- Submitted by Dahlia
(Banana Flower Vada)
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Hello readers, today I would like to share with all of you a crunchy, tasty and an authentic tamil evening snack that is made from the most versatile plant. Yes, the most versatile and a highly productive tree is the banana plant. In a banana tree all the plant parts right from the stem, leaves, fruit and even the flower have wonderful uses.
Banana flower or the banana blossom or vazhaipoo in Tamil is used to make many recipes in the south Indian cuisine. Banana flower is a low calorie, high fibrous, mineral rich super vegetable which possesses an array of health benefits. Consumption of banana flower reduces the blood sugar level and increases the hemoglobin thereby helps in managing diabetes and anemia. Before my wedding, I did not know to make any dish using the vazhaipoo. It was my mother in law who taught me patiently the recipe of this traditional Vaazhaipoo Vadai. She taught me every step from cleaning and chopping to deep frying. She would say that it was my father in law's favourite recipe as she has never gone wrong in its preparation. As I write, I realize that for everyone, each dish has got its own memory, or a story of triumph, defeat, appreciation, criticism, acceptance and many more. It is not only for a dish but also for life. Live a full life, enjoying tasty and nutritious food like the vazhaipoo vada and make the most of it.
Recipe for Vazhaipoo Vada
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 - 5
- Banana Flower - 1
- Bengal Gram (Kadalai paruppu, channa dal) - 1 cup
- Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
- Dry Red Chilli - 2 (or use 1 tsp of red chilly powder)
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Ginger - a small piece
- Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs (finely chopped)
- Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder - 1/ tsp
- Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
- Salt - to taste
Click to see detailed steps on How to clean Banana Flower?
- Clean the banana flower as per the instructions given. Finely chop it and keep it ready.
- Soak the bengal gram from an hour. Drain the liquid completely.
- Grind it to a coarse paste along with ginger, garlic, dry red chillies, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.
- After it is well mixed and coarsely ground, add the chopped banana flowers, onions and curry leaves. Pulse it a couple of times in the blender to that it mixes well. You can also mix it with hand.
- The above vada mixture should not have excessive moisture. So be careful to drain the water completely from the dal before grinding.
- Heat oil in a frying pan or kadai. Make small patties out of the vada mixture.
- Deep fry or shallow fry till golden brown. Place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Enjoy the vazhaipoo vadais while they are hot and crispy.
- Grind the bengal gram quite coarse, only then it will blend extremely well with the other ingredients very well.
- To make prefect shaped vadas, take a ball of the dough mixture on banana leaf or milk cover and dab it very well. Put the vada in the oil.
Serving Vaazhaipoo Vadai
- You can serve these vazhaipoo vadas warm with a cup of tea as an evening snack.
- You can also serve it as a side dish for rice, variety rice etc.
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