Banana trees plays a vital role in Kerala Cuisine,every single part of the tree is useful in one way or other.As everyone knows,leaves of banana tree is used for serving meals and also to prepare some traditional dishes like Ada,Meen Pollichathu etc,its stem (called ‘Vazha Pindi’ at our place) ,flower and fruit are used in many other deliccacies.
Vazha Chundu/Banana Blossom
The banana flower,or Banana blossom(We call it ‘Vazha Chundu’,it is also called ‘kodappan’ or’Vazha Poo’ in other parts of Kerala.Are there any more slangs for this?) is grown on the end of the stem which holds the banana clusters.It has a deep purple color and many layers of tightly packed leaves.You have to discard the outer leaves(may be 3 or 4),until the inner pale colored leaves can be seen.Outer dark colored leaves can be very bitter,and cannot be used for cooking.But its a nice idea to use it as a decorative serving bowl,pickles or salads can be served in it.The banana flower is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A and it contains fair amounts of calcium and iron too.
Eventhough the vegetable is blessed with many nutrients,the flavor is a little starchy and bitter,but when cooked thoroughly and with the right ingredients,it can be turned into many tasty dishes.This cutlet is one such dish,very easy to make and very healthy too.
Vazha Chundu Cutlet served with Onion Salad
Ok,now here comes the recipe..
Grated Banana flower – 1 medium sized
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Chopped Onions – 1/2 cup
Green chillies sliced – 7-8
Chopped Ginger – 1 tsp
Chopped Coriander leaves – 2 tsp
Boiled Potato – 2
Boiled Carrot – 1
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Egg – 2
Bread Crumbs – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Oil – to deep fry + 2 tsp
Cook grated banana flower until soft, adding little water,turmeric powder and salt.
Cooking grated banana flower
Seperate egg whites and yolks.Peel off the skin of potato and mash it well with hands and keep it aside.Similarly peel off the carrot skin ,mash it and reserve.Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds into it.Allow it to splutter and add urad dal into it.Fry it for a while.Now add onions,green chillies and ginger one by one and saute until onions turn translucent.Stir in mashed potato and cooked banana flower into it.Now add mashed carrot and salt and mix it all together.You can also add the seperated egg yolk into the cutlet mixture if you wish.Simmer until the mixture is thick and dry.Add chopped coriander leaves,simmer for 2 more minutes,stirring continuosly and remove from heat.
When the mixture is cooled,make it into equal sized balls.Flat each ball into any desired shape , dip it in egg white and coat with bread crumbs.Deep fry or shallow fry the cutlets and serve with ketchup or onion salad.
Instead of egg,you can also use maida flour mix with some water to make it a smooth paste.
Deep fried Cutlets
See my another version of broiled cutlet for healthy eating.Here I haven’t used bread crumbs or eggs,I just made lemon sized balls with the prepared mixture and flattened it with my hand.Then I’ve arranged them neatly in a pan,applied a little oil on them using cooking spray.I broiled them for 5 minutes and then I turned them upside down,sprayed oil again and broiled them for 5 more minutes or until well browned.
Another one with the same cutlet mixture.No bread crumbs or eggs here too,take a lemon size ball,flatten it with your hand and elongate it.Shallow fry it in a pan.Arrange it on a burger bun ,with lettuce,lightly sauteed onion,lightly sauteed green capsicum,tomato slices and grated cheese.You can create your own burgers,with your choice of veggies and dressings along with this healthy Banana flower cutlet.
Vazha Chundu Burger