January 01, 2013

Vazhathand Thoran

Did you know that all the parts of the banana plant are good for health? Right from the flower, raw banana, ripe banana to its stem.  

Banana stem or Vazhathandu as it’s called in Tamil is a wonder vegetable. It has many nutritive and health benefits. It is a rich source of dietary fibre, and minerals like potassium. It is also rich in vitamin B6, which helps in production of haemoglobin. It helps in lowering blood pressure and also helps in weight loss.

However, the cutting the banana stem is cumbersome and time consuming. The outer flesh is removed and then the stem is sliced into thin roundels. These roundels are then finely chopped and added to a bowl of water in which a few drops of buttermilk or curd is added. This is done to prevent discoloration.

Here is a simple, healthy and delicious recipe for a stir fry that tastes yum when served in accompaniment Sambar or rasam and rice.

What you’ll need
  1. Vazhathandu/ Banana Stem – 1 medium
  2. Tuar Dal – 4 tbsp
  3. Fresh Grated Coconut – ½ cup
  4. Green Chilly – 1
  5. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  6. Salt to taste

For tempering
  1. Oil – 2 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Curry Leaves – 5 or 6

  1. Wash and soak the tuar dal in water for 20 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the banana stem and put it in a bowl of water with a few drops of buttermilk added to it.
  3. Heat a Kadai, add half the chopped banana stem, then add drained and soaked dal, again add the remaining banana stem.
  4. Add turmeric powder and ¼ cup of water, cover and cook on medium flame, till the dal and vegetable is done. The dal should not turn mushy.
  5. Add salt to taste, cook uncovered for a few minutes or till all the moisture is absorbed.
  6. Grind coconut and green chilly, without adding water.
  7. Add this to the cooked vegetable and mix well.
  8. Heat a frying pan with oil. Add mustard seeds, once they splutter add urad dal. Fry till the dal turn golden brown then add the curry leaves.
  9. Pour this tempering over the cooked vegetable and mix well.
Healthy and delicious Banana Stem Thoran is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with plain rice, and Sambar or Rasam.

  1. While selecting the banana stem, look for a white stem, which indicates that it is fresh.

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