- Submitted by Dahlia
(How to Cut and Clean Banana Stem?, Banana Stalk Cleaning & Chopping, Vaazhaithandu Arivathu, Plantain Stem preparation for Cooking, Banana Stalk Cutting, Vaazhapindi)
Banana stem (or Plantain stem or Banana stalk) is mostly used in Southern parts of India. It is known for its high fiber content which makes it a super food for weight loss. It keeps you full for a longer duration. It is also good for people suffering from kidney stones as it helps reduce the size of stones.
While banana is available all over the world, its stem is used for consumption only in few places. In South India, many dishes are made with banana stem. It is known as Vaazhai thandu or vaazhapindi. One cup of banana stem juice in the morning is said to help weight loss. Vaazhai thandu is also used for making poriyal, kootu, pachadi, moru, molakootal, payasam etc., the recipes of which I will be sharing one by one.
Before we get started, I wanted to make an article about cleaning and chopping banana stem. Some people find it a very tedious task to cut banana stem because of the fiber. If you have a sharp kitchen knife, it makes the job very easy. Unfortunately, it cannot be done in the food processor. I have given below the step by step procedure for cleaning and chopping banana stem.
Video Instructions for Cutting & Cleaning Banana Stem
- Banana Stem / Banana Stalk
- Turmeric/Curd for soaking the chopped banana stem
- Cut the outer layers of the banana stem until it becomes difficult to peel any more.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into thin circular discs as shown in the picture. Remove any fiber that comes in between, using your fingers. If you plan to make juice or buttermilk, you can use it at this stage itself. For other recipes, which require small pieces, proceed further.
- Stack up few discs and cut them into small sticks (julienne). Keep the sticks together and chop to get small cubes.
- Put the banana stem cubes in a bowl of water with some turmeric or curd in it. I have added about 2 tbsp of curd to the bowl of water. This will prevent the pieces from discoloring i.e. becoming brown. If I plan to make a sweet dish using the banana stem, I prefer soaking it in plain water.
- Now to remove any additional fiber that may be present, stir the bowl with a wooden stick or spoon. The circular motion of the stick causes the loose fibers to get entangled in the wooden stick. You can then easily remove it with your fingers.
- Repeat it a couple of times until no more fiber comes in the wooden stick. This is the trick that has been followed for ages by our great grandmothers.
- Cleaned and chopped banana stem is now ready to cook. You can use it to make salad, soup, juice, side dish etc.
Some Banana Stem Recipes