‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

5

06.8.13

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

I have been staying at my parents’ house from the past couple of weeks and it’s been a very rejuvenating break for both my body and mind. I consider my daughter and I extremely lucky to be able to come here this often. It’s great to be able to start my day slow and late without worrying about breakfast and spend long lazy days without having to do dishes and laundry.

 

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

Of course the biggest highlight is the food. While in Bangalore, I don’t really cook traditional Havyaka delicacies often enough. My mom uses the freshest produce from our family farm, which makes everything a little more special too.

 

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

The recipe I am sharing today is one of those simple traditional recipes. While it requires just a handful of ingredients, the taste of it really depends on the freshness of everything.

 

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

Dandusalli’ is a raw salad made using Fresh Banana Stem and yogurt with simple garlic seasoning.  It’s a very mild flavored dish, which is really refreshing and soothing. If you have a banana plantation, these kinds of recipes, which use banana stem and banana flowers, will be a regular on your weekly menu. Nothing really goes waste in a farmhouse kitchen. Every time a bunch of banana is harvested, the plant is cut too. Then the outer fiber is taken away and the tender white core of the stem is used for cooking. Banana stem looses colour and flavor within days so it needs to be eaten the day it’s harvested.  The freshest stem is used raw while a day old or not so tender ones can be cooked or stir-fried into a ‘palya’.

 

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

Banana stem is also extremely healthy.  Here’s a little more information on the nutritional properties of banana btem that I have put together from various online sources.

  • Like banana, banana stem is also rich in potassium and vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps production of chemicals such as hemoglobin and insulin. Again, it improves the ability of body to fight against infection. Potassium helps effective functioning of muscles including cardiac muscles, prevents high blood pressure, helps nerve impulses and maintains fluid balance within the body.
  • The fiber in banana stem helps to cure constipation and detoxify the body.  Since constipation is a very common problem during pregnancy, banana stem can be very beneficial.
  • The use of banana to eliminate kidney stones cannot be overlooked. Banana stem is also good taken as a juice or soup which helps eliminate and treat kidney stone. Those suffering from kidney stones can benefit a lot by taking the juice prepared from the tender stem of the banana plant.
  • Banana stem also acts like a diuretic helping to eliminate waste fluids from the body.
  • It has a cooling effect on the body and is highly recommended in tropical countries.

 

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

Preparing banana stem for cooking or eating raw involves a few time consuming and tricky steps. The first time I used banana stem in my kitchen, I had no clue about these details and my salad was inedible! I have taken step by step pictures to make it easier for you all to understand the process. Once that part of the recipe is done, it takes no time to put together the dish.

 

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

The little white pieces of banana stem are juicy and crunchy in creamy yogurt. The lightly fried brown pieces of garlic along with the heat of fresh green chilies add a lot of flavor. Serve this salad by itself for a light summer meal or serve it along with rice, curry and vegetable stir-fry for a big hearty monsoon meal :)

 

‘Dandusalli’ – Raw Banana Stem Yogurt Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1ft piece of fresh banana stem
  • 2 cups fresh thick homemade yogurt/curd
  • 2-3 tbsp of sour yogurt or buttermilk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 fresh green chili, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 dry red chili

To prepare the banana stem for cooking –

Take a big bowl with 3-4 cups of water and add the sour yogurt or buttermilk to it. Stir well and keep it aside.

First peel the fibrous outer layer of the stem. Now cut the stem into ½ cm slices. As you slice them, you will see the thin strands of fiber between the slices. Use your fingers to remove the fiber. Drop the banana stem into the buttermilk water as you slice it to prevent discoloration. Repeat this with every single slice to make sure you have no stringy fiber left in the stem.

Now dice the slices into small cubes. Dice them as small as you like and put them back in the buttermilk water. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain it completely and sprinkle a little bit of salt on it. Mix it well with your fingers and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. This step will draw out all the water from the banana stem pieces. Now squeeze all the water out of it. Combine the banana stem and yogurt together and season with salt if needed.

For the tempering – Heat the oil in a little pan and add the mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter, add the garlic slices. When the garlic is golden add the green chili and red chili. Fry for a couple of seconds and pour the tempering on the salad.

Serve it immediately.

 

 

 

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5 comments :

  • Meenakshi

    Hi chinmayie! Must say you have a really nice blog and your pics are beautiful. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. It was so so simple and refreshing and completely healthy. I mostly use the banana stem with dal like a kootu, but this was awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sanjeeta kk

    You indeed are one lucky girl Chin…staying near your mom and eating farm fresh food! This one is one of my favorite recipes of banana stem….just that we don’t add garlic in it. But will try garlic and feel the difference. Take care and stay healthy.

  • Brooke (Crackers on the Couch)

    I absolutely love this recipe, Chinmayie! It is so interesting to see how different cultures cook. I love that you use so much of the plant in cooking, I had no idea! Beautifully photographed, as usual. Fascinating!

  • Ash- foodfashionparty

    As much as it is hard to clean this, it is one of the tastiest and healthiest. I remember my mom making this regularly on my visits…Love your pics.

  • Ambika

    Yum, this is one of my favorite vegetables, and this is an amazing recipe, when I make this with old stems, I like to cook and cool them before adding to the yogurt!! I also love the pakya made with moong dal and coconut, and my mom makes a version in which she tempers and lightly cooks the stem and adds lemon juice at the end, lots of it! Try this version,it makes for a very very tasty snack!!! And lovely photos as usual!!

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