Friday, November 20, 2015

Vazhachundu thoran / Banana flower stir fry

At my home, we have never bought Banana flower from the market. We had banana trees planted and every time it flourishes, every part of it would take the shape of a dish. Few bananas would be kept apart to ripen, while others go into making of chips, stir frys , kalan etc. There were dishes made out of the raw banana peel and also the banana stem. Oh and how can I forget the extracting of honey from underneath the banana flower petals. I used to love it. In short, maximum utilization of having a banana tree at home.

However, now when I buy banana flower from market, I always think how good were those days when we used to have those organic food from our own vegetable garden. My mom laughed at me when I proudly told her that we got hold of some banana leaf(torn and sad looking) and bought it to make Meen pollichathu

But whenever, we find these banana flower at the store, we grab these and make it. Both of us love having it, even though I hate cleaning it. My mom does something with her fingers to grab/remove sticky threads out of the edible portion. I haven't learnt that technic yet but I am trying to. If you forget about the effort required in cleaning it, this stir fry is one healthy and tasty dish that you can prepare as a side for rice. Here is how we make it. Hope you like it.


  1. 1 large Banana flower
  2. 1/2 cup of moong dal
  3. 3-4 shallots finely sliced
  4. 2-3 green chillies, slit
  5. 1/2 cup of grated coconut
  6. 1/4 tsp +1/4 tsp of turmeric powder 
  7. 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil
  8. 1 strand of curry leaves
  9. Salt to taste

Cleaning of banana flower
  • Apply oil on both your hands or wear gloves to prevent your hands from turning dark while you handle the banana flower.
  • Start removing the petals one by one. Under each petal you would have a bunch of florets. Collect it in a bowl. Keep peeling off the petals untill you reach the white portion. This white portion is the edible portion. 
  • Take a bowl with water and add salt to it. Chop the white portion of the banana flower into small cubes and drop them into the bowl of water.
  • Now clean the florets that you have collected in the bowl. Remove the black stamen and a cup shaped portion of each of the florets, as they are not edible. Chop the remaining edible portion and drop it in the bowl of water.
  • Once chopping is done, rinse them couple of times in water. Drain off excess water and remove it on to a plate. Pour a tbsp of oil and give it a mix, so that they do not turn black.
Cooking of Banana Flower
  • Pressure cook the moong dal with enough water. For me it took only 1 whistle. However it would depend upon the variety of the moong dal you are using. Moong dal should be cooked just enough so that they are easy to bite through however, should not get overcooked that they loose its shape. Drain off excess water and keep it aside.
  • In a skillet, heat the oil. Once hot, add the sliced shallots , curry leaves and green chillies. Saute it untill they loose its rawness. Add 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and give it a stir. Now add the cut banana flower to it and add salt as required. Give it a mix. Sprinkle little water if you think it is too dry.
  • Cover and let it cook untill the banana flower is half cooked, while you stir it occassionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, take the grated coconut and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder. With your finger tips mix it well. 
  • Add the cooked moong dal and grated coconut to the banana flower in the skillet. Give it a mix.
  • Let it cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • Remove it from the heat and serve it with rice.
  1. Do not over cook the banana flower, else they tend to turn dark.
  2. Do not delay in preparing the stir fry after you have cleaned the banana flower. The longer you let them stay open, the darker the banana flower turns into.
  3. Do not over cook moong dal else, when added to the stir fry would turn all mushy.


  1. very nice combo.. Wholesome dish.. Nice clicks

  2. The pictures as amazing! I love how you have presented it in the outer cover... I too love vazhakumbu but never tried cooking it myself... My aunt's mil was telling me that it is the best thing to clean impurities in the stomach, especially hair that goes down our throat unnoticed!

    1. oh ya... I too have heard about it so much...So I don't mind spending some time cleaning it to make it :)..because they are delicious as well as very healthy

  3. Lovely pics. Love the presentation.. this is such a healthy thoran looks delicious.

  4. lovely presentation,Anupa...makes me hungry,one of my favorite thoran..but its been some time since I had this

  5. Healthy and yummy thoran...never tried this combo, will try this :)

  6. Looks very tasty! And I love all your pictures!

  7. Hi Palaharam,

    I didn't know that banana flowers are great for cooking. This is a beautiful dish!


  8. Oh ! such lovely looking Banana blossoms. Loved it Anupa. First time here. Will keep visiting.


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