16 September, 2008

Banana Blossom Patrode: Try Something New and Delicious!

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Banana Blossom Patrode

Mangaloreans love two things, one coconut and another curry leaves. Between these two there is another vegetable/fruit which is indispensable to us and it's plantain or banana. Most of the houses in South Canara, even with small garden, will have one coconut tree and a banana tree along with wildly grown Curry plant swinging to cool evening breeze. I grew up with three banana plants in the backyard and hundreds of them in our estate. So it is no surprise that I have tasted almost everything cooked from its stem, fruit and even its flower/blossom using banana leaves as organic and bio-degradable plates.

I have had tasted many recipes using Banana Blossoms ranging from simple stir-fries to delicious Chutneys cooked by my Amma, aunts and Ajji. Our recent summer trip to India I was first time introduced one very novel dish by my mother in law and that dish is Banana Blossom Patrode. Last year during casual chat with my MIL she mentioned about making Patrode/Patra using Banana Blossom and like any foodie I was totally intrigued and couldn’t wait to try it. In spite of being really busy with the last minute wedding preparation of my BIL’s, my Atte managed to cook this for me. And to my surprise it turned out to be one of the very best foods I have ever tasted. I have been craving for this Patrode ever since we came back from India but never got around to make this as Banana Blossom is not easily available at my neck of woods and I was not very sure if I will be able to manage chop them in a right way and cook without any problem.

During our recent trip to down under (nope, not Aussie ;) I couldn’t resist from buying two banana blossoms in hope of making patrode. And boy, did I manage to cook it beautifully or what!!! Traditionally Patrode is made using Taro/Colacasia Leaves by spreading spicy paste on their surface, rolling and then cooked to perfection using a steamer. Same spicy batter is used here but banana blossom is used in place of taro leaves and no rolling is involved. This was the first time I have ever used Banana Blossom in cooking without any help from my mother or MIL and I was really proud with the end result. Except for laborious cleaning and chopping of banana blossom, this is really a very simple recipe and can be cooked very quickly. To top it all, it can be simply stored in a freezer for months together. Banana Blossom Patrode is spicy with mild note of sweet and tanginess from dry red chillies, tamarind, coconut and jaggery used; a taste which is hard to resist and even harder to forget. Without further delay let me give you step by step instructions on how to make Banana Blossom Patrode and please make sure that you go through the instructions carefully before cooking it. I am sening it to this week's Weekend Herb Blogging guest hosted by Zorra & initiated by dear Kalyn.

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Banana Blossom & Florets

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Banana Blossom Patrode (Steam cooked & Pan fried Spicy Rice Cakes made using Banana Blossoms)
Prep Time: 15-20 mins
Cooing Time: 20-30 mins
Serves: 4-6
Recipe Source: MIL
Ingredients:
1 Banana Blossom
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp Oil, preferably Coconut Oil
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
10-12 Curry Leaves, finely chopped

Grind to thick Batter (Dosa batter consistency):
2 cups Rice, washed and soaked overnight for about 8-10 hrs
½ packed cup Coconut, fresh/frozen/dried
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
½ -¾ tbsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
Medium lime sized Tamarind Pulp (Adjust acc to taste)
6-8 Dry Red Chillies (Adjust acc to taste)
1 inch cube Jaggery
Salt to taste
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Banana Blossom Patrode- Before Steaming

