Sunday, 2 March 2014

Banana Stem cooked with lentil / Vazhai Thandu Poriyal

It was on one such lazy day that I just don't want to cook anything. Had some left over steamed rice from morning. I was planning to mix it with curd and eat it with pickled mango. Absolutely no mood for cooking at all. That's when my new neighbour turned up asking for yogurt. I have been living in this apartment for 6 months and we didn't have a neighbour for so long. Now, we have a neighbour, a newly wed couple, but not so long. They will be here only for 15 days and will be moving to US later. She is a very good cook. She is good at south Indian Dishes. Last week she offered me south Indian style Crab masala. It was so delicious and spiced with pepper.

So, she asked me what I am cooking that day. I told her that I have no mood for cooking. Looks like I am surrounded by good Samaritans , yeah ! After 30 min, she came home with this fresh, healthy poriyal. Its made of Banana Stem. Yes, here in South India, we eat banana stem. It is considered as medicinal food for curing kidney stones. It is rich in fibre and has other health benefits too. My mom makes kootu with banana stem. Kootu is a mushy gravy where banana stem is cooked with lentils. I eat banana stem because of its health benefits. I wouldn't say I love the taste.
But the poriyal my neighbour offered was truly delicious. It was cooked perfectly and lentils were not mushy. I had just 2 or 3 tablespoon of rice with 1 cup of banana stem poriyal. Yeah, I had side as main and main as side :) Check out this recipe. It is super simple because you need just few ingredients


  • One Banana Stem about 8 inches long ( cleaned and chopped)
  • 2 Tablespoon yogurt/ Curd
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Urad dal
  • 2 Red chilli
  • 2 Tablespoon grated fresh brown coconut
  • 1/4 Cup Moon Dal (soaked for 20 min)
  • Salt as required


1. Clean Banana Stem : Banana stem has thick outer cover which we always discard. Peel off the outer cover and reach the inside portion of the stem. Now cut the stem into discs. While you are cutting , you can see fibres all around disc attached.  Pinch those fibres with your index finger and thumb and pull the fibre in a circular motion. :) I know it is difficult to understand how to pull those fibres. I will try to take a video and upload later
2. Chop all the discs into equal sized pieces. As you chop, keep adding those pieces into a bowl with two tablespoon of curd and 1/2 Cup water. This will prevent the stem from changing into blackish brown color and will help it retain its color. Keep the chopped pieces in curd for about 10 min. After that wash them thoroughly under tap water and keep ready
3. In a pan, heat oil. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds. When they pop, add urad dal and let it turn golden brown. Reduce the flame to lowest setting. Add red chillies and give it a stir. Immediately add washed banana stem pieces. Add salt and 1/4 Cup water and salt.
4. When the banana stem is cooked half way, add previously soaked moong dal and cook till moong dal is cooked
5. Finally Add grated coconut and give it a nice stir. Switch of flame in 1 min
6. Serve it as a side with Steamed rice and your favourite Kuzhambu/ Sambar / Rasam

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