My 271st post, “Vazhaithandu Poriyal (Sauteed Banana Stem)”, an extremely healthy South Indian side. I think I have spoken so much about the health benefits of banana stem and how widely it is being used in South Indian cooking. So I will skip repeating the same 😉 In case you missed it, it is right here.
While most of the cuisines are heavily carb or protein based, my observation about South Indian cuisine is that it is a well balanced one. I have been enjoying it for a long time without actually realizing it. Any lunch platter would not be complete without a bowl of rice which supplies the carbs, sambar for protein, curd / yogurt for calcium, a side of poriyal or kootu for supplying all the other missing nutrients. And even the other small components like pickle, papad, sweet play their part as well.
Poriyal is one of the most common preparations which is typical to this cuisine. Spices like mustard, jeera are tempered in oil, chilli added for heat and then freshly chopped veggies are tossed in and sauteed until cooked. It is really so easy to make that it was one of those dishes which learnt at the very beginning when my mom taught me how to cook. I love almost all veggies in the form of poriyal. The usual ones which I make frequently are carrot-beans, snake gourd, cabbage, etc. The best part of a poriyal is that the tempering and spices are mild and the real flavor of the veggies are let to shine through.
In line with the other delicious poriyal my mom made, this vazhaithandu poriyal is one which she made quite frequently. It is extremely high in fiber content and good for your tummy. The only hard part with this recipe, is cleaning and prepping the banana stem. Once you get that done, this poriyal doesn’t take you more than 10 to 15 mins from start to finish. Just like any other poriyal, this vazahaithandhu poriyal serves as a perfect side for rice and gravy. I made some tomato rice to pair with the poriyal today and it was indeed a very satisfying lunch experience 🙂
Vazhaithandu Poriyal (Sauteed Banana Stem)
Vazhaithandu poriyal is a healthy classic South Indian side in which banana stem is sauteed along with aromatic spices. Perfect when as a side for rice.
- Onion - 1/4 Cup (finely chopped)
- Salt - 1/4 tsp (adjust per taste)
- Vazhaithandu | Banana stem - 2 Cups (cleaned and finely chopped)
- Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
- Freshly Grated coconut - 1/4 Cup
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Broken Urad Dal - 1 tsp
- Jeera - 1/2 tsp
- Dry Red Chilli - 2
- Green chilli - 1 (slit)
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- First clean and chop the banana stem as shown in my previous post.
- Heat a pan with oil and add the mustard seeds. Once mustard seeds sputters, add the remaining ingredients under "To temper", in the given order. Saute until the urad dal turns golden brown.
- Add the onion to the pan along with the salt and saute until the onion turns translucent.
- Now, add the banana stem and saute for 30 secs. Add the turmeric powder, mix well and cook covered in medium flame for about 5 mins or until the banana stem is cooked.
- Remove the lid and increase the flame to high. Saute until the poriyal becomes dry. Turn off the flame and then add the grated coconut and mix well.
- Serve hot as a side for rice.
- Vazhaithandu will appear hard because of high fiber content, but will cook quickly. You do not need to add additional water for cooking.