Method:
Drain water from rice and grind it to smooth batter by adding water and all the ingredients listed above. Make sure that you have little thick batter than that of dosa batter consistency. Adjust tamarind, chillies and jaggery according to your preference.
Now comes the little tricky bit of chopping the banana flower. First apply 1 tbsp of coconut oil to your palm and rub well. Applying oil to your palms help in preventing the sticky sap oozing from banana blossom to your hand which leaves nasty black colour for few days. Remove the outer tougher covering and discard, around 2-4 outer tough skins. In my case I had to remove two outer skins. Don’t discard the florets. Now chop this banana flower and florets into very fine pieces.
Usually these chopped pieces are soaked in very sour butter milk to prevent from discolouring. In spite of doing so it discolours to some extent. So you can simply skip this step as we will be mixing them in the prepared batter.
Add 2-3 tbsp of Coconut oil and mix them well. This way you can easily separate layers which otherwise would be sticking to one another.
Now add this chopped banana flower, finely chopped onion, turmeric and chopped curry leaves to the ground batter and mix well.
Here comes the important step of steaming. You can either use usual Idli stand or flat bottomed vessel and steam cook them in a streamer or pressure cooker without putting its weight. Or another best way is to wrap it in banana leaves and steam cook it, same way as Genasale. I have used Tatte-Idli Stand. Grease the plates with oil and pour the batter with ladle into each plate. Place each plate back in the stand and steam cook in pressure cook or Idli steamer or Steamer for about 20-30 minutes till cooked properly.
Let it cool for 5 minutes before opening the lid. Remove cooked Patrode from plates and cut them into desired shapes. You can serve it with Ghee/Coconut oil or proceed to next step.
Heat tawa/griddle and place cut Patrode pieces on it. Add a tsp of Oil/Ghee for each piece and cook on both the sides for about 2 minutes till nice brown spots starts to appear on the surface.
Serve it immediately with or without any chutney or plain tomato ketchup and enjoy. It tastes best when roasted with Ghee/Coconut Oil.

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Banana Blossom Patrode- After Steam cooked and Pan fried


Notes:
Banana Blossom or Banana Heart grows on the end of long stem holding cluster of Bananas and this deep cherry red blossom is id considered as one of the delicacy in southern Indian states, both when cooked or eaten raw. Banana blossom has layers of tightly packed reddish flaps which wrap around rows of creamy florets with black stigma. Usually this black, hard stigma and transparent covering on every floret is removed as they are difficult to cook. I skipped this step as the steaming process helps in cooking them thoroughly. You can go ahead and remove them or just leave them as they are.
Try to stick to the amount of Tamarind and Jaggery used as they helps in mellowing the bitter taste of Banana Blossoms and spicy red chillies. If using old tamarind, reduce the quantity by ¾ th of the original quantity.
To steam cook, add about water depending on the size of pressure cooker you use. In my case I had to add about 2½ cups of water (about 1½-2 inches). Place the Idli stand and cover the lid without putting its weight and steam cook for about 20-30 mins.
The left over Patrode pieces can be stored in zip lock bag once they are completely cooled and can be frozen for about 1-2 months in freezer. When needed heat then in microwave (don’t thaw) and then roast them on tawa with ghee/oil and serve.

49 comments:

  1. Wow you get banana blossom down under ( coudn't help it ) :-))))
    I have never seen those blossome here , my mom make thoran with it, but nothing like this.
    The taste of patrode must have been delicious.

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  2. Hey Sia, have been following your blog for some time now ! Your recipes are really quite unique ! Your photographs are so professional looking too ! You should put up a post on that too ! Tutorial for food photography :) In any case, ee recipe bahaLa interesting iddu..Will have to definitely try it sometime !!

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  3. Never ever heard of that....banana blossom is something that i m hearing for the first time...though i make aluwadis from patra leaves,but this is something very new to me...hmm procedure looks bit complicated at first read...but i guess i can convince myself to give it a shot

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  4. I had never had this dish before.interesting! thanks for sharing.will have to try it.

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  5. wow... Totally new for me.. looks yummy & amazing... thxs for sharing..

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  6. Wow! I love the use of Banana blossoms in this recipe ... the method is very similar to how we also make kothimbir and alu vadi in Maharashtra ... I guess that's what you have also referred to with regards to the colocassia preparation.

    I am going to try and find me some banana blossoms. Thanks for this wonderful recipe Sia!

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  7. The recipe is totally new to me :) looks like a cake piece, delicious :)

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  8. Hey patrode looks nice...i never tasted banana blossom. nice recipe.

