Tag Archives: recipe

World Palate Series:Ripe Banana Masala Poori (fluffed bread)

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   Life is full of banana skins. You slip, you fall…you carry on. 

Daphne Guinness.

Well, if you’ve read the earlier blog about banana plant and pith, now its time to talk about ripe bananas! Many fresh bananas have been gifted to neighbours, friends and the needy. The Sanskrit phrase from the Rg Veda teaches us ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbam’ the world is one family (Vasudha= Earth, kutumbam= family, eva= One) and bounty MUST be shared!

The ripening process itself taught us many a lesson. How to store, where and how to place the fruit, what happens inside the paper bags or cloth coverings, and how often to check….Ooops! 2 clusters have over ripened the juice flowing out! The sweet aroma of ripened bananas is wafting through the house, and is getting a bit heady too:) Is that why they say ‘I’m going bananas!’

We have made banana bread, banana milk shake, banana with cereal, and our yummiest fried bananas with coconut. See here 

Time for some masala snack, in the rainy days here. I am sharing my mother’s recipe of masala banana poori (fluffed wholewheat bread) today. Most homemakers will find more than one way to use over ripe or abundant fruit. I remember on a visit to Germany, our Airbnb hostess plucked (exotic) kiwi fruit and was making jam after distributing fruit to neighbours!

Mother used to make these spicy -sweet pooris for our school days snack. Roll it, munch on it and run and play. Instant energy! Just yesterday, as I spoke to my sister she chuckled “I remember how I once bought over ripe bananas purposely when Mother asked me to buy some. I wanted her to make those delicious, hot, brown pooris” Well sis…eat them virtually now.

Ingredients to make dough

2-3 ripe bananas ( they get brown spots on skin)

3-4 cups wholewheat flour ( as required)

1-2 tsps of sooji rava semolina (optional – used for texture)

spices – roasted cumin powder, turmeric, fennel powder, chilli flakes ( add to your taste)

salt as required

oil for frying

Fry the pooris preferably one by one, or two at time only.

Method

Mash the bananas in a bowl, add the powdered spices, salt, chilli flakes, oil ( NO WATER!!) and the whole wheat flour slowly. Keep turning and blending. The mashed mixture will decide the amount of flour required to make a dough consistency. Remember…the longer you keep it aside…it will go runny and difficult to roll out. ( I have frozen 2 batches).

Heat oil in a big wok, throw in a small pinch of dough to see if it rises, checking the temperature.

Make small balls of the dough, dust with bit of flour if sticky. Roll out into round poori, bit thick so they fluff well. Place gently into the hot oil, tap with ladle ( special sieved ladle is good for frying). Turn over when fluffed. Remove when a bit browned/golden. Keep aside on plate lined with tissue, if required to absorb the oil. ( that’s why sieved ladle is better, as it removes excess into the wok itself).

Serve warm with chai at snack time ( before the children munch them up) or serve with a gravy vegetable dish at meal time. The pooris stay well for 1-2 days in airtight box too for a later date. Enjoy with family and friends.

In your culture, how do you cook bananas? Is there a story behind the cooking process?

If you ever make them, do leave your experience here to share. i sincerely hope food from my kitchen travels to you all. Stay safe, stay healthy!

World Palate Recipes: Banana Flower Vegetable ( Kele ke phool ki sabji)

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World Palate Recipes: Banana Flower Vegetable ( Kele ke phool ki sabji)

Life cannot exist without trees.’

In gratitude for all the fruits and flowers, bees and butterflies that Nature surrounds us with, here is a post, from our very home garden.

Its summer, and our small kitchen and flower garden is blooming! Hubby spends hours of hard work in preparing soil, planting and caring, researching about plants, their care, fertilizers and composting methods. I do my teeny bit preparing the kitchen waste for composting. Gardening is indeed very rewarding! Every new leaf or flower brings a sparkle to the eyes, a visiting butterfly or bird (and oh no! caterpillars, insects) brings a smile (or a frown).

”All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seed of today.”  

Chinese Proverb

It’s been over a year we have planted banana plant of Cavendish variety. The plant ( it is not a tree) yields only one fruit bloom, then it needs to be cut down so as to encourage new growth from the rhizome. In case few suckers (small plant shoots) spring up, only the healthiest is left to grow, the others are discarded. The plant grows in sub tropics, needs plenty of well drained moist soil. There are different varieties of bananas – some for dessert, raw ones for vegetable or chips. South East Asia, Sri Lanka, coastal India, Hawaii and Fiji islands are top growers of this plant. Interestingly! every region has its own story and culture around this much revered plant.

For Story Time check these: Monkey and banana plant, Banana tree and Goddess Laxmi, Kepler and Rust in HanaHou magazine talk about preserving bananas in Hawaii.

Every part of this plant is useful, thus the importance becomes meaningful.The trunk is hollow from inside, the broad leaves are used as bio-plates to serve food to the Gods and guests, as suggested in a Vedic ritual, the flowers make for a delicious curry, and the fruit easily slips into desserts, porridge, snack, fritters and more.

