Vazhaipoo or Plantain flower (banana flower) is an excellent source of fiber. We prepare vazhaipoo vada, thogayal, morr kootu and of course usili. To prepare this, you need lot of time. Cleaning up the banana flower would take almost half an hour. So it is best to finish the cleaning part a day before you prepare usili.
Before preparing this, first you have to clean the banana flower. Apply some coconut oil to your palm. Spread a newspaper and place the banana flower on the work space. Open the banana flower and take out all the flowerets batch by batch. You have to take the thick middle stem from each of the flowerets. For that you have to hold a bunch of flowerets and rub the tip to your palm. This would open the tips of the flowerets. You can see a thick stem like thing on the middle. Remove it and keep the flowerets aside, put it in buttermilk.
When you are done with cleaning, finely chop the flowerets and put it in butter milk again. This helps in avoiding the flowerets from turning black. You have to repeat this process until you reach the inner part of the flower. The inner most part will be very tender. So stop peeling it and chop it fully.
I found one of the videos helpful for beginners, please watch it for more detailed information on cleaning it
Prep time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Banana flower (cleaned, chopped) 1 small sized.
Toor dal 1 cup (1 cup = 100 ml) soaked for 30 mins
Bengal gram 1 tbsp (soak it along with toor dal)
Red chilies 5 nos.
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Oil 1/2 cup (50 ml)
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Hing 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Urad dal 1/2 tsp
- In a blender jar, blend together – soaked toor dal, bengal gram, red chilies, curry leaves, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt. Add only very little water and grind it to a thick paste. Just like thogayal.
- Heat a pan, add 1/4 cup water, add the chopped vazhaipoo and turmeric powder. Close it with a lid. Cook it well and squeeze out the excess water.
- In in skillet, heat oil, add mustard seeds and urad dal. Let the mustard splutter. Saute till the urad turns light brown.
- Add curry leaves, hing and the ground mixture. Use a flat spatula (that you use for taking dosas) and mix it well.
- Saute it continuosly and make the mixture like upma. Initially it will be stuck to gether. But, as you saute, it will become like upma. Check for salt.
- Once it becomes like upma, add the cooked vazhaipoo. Mix well again.