Banana Blossom Usili

Indian medicine system recommends anything that tastes astringent such as banana flowers, pomegranate, red gram (toor dal),  Indian blackberry (black plum), etc. for women’s health as they keep uterus healthy. Consuming cooked banana flower with curd or yoghurt is believed to be one of the most efficient ways of treating excessive bleeding during menstruation as it increases the level of progesterone. So it is always better to prepare banana flower lentil crumble (vazhaipoo paruppu usili) and serve with yoghurt curry (mor-kulambu).

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Health benefits of Banana flowers: Banana flowers have flavor similar to that of artichokes. They are good sources of dietary fiber and are of low glycemic index (low-GI); hence useful for diabetics & weight watchers. Banana flowers are particularly beneficial to women of all ages as it regulates the cycle, controls excessive bleeding, prevents constipation during pregnancy and improves lactation for lactating mothers.

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Let’s look into the recipe for vazhaipoo paruppu usili:

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Yields: 400 g (2 cups)

Ingredients:

  1. Banana florets – 25-30 Nos.
  2. Moringa leaves (murungai ilai) – a handful (optional)
  3. Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) – ½ cup
  4. Red chillies – 4 Nos.
  5. Cumin seeds (jeeragam) – ½ tsp
  6. Salt – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  8. Coconut gratings – as required

For tempering :

  1. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds (kadugu) – ¼ tsp
  3. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  4. Shallots (sambar vengayam) – 15 Nos.

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Cooking procedure:

  • Please refer the ‘gif’ below to prepare the banana flower; some may discard calyx also but we don’t.(Please refer the “Tips & Tweaks section also).

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  • Soak chopped florets in buttermilk and squeeze the water out after 10 min.
  • Steam the florets along with moringa leaves for about 10 minutes and keep aside.
  • Wash & soak Bengal gram for 2 hours.
  • Rinse well & drain the water completely.
  • Grind it along with red chillies & cumin seeds into a coarse dough without adding water.
  • Transfer to a greased bowl and pressure cook the dough (simmer for 10 min. after bringing to high pressure).
  • Grind the cooked lentil dough into a coarse powder at room temperature and keep aside.

paruppu for usili

  • Heat a cooking pan with oil in medium flame.
  • Add mustard seeds, when they begin to crackle add curry leaves & chopped shallots.
  • Saute until shallots turn translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder & saute for 5 sec.
  • Add lentil crumble & salt (½ tsp) and mix well.
  • Add steamed banana florets & moringa leaves and remaining salt.
  • Stir well to combine together.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with grated coconut before serving.

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Tips & Tweaks:

  • Chopped florets are soaked in acidic water to remove the bitterness and to prevent blackening.
  • You may replace Bengal gram with any lentil (one or more) of your choice.
  • Turmeric powder gives a beautiful color, so I don’t want to make it without turmeric.
  • I have not used asafoetida powder or ginger, as banana flowers themselves are antiflatulents.
  • You may replace banana flower with other vegetables like carrot, beans, cluster beans, etc.
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58 Comments Add yours

  1. Your food looks amazing but I also love all of your dishes! They are so colorful!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much for your constant support !

      1. I am learning so much about your culture. I love reading your blog so thank you!

  2. I did not realise Banana flower was so healthy. Usili is healthy too. 2 superfoods combined.

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, indeed ! Thanks so much for stopping by !!

  3. babl says:

    This is good information. Thanks Megala.:)

  4. A very informative post, explained with all the necessary details.

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much !

  5. very informative and helpful post!

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks, Mallika !

  6. sabajawed says:

    Follow back?

    1. Megala says:

      Sure ! 🙂

  7. Good to know the benefits of banana blossoms, but can you share a tip on how to pick the right on e, as the last time I picked one, it turned out to be bitter. The Usili seems to be a wholesome meal. It is a simple recipe too!

    1. Megala says:

      All banana flowers taste bitter when cooked, you just need to soak in acidic water (as shown in the recipe) before cooking them to remove the bitterness. Now you will like its taste for sure ! 🙂

      1. Thank you for that tip, I was not aware of this one. Tried once and gave up when it tasted bitter.

      2. Megala says:

        🙂 Now you wont !!

      3. Oh yes! Happy Pongal, Megala

      4. Megala says:

        Thank you !

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