Yes, banana flower, you read that right. Raised in a city, I had missed out in understanding vegetation. My long spells of nature are the summer vacations to my ancestors village down south. From the time the train left the suburbs of Bombay and the train chugged through khandala and Lonavala, we had left the concrete jungle to enjoy brooks and streams, ghats and hills - breath taking scenes ( we didn't have a camera back then ) and these scenes still lives vividly in my memory. But why am I going down memory lane you may ask ?
At a filipino grocery store we found banana flowers,a vegetable that was commonly found in the backyards of our ancestors .
With Google as my guide,I followed a few instructions.
First, oiled the flower so that it would oxidize slower.
Second,tried to make a fine dice .
As the hot iron pan sizzled the finely diced flower took its honorable place.
After a few minutes curry leaves were added. Diced garlic, cumin and fennel seeds also went in .
(roasted seeds release greater amount of flavor ) In 5 minutes when I thought the vegetable was about to burn, we added some water, placed the lid and the vegetable now steamed quietly. In another 10 minutes it was the turn of grated dry khopra( coconut ) and we switched off the gas.
A good first attempt I thought , after I had a taste of the vegetable with rice and curd. Next time, the slender stems will not be going in because that's what makes the vegetable bitter.
It is said that banana flower is a great source of iron and that's exactly why it oxidizes in seconds when it is being diced.
The designer in me says that the banana flower will make a great table arrangement, but that's a picture for another post.