Banana Stem Paruppusili

Ah Well!! Banana season I guess in OZ but most definitely at my brother in law’s place –

As there were raw bananas, sweet ripe ones as well as banana stems at our doorstep – so it was a Banana dishes galore for a few weeks1

The goodness of a Banana tree is you can prepare dishes out of the flower, stem, banana when it is raw as well as enjoy the fruit!!
This dish is one of the most exotic, nutritious and wholesome dry curry as it is a combination of lentils and vegetables. The veggie used to prepare this is the stem of the banana.
The banana stem is a great source of fibre and rich in potassium.  There is a theory as well that the juice of the banana stem combined with butter milk can help in reducing weight!!

(chopping the banana stem into fine pieces is a work of art as it involves painstakingly removing the fibre every step of the way as you chop them into small discs first and then finely chop!  – If you have a helping hand in chopping it, nothing like it – in my case my patient hubby does the chopping in minutes for me!!!!) 

Ingredients to serve 6 people

1½ Cups Finely Chopped banana stem
2 cups Water
¾ Cup Toor Dal
¼ Cup Channa Dal or Yellow Split Peas
2 Cups Water (to soak the dals)
1-2 Red Chillies
½ Tsp. Turmeric Powder
1-2 Tsp. Salt

For Seasoning

2 Tbs. Oil
1 Tsp. Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp. Urad dal
¼ Tsp. Asafoetida Powder
Few Sprigs Curry Leaves

Vazhai Thandu Paruppusili

Banana Stem Paruppusili


Soak the toor dal, channa dal, red chillies in about 2 cups of water for 2-3 hours
Drain the water and grind the above into a soft mixture
Steam the ground mixture in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes (without placing the weight)
When it cools down, scoop a tablespoon of the mixture, add a drop of oil and blend it for a few seconds in the blender.
The mixture turns powdery. Repeat the process for the entire mixture and keep aside.

To ensure that the curry is light and fluffy, follow the method of breaking the dal as it is outlined in the recipe, which has never failed me in more than 2 decades!!

In the meantime bring the 2 cups of water to the boil, add the chopped banana stem, cover with a lid and cook until tender.  It generally takes 6-7 minutes on a medium flame

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.

When the mustard seeds crackle, add the urad dal, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and curry leaves
Fry it till the urad dal turns golden brown.
Add the powdered mixture and fry for about 2 minutes.
Gently fold in the cooked vegetable and salt.
Fry it on a low flame for 3 minutes.

Note: There is another method of breaking up the soft mixture in order that it becomes powdery.
Add the soft mixture directly into the heated pan with the seasoning.
Gently stir the mixture on a medium flame till it starts to break up and becomes powdery but this consumes a lot of oil and my preference is to use the method described in this recipe
Tastes delicious as an accompaniment to Mor Kozhambu or like my family,  you can mix it with plain rice too!!

The other vegetables that can be used to make this dish are cabbage, banana flower, beans , green capsicum and choko