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  9. oooooo sounds yummy......:)loved the name

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  10. this looks really yummy. even in gujuratis there is a dish called "patra". its made with arbi leaves. looks cubersome but i am sure tasted great.

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  11. This is such an unique and creative dish...looks delicious,I would have loved to try one slice of that...

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  12. Thats a unique dish. I will have to hunt for banana blossoms now. Haven't seen them around.

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  13. Awesome recipe Sia, looks mouth-drooling and pics are also yummm!!

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  14. This is a unique dish. Looks totally delicious. Cleaning banana blossoms is indeed hard work, the reason I avoid buying it though DH loves it ;)

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  15. Hi Sia, You've presented totally a new thing to me...I am afraid whether I would get a Banana Blossom here in Australia.
    Anyway, it seems so tempting recipe with different taste.

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  16. This is a beautiful use of banana blossom....cant imagine the taste but would like to try this one day...hope i can meet u or ur MIL sometime :)

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  17. Totally new concept to me. Just when I thought i knew everything there is to know about patrode, I go down the lane, yet again. sigh! Beautiful and bookmarked!

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  18. hi sia,banana patrode looks yummy and clour looks great...

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  19. hey Sups! this is cool!!! I had never heard of such a pathrode... Lovely pic, as always :)
    So, how've you been?? long time...

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  20. Sia, this looks so tasty! I have never had patrode with banana blossoms before - only the ones with colocassia or wrapped in banana leaf or turmeric leaf. I just needed to clear up something - did you chop up the inner coverings to the flowers? I generally discard all the layers and use only the blossoms, but I got a little confused because you say in the post
    "Remove the outer tougher covering and discard, around 2-4 outer tough skins. "
    Do we use the rest? I didn't know they were edible!

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  21. Never tasted Patrode...that looks great sia...

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  22. never made patrode with banana blossom. great idea. we rarely get fresh banana blossom here.

    -jai

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  23. oh wow! that's a lot of patrode you have ready for steaming!!

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  24. This looks wonderful Sia! Amma used to make a vada from this banana blossoms but this looks so very inviting. Next time when I get them will try this for sure!

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  25. I have had Patrode made with Colacasia Leaves..but this one is completely unheard of.

    They look very inviting. I have never used banana blossom... hopefully someday will get myelf to use it with your recipe.

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  26. good to see u HC. hope u enjoyed ur India trip.
    We too make stir fry with banana blossom but Patrode is whole different concept. its steam cooked and then pan fried and tastes really awesome. hope u get to try it someday.

    hello Chhaya, thanks for ur kind words but i cant dream of writing a post on food photography. i hardly get time to do food styling and take pics as my hubby keeps asking hw long its gonna take;) so u see everything has to be plated and clicked within 5 mins:)
    so u r a kannadiga too?

    use of banana blossom in cooking very common in souther states of India Alka so i am not surprised that u dont know abt it. and patrode is different from gujarathi patra as patrode uses rice and patra uses besan. it may sound bit complicated but its actually quite simple if u know hw to handle banana blossom. give it a try someday and i am sure u will enjoy it as much as we do.

    thank you, starry nights :)

    Sheetal, yup the technique of steaming is similar to kothimbir vadi but the ingredients are different. patrode and patra uses different ingredients. in mangalore we make patrode batter with rice where as patra uses gram flour. click here to see the recipe for patrode using colocassia leaves i had posted some months back. and here is the recipe for Kothimbir vadi

    it is a savoury cake Cham:) and lot healthier too.

    Vij, Vanamala, Sangeeth, thank you:)

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  27. i am well aware of Patra Karuna and love it too:)

    i have some slices in my freezer. u can come and pick some Usha;)

    check ur local chinese or asian stores Shilpa.

    thank you, Madhavi

    it was the first time i have cooked banana blossom and surprisingly i found much easier to clean and chop it than i thought. so give it a try Indo:)

    i am sure u will find some banana blossom Sonu. don't forget to raid ur local chinese or asian stores :)

    the feeling is mutual Mishy. it would be gre8 to meet u:)

    aren't we all the same RC. everyday we learn something or the other and when it comes to food there is so much to learn:)

    thank you dear Pavani:)

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  28. this dish is created by my MIL Ramya, so no wonder u haven't heard of such dish:) i am doing gr8. hw have u been? seems like u r quite busy these days.

