My next post, “How to clean Banana Stem for cooking”, a prep task to make some delicious recipes with banana stem / vazhaithandu. I think I had written about how fond I am towards the banana plant. I had also mentioned it in a recent interview to Yumgoogle. Right from the leaf to the stem of a banana plant serves mankind in multiple ways. Hence I respect it a lot and for that reason, instead of including this prep work as part of another recipe post, wanted to dedicate a separate post for it.
Most of them may not be aware that banana stem is in fact edible. It has been used for a long time in Asian cuisine, especially South Indian. It is well known for its numerous health benefits. Some of them worth noting are
– An excellent cure for Kidney stones. This is even recommended by doctor’s these days.
– Good for weight loss.
– Good for diabetic people.
– High in fibre content.
– Treat stomach ailments like acidity, constipation, etc.
While growing up, my mom used to make sure that she cooks banana stem atleast once a week. Even if she forgets, my dad would be sure to remind her. It is one of my dad’s favorite, just for its numerous health benefits. However, since I moved to US, I do not always find it at my local Indian supermarket. Even when I find it rarely, it is mostly not fresh or too expensive. However, when I saw a fresh one during this weekend shopping, I was more than happy to pounce upon the opportunity. My mom usually prepares poriyal or kootu with the vazhaithandu, which is what I intend to do as well, unless I have any last minute thoughts 🙂 Be sure to check back tomorrow for a delicious and healthy recipe using this vazhaithandu.
How to clean banana stem (vazhaithandu) for cooking
A step by step process of prep and clean banana stem (Vazhai thandu) to make delicious South Indian recipes like poriyal and kootu.
- Banana Stem - 1
- Water - as needed
- Yogurt / Lemon extract - about 1 tsp
- Banana stem typically has two types of layers. A hard inner layer which is edible. A porous outer layer which has to be discarded. Make a slit on the outer layer and remove it. You should be left with just the hard inner layer.
- Use a peeler to gently scrape of some of the hard inedible portions of the inner layer.
- Now slice the stem into circles. While cutting you will get a lot of thread like fibers sticking to the knife. Use your hand to pull those fibers apart and discard them.
- Now chop of the circles into small cubes. Add the chopped banana stem to a bowl of water. Add a little bit of yogurt or lemon extract to the water and mix well, to prevent the banana stem from colorization. Keep immersed for 10 mins.
- Take 2 small wooden sticks ( I used a wooden skewer), immerse it into the water and gently move it in a rotating motion. Once you pull out the stick outside, you will see some fiber sticking to the stick. Discard the fiber and repeat the process for a couple more times.
- The banana stem is now ready to be turned into a delicious recipe.
- Choose a young banana stem for cooking. It will have comparatively less fiber to clean up.