Being located in the tropical region of South India, we grow banana plants at our Home garden and use almost all parts of the plant at home. The tender Banana leaves are used as plates for eating and the young banana fingers, tender inner stem of the tree and the flowers are used as vegetable to make delicious and healthy snacks.
Here, I have used a Banana flower to make crispy "Banana Flower Fritters"
Step 1: Banana Flower
The banana flower is a large, pinkish blossom you can find at the end of a bunch of baby bananas. Its red or pink bracts snugly enclose the delicate florets, which would not form banana fingers and grow farther down the stem.
Banana flowers are considered to be a good source of many vitamins along with dietary fibers, proteins and unsaturated fatty acids. They are also considered to possess immense medicinal value.
Harvest the whole Banana flower from the plant, when it no longer produces the Banana fruit fingers.
Step 2: Collecting the Tender Parts of the Banana Flower
We do not require the pink bracts of the flower. After collecting the inner tender florets, the pink bracts can be discarded. The inner cone of the Banana flower is whitish in color, very tender and can be used as it is.
Step 3: Cleaning the Banana Flowers
In the first photograph, you can see the plastic like petal and the hard stamen at the right hand side. Since they do not cook well, both of them need to be removed from each floret.
After removing the plastic like petal and hard stamen, chop the florets in to small pieces and soak them in water mixed with some curd and salt for about five to ten minutes. This will remove the discoloration from the chopped florets. Remove the soaked florets and drain out the water.
I should have used some oil in my hands. My fingers got stained while handling the Banana flower and it may take a while to go away.
Step 4: The Batter
Now the Banana florets are cleaned, chopped and ready, let us prepare the batter.
Ingredients required for the batter:
1. One cup of Bengal Gram (Chickpea)
2. Two Medium sized Onions
3. Two tea spoons of Fennel seeds or powder
4. Two tea spoons of Cumin seeds or powder
5. Bunch of Curry leaves
6. Red chilies about three numbers
7. Salt to taste
1. Soak the Bengal gram in water for about an hour. This you can do before cleaning the Banana flowers.
2, Chop the onions and keep aside
3. Drain out all water from the soaked Bengal gram
4. Rough grind the Bengal gram with red chilies Fennel seed powder, Cumin seed powder, Curry leaves and salt for a minute. Do not add any water.
5. Add the cleaned Banana florets and chopped onions and grind for a minute or two. Do not make a fine paste.
The last photograph shows the ground Batter with all the ingredients, ready to make the fritters.
Step 5: Make the Fritters...!!!
Heat cooking oil in a pan. Take small balls of the batter in your hand and flatten them with fingers. Gently drop the flattened batter in to the heated oil. Keep the heat to medium-low. Do not overheat.
Turn the fritters in the oil to cook both sides evenly. Deep fry until both the sides are brown in color and crispy. Take out the fritters from the oil.
The fritters can be eaten plain or with Tomato sauce.