October 11, 2015

Vaazhaipoo Thirattu / Plantain Flower Curry

How to make Vaazhaipoo Thirattu

            Here is a mildly spiced, home style south-indian curry made with fresh plantain flowers and pearl onions, spiced with black sesame seeds & pepper corns that give this curry the dark earthy color & flavors. If you like, you can add about 1/4 cup of coconut milk towards the end & finish off, for a creamier version. 

             If the plantain flower is a new ingredient in your kitchen, please make sure, you check my notes on how to clean it; before you begin. 

How to make Vaazhaipoo Thirattu, How to make Plantain flower curry

Ingredients for about 2-3 servings:

1 cup of cleaned vaazhaipoo/plantain flower (chopped or whole)
3/4 cup of sliced chinna vengayam/pearl onions
1/2 a tomato, chopped
a pinch of turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

To roast & grind:

1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ground nuts/peanuts
1 tsp karuppu ellu/black sesame seeds
1 tsp milagu/black pepper corns
1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste
a sprig of curry leaves

How to make Vaazhaipoo Thirattu, How to make Plantain flower curry

Stove Top Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan & add the ingredients, listed under roasting & grinding, and roast on medium low heat until the ingredients get fragrant & crisp.
  • Once the ingredients have cooled, grind it into a fine paste & set aside.

  • Heat oil in a pan, add the sliced pearl onions, saute for a few minutes. Follow with the plantain flowers to saute. When they are almost cooked, add the chopped tomato, turmeric powder & salt.
  • Finally, add the ground paste along a tiny amount of water, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until all the ingredients comes together as one.

  • Check seasonings, and serve with steamed rice or a meal platter.


  • If you are new to cooking with plantain flowers; please familiarize yourself to the anatomy of this nutritious flower & take some time researching, which parts are safe to consume & which one's aren't. The large thick, reddish outer bracts (petals); the stiff, thin & long pistil & a very small piece of translucent scale (tongue) are not to be consumed & have to be discarded, before you chop the flowers. 

How to make Vaazhaipoo Thirattu, How to make Plantain flower curry

  • The cleaned/chopped plantain flowers are dropped into a bowl of water, with a spoonful of buttermilk to prevent browning; until it's ready to be cooked. Just squeeze out the water & cook the plantain flowers, as you like. 

Source - I saw this unusual recipe, on a cookery show a few years back.

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