Banana plant is considered as an auspicious plant and used in many religious rituals in India especially in Eastern & Southern sector. Lip smacking dishes are prepared out of each part of this plant. Banana is eaten ripe or raw, exotic dishes are prepared with Banana flower, the pith, stem of this plant is also eaten as vegetable. Even the raw banana peel is also cooked and eaten. Large Babana leaves are used as disposable plates. Traditionally , meals were preferred eaten in banana leaf. Mocha Ghonto is common preparation out of Banana flower and Paturi is a type of preparation of vegetables and Fish in bengal. I have prepared paturi out this banana flower. It is cooked wrapped in banana leaves. Primary ingredients are Banana blossom, Bengal gram paste, mustard paste, and grated coconut.
- Chopped Banana Blossom- 150gms (Read here for chopping method)
- Bengal gram 50 grams soaked in water for 3 hrs
- Coconut scrape 50 gms
- Ginger paste 1 tspn
- Mustard paste 1 teaspon
- Roasted ground Garam Masala* 2 tspn
- Sugar 1taspn
- Green Chili 10 slitted.
- Mustard oil 3/4 cup divided
- Caster Sugar 1 tspn
- Turmeric powder 1 tspn
- Fresh green & soft banana leaves cut into square approx. 4”x4”. Banana leaves are not of same size , so you may cut the pieces so that it could be fold into small packets.
Boil the chopped Banana blossoms in pressure cooker for 10mts. in high heat. Let it cool.
In the mean time ground the Bengal gram into a thick paste together with ginger paste and two green chili. Keep aside
Now in a bowl put banana blossoms, add Bengal gram paste, coconut scrape, garam masala, sugar, salt, mustard paste and half of the oil. Mix everything together nicely. Taste the seasoning and add more accordingly. Actually this mixture tastes so good that you would like to eat it as it is.
Now heat the banana leaves directly on gas flame. This is the technich to make the leaves softer and becomes easy to fold. Oil the banana leaves and pour 1 tblspn of the banana blossom mix in middle of the leaf. Place 1 slitted green chili and pour ½ tspn oil over it. Now fold the leaves from all side and make a packet. Lock it with toothpicks. Likewise arrange the mixture in the leaves and make packets.
Heat the remaining oil in a flat based pan. Arrange the packets like toothpick side up word. Cook covered in slow fire. Cook for at least 10 mins per side. The leaves may get blacken. Not to worry, inside it is cooking to perfection. After both sides are cooked, keep it covered till it is plated.
Best with piping hot steamed rice.
Note: It can be cooked in steamer too. The packets has to be arranged in steamer, momo maker or idli maker and steam it for 20-25 mts in slow fire. If you do not get banana leaves, use silver foil and follow the same method.