Banana Flower Stir Fry {Recipe Redux}

banana flower stir fry served with salad This might only be my second month as a Recipe Redux participant, but, so far I am loving their incredibly interesting challenges. This month, we were challenged to come up with a recipe using “edible flowers”! When I read some of the examples/suggestions such as using “rose water, flowering herbs, floral teas, dried lavender blossoms or even fresh flowers like nasturtiums, violets, borage, squash, sunflowers”, the first thing that came to mind was “Falooda“, a drink I grew up with that uses rose syrup. But, when I went to the South Asian store I get my exotic veggies from, I saw this beaut: bananaflower In case you might not be familiar with this, this is a banana flower or banana blossom… A banana flower is made up of “bracts” – which are the purple leaves; “female flowers” – which are the blossoms tucked inside each purple bract that eventually grow into bananas; and a “heart” which is the white tender part of the banana flower revealed after the bracts and blossoms have been peeled off. bananaflowershoots While it might not look pretty in a vase on your table, it makes one mean stir fry! Banana flower dishes are common in South Asia, but, every one seems to have their unique way in preparing it. My mom throws away the little blossoms and finely dices the heart and the tender purple bracts (after the more brittle outer layers have been discarded); and makes a stir fry with a ton of spices. However, I have seen people clean the blossoms removing the “pistil” (the more brittle stick with a head on it) and the “scale” (the small, translucent part) and using them in a stir fry or curry. bananaflowerPREP I decided to incorporate my mom’s method with what I have seen others do, so I cleaned the blossoms and also chopped up some of the tender bracts and the hearts. However, it just slipped my mind to immerse the blossoms, heart and tender bracts in a bowl of cold water with lemon, hence the slightly darker blossoms. While chopping, there seems to be a slimy discharge – which is easily rinsed off under cold water or in a bowl of water with lemon. I sauteed the chopped parts of the banana flower in olive oil, onions, ginger, garlic and red pepper with a few spices. BANANA FLOWER STIR FRY with egg and spinach And, served it on a bed of spinach with an egg on top. When I was a kind, we ate banana flower stir fry with rice and maybe another curry; but there’s a plethora of serving options for this flower! leftovers

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Banana Flower Stir Fry
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Ingredients
  1. 2 banana flowers
  2. 5 cloves garlic
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  5. 1/2 lime
  6. 1/2 red pepper
  7. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  8. 1/4 tsp cumin
  9. 1/4 tsp coriander
  10. 1 tsp paprika
  11. Extra Virgin olive oil for sauteing
  12. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel off the outer "bracts" of the banana flowers
  2. Collect the "flowers" between each bract and clean them by removing the "pistil" and "scale" and immersing in cold water with lemon
  3. After the "bracts" and "flowers" have been removed - chop up the tender "bracts" and the "heart of the banana flower" and add to the cold lemon water
  4. Chop the onion, garlic and ginger and add to a saute pan with olive oil and saute till onion caramelizes (about 20-30 mins)
  5. Chop the red pepper and add it to the onion mix
  6. Then add the lime, turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika and salt and pepper and saute for another couple of minutes.
  7. Serve warm, on a bed of spinach with an egg.
Notes
  1. This stir fry can also be served with rice, or naan or roti.
RunninSrilankan.com http://runninsrilankan.com/

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Comments

  1. says

    This recipe is so creative, Shashi! I’ve never heard about banana flowers until now but I’m definitely going to look out for it next time I’m at a speciality fruit/veggie store! I’m sure this recipe would leave your mom feeling super proud :)

  2. says

    I’ve never heard of banana flowers and am ashamed to say I didn’t even know they existed. Your stir fry looks delicious and I would love to try this dish. Banana Flowers must be available at Asian Markets I would imagine.

  3. eatinglocalinthelou says

    Well now Ive got to see if our international market carries banana flowers so that I can try- such an interesting dish!

  4. says

    I’ve heard of people eating banana flowers but I’ve never seen it done and certainly, I’ve never seen banana flowers for sale in the green grocer’s. This has been really interesting and I hope to try banana flowers one day xx

  5. says

    Wow this looks absolutely delicious! I love how you always use such innovative ingredients and banana flowers are no exception. I don’t think we have them here but now I wish we did :)

    I hope you had a lovely weekend <3

  6. says

    Wow, love that you made a stir-fry with banana flowers – so so creative!!! I have never tried banana flowers before but now you’ve totally got me intrigued. Love how pretty and colorful this dish is – way to go on rocking these challenges :)

  7. says

    I have never even heard of cooking with – or eating even! – banana flowers before! Im so intrigued to see what they taste like. Lovely recipe :)

  8. says

    This is super duper interesting. I’ve never heard of banana blossoms before and I’m so intrigued. As soon as I recover from this stupid flu, I’m heading to Asian store down the street to get me some!
    Great recipe Shashi!

  9. waharris1957 says

    I’ve always seen banana flowers at the Dekalb Farmers Market, but didn’t know how to prepare them. Your recipe sounds delicious, Shashi! I’m going to grab one the next time I’m there. Great post!

  10. kitchenriffs says

    Really fun post! I’ve never used banana flowers. But after your thoroughly interesting post, I won’t rest until I’ve hunted down a source! Terrific dish — thanks.

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  1. […] challenged to come up with a healthy recipe using an ingredient/theme specified: one month it was edible flowers and another month it was teas, both times I was excited as I had had some experience cooking with […]

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