Saturday 8 June 2024

Plantain Flower Curry (வாழைப்பூ கறி)

Plantain flower or banana flower (வாழைப்பூ) is an edible part of the plantain tree, like the plantain stem and is used to make several dishes in the traditional South Indian cuisine. It is rich in fiber, low on calories and contains minerals, antioxidants and essential amino acids. Today I wish to share a traditional curry made with plantain flower.


Plantain flower - cut into small bits, 2 cups

Coconut - grated, 2 tablespoons

Kashmiri chili - 1-2, broken into pieces (adjust to taste)

Turmeric powder - ¼ teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Asafoetida - a generous pinch

Oil - 2 teaspoons

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Split urad dhal - 1 teaspoon

Curry leaves - a few

Jaggery powder - ½ teaspoon

Butter milk - 1 small hollow ladle or 50 ml

How to clean and cut the plantain flower:

Under each layer of purplish brown skin of  plantain flower, you will find neatly arranged yellowish white florets. Discard the covering purplish brown skin. Separate the florets. Remove the thick central stamen (கள்ளன்) from each floret. Add a ladle of butter milk to half a liter of water. Keep this mixture ready before starting to cut the florets. Cut the florets into tiny bits and add them to the buttermilk mixture. Keep aside.

Method: Heat oil in a kadai, add in Kashmiri chili pieces. When they turn darker in color, add mustard seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add in split urad dhal. When the dhal turns golden brown in color, add asafoetida. Strain the cut plantain flower in the buttermilk mixture through a colander and add the vegetable to the kadai. Add in salt, jaggery powder and turmeric powder. Add 2 tablespoons of water and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame till the vegetable is cooked well and the fluid is fully absorbed. Add grated coconut and mix well. Sauté for a minute and garnish with curry leaves. Plantain flower curry is ready! Serve hot with rice and sambar or rasam.

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