¼ cup of chopped shallots and fry until golden brown.
- Now add the chopped banana flowers, curry leaves, and some salt
- Stir well until combined
- Sprinkle some water and cook covered on low flame for 5-6 minutes
- Open, add the ground coconut mixture, mix well, and cook again covered for another 8-10 minutes
- If the mixture seems too dry, sprinkle more water as needed
- Cook covered on very low flame
- Once the banana flowers are completely cooked, turn off the heat, add more salt as needed, and remove
- Serve hot with rice and any curry like sambar
Step by Step Banana Flower Thoran Recipe
To prepare the banana flowers, peel the red petals one by one and extract the smaller yellow flowers inside. Place these aside and keep peeling until you come to the tender banana heart in the centre of the flower
Then, from inside each flower, remove the black-headed stem and the plasticky portion (highlighted in picture below)
Once all the flowers are cleaned as above, chop them finely
Set aside in a bowl and keep going until you are done. This is the most time-consuming part of preparing banana flower thoran. The chopped flowers will brown a bit, but this is normal
Coarsely grind the coconut 1/2 cup coconut with 3-4 shallots, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2-3 small cloves of garlic, 1.5 tsp chilli flakes (or 2-3 dry red chillies), and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder without adding any water. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a large pan and add 1/2 black mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the split urad dal and fry until golden brown. Then, add the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped shallots and fry until golden brown.
Now add the chopped banana flowers, curry leaves, and some salt
Stir well until combined. Sprinkle some water and cook covered on low flame for 5-6 minutes. Then open, add the ground coconut mixture, mix well, and cook again covered for another 8-10 minutes
If the mixture seems too dry, sprinkle more water as needed. Cook covered on very low flame
Once the banana flowers are completely cooked, turn off the heat, add more salt as needed, and remove. Serve hot with rice and any curry like Kerala sambar.
For banana flower thoran recipe in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi etc please use the Google translate button in the sidebar.