Mocha or banana flower recipes are delicacy of Bengal. But its very difficult and time consuming process to chop it and make it ready for cooking. Moreover one needs to know which part is to be used which to be discarded. It is high on iron content so while cleaning and chopping your finger may get discoloured. I have given few fantastic recipies out of banana flower. For preparing those dishes, you need to know the cleaning and chopping method. So I have described the method with relevant photographs so that it becomes easier for the people who will try it first time.
Big tray, chopping board, knife, any oil, enough to grease your fingers, salt turmeric and a strainer.
Keep the whole Mocha on the tray. Oil your finger and palm to avoid your hands discolouration.
Peel off the red bracts or outer shell. You will find the tiny banana florets inside. Collect it and keep in other side of tray or in a separate vessel. Take off the bracts one by one and collect the banana flowers.
Gradually you will find the red coloured bracts will be finished and light yollow coloured bulb will appear.
You continue removing the bracts till you find the bulb very tight and you will not be able to remove this bracts any more.
Now for chopping this bulb first cut in roundels then chop it in small pieces. Keep aside.
You will find a stem with a head inside each flower and a transparent plastic type shell over it. These are the hard part of the flower and are not eatable.
Discard these parts from each flower. This is most tiring part of the process but believe me it pays off.
Now hold 10-12 flowers together and chop as fine as possible.
Wash it in a colander or in a strainer. Now soak it in water for at least 2 hrs. Add at least 1 tablspoon of salt and turmeric powder. This is done to reduce the bitterness if any from the flowers.
It is essential to boil the chopped flowers with salt and turmeric powder. So pressure cook it with little water before preparing any dish out of it.