Friday, October 9, 2015

Vazhapoo (Banana Blossom) Thoran

  • 1 banana blossom
  • ½ cup grated unsweetened coconut
  • 6-8 tsp coconut or canola oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2-4 dried red chili pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp urad dal
  • 3-4 sprigs curry leaves
  • salt to taste

  1. Apply oil on hands before you begin, to prevent glue stains on fingers.
  2. Peel and discard the tough, purple outer layers (called bracts) of the banana blossom. Save the group of long pale yellow/brown flowers under each leaf.  Repeat discarding the purple layer and saving the flowers until you reach the white/pale yellow heart.
  3. Open each flower from the cluster and pull the stem that looks like a match stick and discard it.
  4. Chop the flower and heart to small pieces and put them in a bowl containing water and a tablespoon of yogurt or turmeric powder, to avoid discoloration.
  5. Heat oil in a sauce pan, add mustard seeds and cover the pan.  When the seeds are done popping, add urad dal, red chili pepper and curry leaves. Stir for 15 sec.
  6. Add the chopped banana flowers, turmeric powder, salt to taste and 1-2 tablespoons water.  Mix well and let cook covered on medium high. Stir occasionally.
  7. When cooked, add grated coconut, stir well and continue heating for 5-10 minutes, until all water has evaporated.


  • 1 cup rice soaked in water for 3 hours 
  • 1 small banana
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ⅛ cup wheat flour
  • 1½ cup grated jaggery dissolved in 1 cup water and strained
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • ¼ cup coconut, thinly sliced and deep fried in ghee, till slightly brownish.

  1. Finely grind rice with 2 cups water.
  2. Add banana, rice flour, wheat flour, jaggery water and ginger powder. Blend well. The consistency of batter is thinner than for idli but thicker than for dosa. Add water or additional rice flour, as needed.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cocount pieces.
  4. Heat appam maker or aebleskiver pan, half fill with oil and adjust heat to medium.
  5. Then pour batter to each cup, till half full.
  6. As soon as they get bubbly around the edge and the bottom looks browned, turn over with a fork. Continue cooking until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a skewer, drain oil and let cool on a plate lined with paper towel.
Makes approximately 50 pieces

Oil can be replaced with ghee or ¼ tsp ghee added to each cup while cooking unniappam.