    Sunshinemon, till i tasted this even i knew only one kind of patrode made using colocassia leaves. and regarding ur doubt, usually when u make stir fries or fritters or chutney etc u use only the banana blossom which is pale creamish and discard all those tough red layers. but here you need to discard just 2-4 leaves which are very fibrous and difficult to chop. since we steam cook, everything will be cooked to perfection, unlike in other recipes. so you don’t need to discard all the red layers but only those which are very thick and difficult to chop. if you carefully see the photo of banana blossom i have posted here u will understand what i mean. i hope this helps. if not just ping me again:)

    thank you, Valli

    same here Jai. its during our recent trip to Webly we got hold of banana blossoms.

    what can i say Nags. i am so much in love with this dish;)

    ah, wada is my fav too Nirmala. and yes, do give it a try and i can promise u will not regret making this:)

    this is my MIL's recipe Nidhi and not many are aware of using banana blossom in this way. do try it when u get time:)

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  29. Wow this is something new. Daily i come across a new recipe in one or other blog. Oh my God when iam going to try all this and feast upon them God only knows. This looks awesome and must try to me.

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  30. I love banana flowers and this recipe is new to me. It sounds so simple and wholesome. Thank you for sharing this, Sia.

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  31. wow... This recipe is Totally new for me.. looks Awesome & Amazing.Thanks for sharing.

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  32. I have also a small banana tree, but I think it will never have blossom. ;-) Very interesting post, thank you.

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  33. Thats one nice recipe to cook with banana blossoms. Your pics are so tempting.

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  34. Something worth trying...great recipe dear!

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  35. That's one beautiful looking dish. Didn't know that the red outer part could be eaten.

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  36. Thats quite a creative use of the blossom

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  37. woo this looks divine dear...i liked it...

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  38. Nice Sia,We call them as "undis" in Konkani.I love it.Thanks for the unique recipe.Usually I make with methi leaves,taro leaves(normal pathrode),cabbage.Next time will try with blossoms

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  39. I only knew of making a stir fry with this...the steamed version is so new to me...

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  40. yes, am a Havyaka from North Kanara, Kumta to be more specific :) Will look forward to new recipes from you .

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  41. We don't use the blossom down here and I think it is because we don't realise it is edible. I will try to get some and make a dish with it.

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  42. Hey sia this is a nice idea of making kundige patrode.. really long time i didnt have it..
    it will taste diffrent frm the one made in banana leaves i guess:)

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  43. Back home, we too have what I call the "coconut tree-banana plant" syndrome. A few yards of land around the house and you will definitely find both.

    We cook banana flowers so many ways and colocasia leaf patravade but this is really new. A sort of banana leaf rice dhokla. Looks very good.

    Like Harini said, didn't know you could use the inner red leaves either. Now where can I find banana flowers in Goa?

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  44. yummmmmmmmmmy..i want it now :) the first pic is just sooooo appetising, sia, love it, and so nutritious to boot! great job!!!

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  45. Hey I'm new to your blog.Pictures are very good makes me drooly.
    I make banana blossom poriyal and vadas but this recipe is new ,healthier than vadas.
    I remember cleaning banana blossom late in the night with my mother waiting for the tender ones just to eat it raw.Thanks for bringing back so many memories with your wonderful recipe.

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  46. So interesting. I'm trying to imagine what the flavor of this must be, especially with onion and tamarind with the banana blossom. Wish I could try some!

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  47. What a beautiful dessert, I've never tried banana leaves before :).

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  48. Hey Sia,

    In my MIL's place this pathrode is called as gatti. I made it in ur version..... .It came out yummmmmmmmy.

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