Kundige Palya/Banana Blossom Stir-fry for ‘Terra Madre’ – World Slow Food Day

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10.12.12

Banana Blossom Stir-fry

 

It’s already been a year since I learnt about ‘Terra Madre’ through the wonderful blogging world for the first time! Time does fly. It’s 10th of December once again and it’s time for us to remember the importance of being aware of what we are eating and celebrate real food.

Terra Madre is a global slow food event to celebrate good clean and fair food. Launched by Slow Food in 2004, this global project unites food communities from 160 countries who share a vision for food production rooted in local economies and with respect for the environment, traditional knowledge, biological diversity and taste. Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement.

Read more about my thoughts on Terra Madre and a recipe for a local speciality ‘Hitikbele/Hitikavare Saaru’ in my last years post.

 

Banana Blossom, Baale huvu or Kundige

 

As you all know I have always believed in eating local as much as possible. Over the years I have learnt to appreciate traditional regional specialities that I have grown up on a lot more. After a brief period of under appreciating our local produce, I am back to enjoying it’s beauty and endless possibilities.

 

Kundige Palya/Banana Blossom Stir-fry

 

Now that I eat mostly just organic, I mainly cook and eat local food. I am glad for my local organic store for making me re-discover what’s grown and eaten around me. It has made me realize how what’s grown, sourced and cooked locally is not only fresh and healthy but also incredibly tasty and flavorful.

 

Kundige Palya/Banana Blossom Stir-fry

I am sharing the recipe of a childhood family staple today. I think there can’t be a better suited recipe to celebrate Terra Madre!  Kundige Palya or Banana Blossom stir-fry is a classic example of food that’s healthy, tasty, local, traditional and sustainable. Since almost every home has a banana plant, it is an important plant of our cuisine. While bananas themselves are used extensively in our day today cooking, banana blossoms and banana stems are also favorites. An entire bunch of bananas has just one blossom which makes it even more special. Knowing my love for homegrown vegetables, my mom got this from our garden last time she was here and  made this palya for my family. Yes, it’s my mom’s hands in the photos…

 

Kundige Palya/Banana Blossom Stir-fry

 

Banana blossoms are fibrous and have a unique bitter taste. It might be an acquired taste but if it’s cooked well I think most people can enjoy it. In our Havyaka cuisine, it’s usually made into a Tambli and palya (stir-fry) or a spicy chutney. It’s also made into fritters which are deep-fried. I am sharing the recipe on Kundige Palya or Banana Blossom Stir-fry here today. It’s very simple to make and a great way to introduce your palette into this new vegetable.

 

Banana Blossom, Baale huvu or Kundige

 

Notes:

You can use buttermilk instead of tamarind in the recipe.

Some like this sweet and some like it spicy, adjust the flavors according to your taste.

If you make it mild you can serve this by itself like a warm salad, topped with some freshly grated coconut.

This palya/stir-fry lasts for at least a week if stored in the refrigerator.

It can be used as a stuffing in sandwiches/rolls and tossed with leftover rice for a quick stir-fry.

 

Kundige Palya/Banana Blossom Stir-fry

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana blossom
  • 1 inch piece of dried tamarind or 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp husked split black lentils or urad dal
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 1 tsp dry red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp jaggery powder
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

 

Wash the banana blossom well. Peel a few outside petals till you get the hard inside bulb.

Cut it into half and then finely chop it like shown in the photos above. Place it in a big bowl of cold water and rinse it well. Now put the finely chopped blossom and a small 1 inch piece of dried tamarind in a pot, bring it to a boil and drain.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and when it starts to splutter add the husked split black lentils or urad dal and when it turns golden, add the dry red chili and fry for a second. Add the drained banana blossom and mix well. Season it with salt, red chili powder and jaggery powder, add 1/2 cup of water, mix everything well, cover and cook for 10 minutes. When most of the water is evaporated add the fresh coconut and mix. Leave the lid open and cook till it’s fully dry.

 

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I have a little request today…

I have been nominated as ‘The Best Vegetarian Food Blogger’ by FriendsEAT.com. A lot of my readers and friends are finding it hard to vote. So I thought i’ll write a little not about ‘How to Vote’

You have to sign in with Facebook to be able to vote. There is no other way to do it. Just by clicking on the ‘Love’ button, you can’t vote (it doesn’t count) unless you have registered and signed into FriendsEAT.com.

Here’s a easier way to vote for me -

Click on the following link – http://friendseat.com/
Now click on the big blue ‘Sign in with Facebook’ button.

After you sign in, click on this link – http://friendseat.com/lovefoodeat/
Now click on the ‘Love’ button next to ‘Love Food Eat’

To make sure your vote counted, please check that the number of loves on the left side bar increased by one more :)

If you enjoy my recipes, my writing and photography, please take a moment to go to the link and vote for me. Voting ends by December 17th so spread the word :)

Thank you so much for all the support.

 

 

 

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