The plant is a gigantic herb, with a false stem- made of of layers of sheath. It produces a flowering spike, that drops down with its own weight. The deep purple/pink calyx or bracts tightly enclose the yellowish white long flowers. There could be up to 10-15 bracts, tightly bound. They open up slowly revealing the florets. The last few florets that do not open are then cut off, so as to let the other florets bloom and grow into banana fruit.

Here I am engaging in a fascinating science lesson at home! Everyday we checked if another bract had opened, when could we cut off the unopened bloom? Why is it important? How tall did this plant grow? How these broad leaves are sturdier than other banana plant leaves that are often sold in markets. What will the hollow sheath look like once the plant is cut? How do you cut and grow the sucker shoot?

As we wait for the tiny bananas to grow plump and change colour, this is the first time I prepared this exotic vegetable. My mother used to cook it differently, using tuvar dal and not adding any peanuts or shredded coconut.

Banana Flower Vegetable /Vazhapoo Thooran/ Kele ke phool ki Sabji

The preparation time to clean the florets is very time consuming, and the yield is small. But EXOTIC it is!

Ingredients: ( difficult to give exact amounts, as it depends on yield and taste)

Cleaned up florets, ( stamen and white sheath covering to be removed)

diluted buttermilk ( yoghurt diluted very watery)

Shredded coconut

peanut powder (optional, if allergic)

For tempering: oil, cumin seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder ( or dry red chillies) to taste.

Cleaning the flower:

Oil your palm, else they turn dark colour! Open each bract carefully, remove each floret. Open each one to remove the black stamen and the clear white sheath cover of each floret. YES EACH one! These will not cook! ( I can hear you grumble, mumble).


 

Cut the remainder of the florets and soak in very diluted buttermilk. Prepare the tempering, hear the splutter and the aroma bursting. Put in the florets, discarding the watery liquid. Add salt and chillies, sprinkle the coconut and peanut powder. Cover, cook on low flame, adjust little water, to cook, so it does not become dry.

Serve hot with warm rice. (Jasmine or jeera rice will be great!

It does not store well, as it goes bit bitter. I served it fresh and warm.

 

If you have another way of making this, please post your comments. Is you have never seen the bloom, how do you feel? Where do you live? 

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2020) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.comPlease see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

World Palate Recipes: Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Vegetable Curry

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The fall season is almost here, leaves are changing colours and pumpkins are abundant! Soon Halloween and the pumpkin carving fun will be upon us. Pumpkins come both with orange and green coloured skins. They are rich in fiber and vitamin. Being versatile, pumpkins are easy to cook up many cuisines from savoury to sweet recipes, be it soup, curry or even desserts!

pumpkins

Pumpkins. Courtesy: Wikimedia commons /pumpkins

Just yesterday, I attended a ladies meet. There was plenty of home made food, laughter and non stop chatter. Amidst the fun we exchanged some recipes and enjoyed the delicious pumpkin curry made by our hostess. Crunchy skin and roasted seeds added texture to the sweet, spicy curry.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Vegetable Curry

Pumpkin curry with roasted seeds

Pumpkin curry with roasted seeds

Ingredients:

350 – 400 gms of orange pumpkin (keep the skin)

2-3 medium size onions

1-2 green chillies

salt, water, oil as desired

For Gravy:

50 gms of khus khus seeds

50 gms dessicated coconut ( fresh preferable)

2 tsps. sesame seeds

1 inch ginger

3-6 garlic cloves

For Tempering:

1 spoon cumin seeds (roasted for full flavour)

1 tsps. turmeric powder

curry leaves (optional)

coriander leaves for garnish

roasted pumpkin seeds (remove outer skin)

Pumpkin vegetable ingredients

Pumpkin vegetable ingredients

Method:

Wash and cut the pumpkin into small cubes with skin intact, remove the pith and seeds. Keep the seeds aside on paper, later roast them in oven or heated pan and cool. Keep aside.

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and coconut and grind into fine paste. Lightly roast the sesame seeds and khus khus. Cool and powder them.

Heat 2 big ladles of cooking oil in heavy bottom pan or wok. Splutter the cumin, add turmeric powder and curry leaves. Add fresh paste of onion -ginger and lightly roast till soft brown, the strong aroma fills the kitchen – Beware! Add the seeds paste and some water to keep mixture from browning.

Pumpkin cut in cubes

Pumpkin cut in cubes

Add the cubed pumpkin, salt and just enough water to cover the curry mixture. (if you wish add a pinch to sugar…to bring out the sweetness). Cover, gently cook the curry, till pumpkin is just tender and bit crunchy.

Take off the gas stove, pouring cooked curry into desired dish. Garnish with chopped coriander, roasted seeds that add to the crunchy texture.

Enjoy this delicious curry with contrasting flavours. Serve with rice or Roti /Naan / Pita bread.

Pumpkin Curry garnished with roasted seeds

Pumpkin Curry garnished with roasted seeds

For another Pumpkin recipe see here.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer