When you mention bananas, lush tropics immediately come to mind. The banana tree is not a tree, but a herb. It is encased in a sheath of leaves, that blooms with a pendulous flower head, that will bear multiple tier of fruit. Bananas are high in nutrition – potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6. The easily digestible starch in them provides fiber and keeps hunger at bay. To lift your mood and keep blood pressure away – eat a banana. It contains serotonin and dopamine nutrients. Even the peel is very high in nutrients, and makes for a rich addition to kitchen compost. Humble banana!
Know your banana well! Cooking banana or dessert/ fruit banana, which one? Dessert bananas come in different sizes and colours. They are sweeter due to higher starch content. The yellow ones that sit on supermarket shelves are just one variety – others are deep purple, red, amber and yellow.Just a simple snack or smoothie or frozen banana yoghurt – bananas are just so versatile yet delicious!
The mild taste of bananas is great for cooking, frying or baking. Green raw bananas are popular in Kerala, Carribean, Honduras, Phillipines for making chips or fried vegetable.
Recently I bought a dozen thick peel, delicious bananas. After munching a few as a snack, I wanted to experiment on a few desserts. Here is a very popular Malabar/ Kerala style dessert /snack called Pazhum Nirachatu ( stuffed banana) that I share with you today. Though I am not from that region, I remember my mother used to cook this delicacy for her ‘ladies lunch meet’ And as hungry children, we would get our share of warm stuffed bananas, right after school. Nutrition pack!
3 small size just ripe bananas (yellow or red skin)
1 cup grated fresh coconut ( use frozen/thaw if fresh unavailable)
4-6 cloves of cardamon
2 spoons maida / plain flour
1/2 cup fine sugar
few raisins, cashews for garnish
3-5 spoons of ghee
Peel the bananas, check their firmness. Make a lengthwise slit /scoop and keep aside. In a pan add 2- 3 spoons of ghee , lightly roast the coconut, add sugar and stir. Do not let it caramelize! Keep aside and cool, add cardamon powder and raisins.
In a small container put the maida and add drops of water to make a thick paste.
Now use this stuffing to fill into prepared bananas. Coat the stuffed side with the paste lightly.
In a pan, add ghee, place the prepared bananas and roast them to a deep brown colour on all sides. See that they retain some firmness. Remove cool, garnish with raisins. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you wish, add a dollop of vanilla ice cream for a twist. Enjoy!
Stay healthy and blessed with Nature’s gifts.
Let me know if you make this recipe and have changed it a bit. How else do you cook your banana for dessert?