February 7, 2016

Vaazhaithandu Poriyal (Stir fried Plantain shoot)

How to make Vaazhaithandu Poriyal (Stir fried Plantain shoot)


          The banana plant is one of those few species where almost every part of the plant is used for consumption in some way or the other - the leaves which are used as a disposable bio-degradable plates, the fruit (raw & ripe), the flower and the stem. The fibers from the trunk are also used for making paper & in textiles. Now, that's how you reduce waste & be resourceful!

         The cylinder shaped soft plantain stem/shoot has always been considered as extremely healthy, for it acts as a diuretic, antacid, laxative, a detoxing cleanser, apart from providing vitamins & minerals. So, take this fibrous part of the banana plant regularly to ward off kidney stones, obesity & stomach ulcers.

         First timers, might get intimidated by the process of cleaning & chopping this stem; but its really not a big deal. Check out the step by step pictures below to learn how to clean the excess fibers. If the plantain stem you get is tender/young (try to pick thin/narrow pieces rather than thick/wide shoots) , its possible, that it might not have much fiber to clean, in the first place. 




Ingredients for 2 to 4 servings:

One 8-inch medium sized plantain stem/shoot (How to prep plantain stem/shoot for cooking)
Fresh grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Paasi paruppu/Moong dal/Split yellow mung beans - 2 tbsp (soaked in hot water for about 20 minutes)
Salt to taste
Buttermilk - 1 to 2 tbsp (not for cooking)

For Tempering:

Oil - 1 tbsp
Kadugu/Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Jeeragam/Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ullutham paruppu/Urad dal - 1 tsp
Vara milagai/Dry red chilli - 1, broken
A few curry leaves



Prep:

  • Soak the Moong dal, in hot water for about 20 -30 minutes.

  • Add the chopped plantain stem in buttermilk water, until ready for cooking, to prevent browning.

Stove Top Method:

  • Heat a pan with oil, add the ingredients listed for tempering & fry until they are crisp & crackle.
  • Add the drained plantain stem & the drained moong dal to the hot pan, along with some salt. Stir, cover & cook on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. You can sprinkle some water, if needed.
  • Lastly add the grated coconut, stir & turn off the heat. 
  • Serve with a south indian meal platter. Goes great with Sambhar or Rasam rice or just gobble it up as a salad.

This is my mom's recipe. Linking this healthy side to Sri Valli's CCC #29 to spread the wonders of the banana stem.
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