Today’s Banana Tips are about the plant’s flower. Banana flowers look like large, elongated and pointed cabbages. Each structure contains several flowers, within the sheath-like bracts.
The fleshy flowers after the styles are removed are cut into small pieces. These pieces are soaked in boiled water for some time. The pieces get half-cooked in this process. The water is removed. The pieces can be used to make raita.
Similarly, the half-boiled pieces can be made into a curry with coconut shreds and green chillies, with or without boiled gram. Half-boiled pieces of the flowers can be cooked with fenugreek seeds to make Tadka Dal.
The entire flowers without the styles can be cooked into sambhar and South Indian coot. South Indian Kadi made from these flowers also tastes good. The flowers can be fried into bhajias.
These flowers are a good source of calcium and are stamina-boosters due to the presence of anti-oxidants. The health issues related to menopause are reduced due to the intake of these flowers. The sheaths or bracts can be used like plates and the nutrients enter into the food when this is done.
These sheaths are dried and burned to make angaraka or ash that is applied on the forehead. These dried sheaths are also used in homas or havanas.
To be continued…