Tuesday, December 29, 2009

banana heart for an oil starved pakoda...


Banana blossoms are so beautiful to look at...deep pink fleshy petals enveloping the miniature fruits inside....layer after layer ...see this picture at wiki.. and you'd know what i am talking about....somehow i could not click pictures of the whole blossom and got to clean it as soon as i settled with it.......

 The tiny bananas inside are the ones who were not meant for ripening....yes , the whole huge bunch of bananas is cut off from the plant ( not a tree) with the blossom on top ( actually placed downward as the banana bunch is pendulous) still attached to it......don't you feel it is meant for a few savory delicacies.....it is called mocha in bengali n it is due to influence of some bong friends that i started cooking with it..............so when i saw these beautiful banana blossoms here in Delhi , i just grabbed one to make a few favorites with it........it turned out the other way though as i ended up making something else.....have to go find some more of these.........

As wiki says they are somewhat similar to the artichoke hearts and that was a good news for me............i have been so charmed by those artichokes as i see numerous recipes in different blogs......... this information was valuable for me as now i can replace them with our very own banana hearts...the inner part of the banana blossom is used as it is ...without cleaning ....that is without removing the fleshy petal and then the hard stalk from the floret inside...there are many blog posts showing how to clean banana flowers so i did not click those pictures for here............the inner 3 inch cone is called banana heart and that is the part i have used here for this pakoda....the taste and texture is quite meaty and can be a good meat alternative for kebabs too........that's what i intended to make but a sudden demand of pakode with our evening masala chai prompted me to make this recipe.........i am glad i did.........


Making the pakoda was a quick exercise as i made the masala tea on the other side of my gas stove ...just chopped the banana heart in fine shreds , about a cup....a cup of chopped green coriander, a very small red onion chopped , a few chopped green chillies and some grated ginger root , half a tsp of cumin powder and half a tsp of my special garam masala powder , salt n pepper and about a tbsp of besan or chickpea flour......all of these were mixed together without using water and in the mean time my cast iron kadai was heating and waiting for the pakoda to be spread.........if it looks too dry wait for  a minute after mixing , it will bind loosely to be made into a pakoda.........you may want to deep fry it but shallow frying works better in my case.........

Heat a tsp of oil in a kadai and flatten the pakoda mix onto it...let it brown and flip to brow on the other side too adding another tsp of oil...........2 tsp of oil will be enough for a flat pakoda for two............


The flavors of this pakoda were just awesome.......while onion lends a sweet crunch , the green coriander makes it truly aromatic along with strong notes of cumin and garam masala........the banana heart tastes very meaty as i told earlier and we wanted more of it....even the fibrous feel was there making it meatier........so if you are making it for more people you may need to use 3-4 banana hearts.......this oil starved pakoda is a term given by another dear foodie friend and i used this name as my title this time........well justified i think........what do you think??

For western foodie friends it is more like a flapjack or a hash brown.........only healthier ...tell me if it is !!

A yummy banana flower curry with peas is on it's way...stay tuned !!!

24 comments:

  1. Interesting info....now I have to look for banana hearts.....as no one really likes artichoke hearts here except me....so may be time to try my luck with these....

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  2. Wow awesome entry,it is definitely a healthy version of Hash Brown...

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  3. making pakodas in just 2tsp of oil!!!....
    great that you told the way to starve the pakodas for oil ....no need for me to starve myself....
    :)

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  4. Looks fantastic, that surely is very innovative. We are hosting our first event - Home Remedies, we are looking forward for some interesting entries from you for sure. Please do participate.

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  5. never thought banana blossom could be used to make pakodas..nice recipe. I guess its a tad bit difficult in cleaning the blossom isn't it?

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  6. Dear sangeeta
    Very nice one. In my next trip to CR park , I will pick up a Mocha...Mocha ghanto is over due, but I will spare one cup to make this...
    In Bong style all BaDas are generally made in an oil starving condition, not because you eat less oil, the taste is different
    Happy New year

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  7. Thanks everybody for your sweet comments !!
    @ Deepa...i did not find it very tough to clean those flowers , in this recipe the inner heart is used which is chopped without cleaning...the outer florets were cleaned and used for another dish which is coming next..

    @ Ushnish...yes , frying in oil starved condition is best as the flavors are preserved n you get a better crispy crust...while deep frying, the pakode loose some of the flavors to the oil....like in this pakoda we get a good flavor of dhaniya patta n garam masala.. if deep fried that flavor would be lost in the oil....

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  8. yummy recipe..please do participate in my christmas event...

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  9. sounds great never had these next time I come to India will have them lol

    Happy New Year Sangeeta

    love Rebecca

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  10. yummmmmyyyyyyy :) I'm surely going to pick one next time.. And, it will be first time I will be using Banana flower in my cooking :) Have tried mochar ghonto a couple of times in bong restaurants here...........

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  11. Very nice.. does look healthy and I like the name oil starved quite a bit

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  12. Hi sangeetha,wish you and your family a very happy & a prosperous new year filled with lots of love ,peace & happiness always

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  13. Happy New Year 2010 I offer my best wishes for happiness and success
    see you

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  14. Very interesting.. didn't know about banana blossoms. I wish I could find some nearby! Yes, this recipe is indeed a healthier and more tastier version of plain old hash browns. Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to your banana flower curry now :)

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  15. I'd love to try this. Unfortunately I dont have access to such exotic ingredients. Looks lovely though.
    Wishing you an amazing new year to come.
    *kisses* HH

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  16. hey sangeeta nice recipe...vl taste yum n with less oil more healthy 2...hey i love the taste of thse small banans in banana flower blossem...we make a sabzi out of it n its very famous here...i vl try this pakodas sun

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  17. Oh Sangeeta, thats like telepathy...

    I bought plantain flower from korean market y'day...its been ages I have cooked them...was planning to make vadai today evening...

    your recipe sounds interesting and very special:)

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  18. Sure to delight my heart,delicious snack with cuppa :D

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  19. Banana blossoms in pakoda , sounds interesting! And it looks so delicious, would love to try this... Belated New year wishes Sangeeta,hope you and your family have a wonderful 2010 !

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  20. Everytime, I visit your blog, I learn something new. I did not know that you could eat the fleshy part of the banana blossom. Very interesting.

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  21. HI dear, Wish U & your family a very very Happy new year, I know it's little late but we r still in jan. only...ha.........It's been few days no new post, hope everything is fine at your end.......

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  22. Dear,

    Please check out 'Kitchen Mishaps Event Roundup' at my blog.

    http://www.kitchentantra.com/2010/01/kitchen-mishaps-event-round-up.html

    I appreciate, your comforting words to the participants. I believe it will greatly boost their energy...who daringly shared their cooking disasters.

    Thank you,
    Malar Gandhi
    www.kitchentantra.com

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