Vaalai Poo Varai

Today’s and tomorrow’s recipes are focused on the flower of the banana tree. In Tamil, the banana flower is called “vaalai poo.” The banana flower is considered to have medicinal value, particularly as it reduces sugar levels and possesses antioxidant properties. Given that the fruit and the tree plays an important role in Tamil cuisine and culture, the flower is also considered a special dish when cooked.

Vaalai Poo Varai/ Banana flower fry

Time taken: 30 mins

Serves 5

Vaalai Poo VaraiIngredients:

  • Vaalai Poo/ Banana flower – 1 cup, chopped
  • Carrot – ½ , chopped
  • Green capsicum or malu miris – 1 or green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Red chilli – 1, chopped
  • Onion – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp
  • Scraped coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Chop up the vaalai poo. Add some salt and keep aside.
  2. Chop up the carrot, green capsicum, red chilli and onion.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the fennel seeds and onion for a minute.
  4. Add the rest of the chopped ingredients and the curry leaves. Cover the pan and cook, for around 10 mins, on low heat.
  5. Stir in the freshly scraped coconut and curry powder and cook for another 2 mins, mixing the ingredients well, before removing pan from stove.
  6. Serve with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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