Bananas are a tasty, healthy, fan favourite food, whether it is sipping on a smoothie blended with the ripe fruit, or digging into the raw veggie fry with rice for lunch. Also Read: 7 Powerful Reasons To Eat Bananas
But did you know that in the South Asian tropical nations of India, Indonesia and Thailand, even the stem of the banana plant is regularly consumed as a vegetable in the diet?
Yes, indeed. Banana stems, known by various different names locally across the Indian subcontinent, are obtained from the floral stalks of the shrub. They are called “Kele Ke Is” Or “Kele Ke Tane” In Hindi, “Arati Doota” or “Arati Duvva” in Telugu and “Khelanu Thed” in Gujarati.
Once the hard outer skin of the banana stem is peeled, the interior white to pale green fibrous portion is not only jam-packed with nutrition, but is also entirely edible.
Nutritional Facts Of Banana Stems:
Low in calories and fats, while also being high in dietary fibers and astringent properties, the cooked stalk as well as banana stem juice, are superb remedies for indigestion, heartburn, kidney stones, acidity and weight loss.
Moreover, they abound in vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin B3, calcium, iron - key vitamins and minerals for normal red blood cell synthesis, strong muscles, bones and active nerve functions.
Wholesome And Mouthwatering Desi Banana Stem Recipes:
No doubt then that banana stem is a superfood, which has a natural, subtly sweet flavour and a nice, crunchy texture. This makes it ideal to incorporate into numerous Indian dishes, like dals, soups and raitas, with distinct salty, spicy and sour essences.
And although the simple dish of banana stem stir fry, mildly seasoned with spices, is ubiquitously made in all parts of India, some unique regional fare does exist as well.
Try these two appetizing, comforting staple recipes of Baale Dindu Mosaru Gojju (banana stem curd curry) from Karnataka and Kol Posola Khar (banana stem fry with khar - banana peel smoked ash) from Assam.
Guaranteed, they will tantalize your taste buds and uplift your overall health.
Baale Dindu Mosaru Gojju
2 small banana stems, skinned and finely sliced
2 cups curd
2 tsp groundnut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
1 red chilli, cut across
1 small green chilli, chopped into pieces
A bunch of coriander leaves
A fistful of curry leaves
Salt, as required
Mix the banana stem slices with curd and an adequate amount of salt thoroughly and set aside.
In a kadai, heat groundnut oil on medium flame and temper the mustard seeds, along with urad dal, green chilli, red chilli and curry leaves.
Transfer this tempered mixture into the banana stem slices soaked in curd and mix well.
Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves. Nourishing, yummy baale dindu mosaru gojju can be relished as a salad and is the perfect accompaniment to sambar rice, as well as fluffy rotis.
Bestowed with ample dietary fibers, astringent elements and containing almost no calories or fats, banana stem can be effortlessly incorporated into any weight loss regime, in addition to aiding those with diabetes and kidney problems. Curd is loaded with probiotics and proteins, for improved gut health bolstered immunity and robust muscles. Mustard seeds possess antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components, to avert the risk of cancer and relieve pain in arthritis. Also Read: Mustard: Small Seeds with Big Benefits
Kol Posola Khar
1 medium banana stem, peeled and cut
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green chilli, slit vertically
1 ½ tbsp khar (can be substituted with sodium bicarbonate)
3 tbsp mustard oil
Salt, to taste
Pepper, as needed
Heat mustard oil on medium flame in a pan, add the garlic and sauté until it turns light brown.
Mash the chopped pieces of banana stem and transfer it to the pan.
Add the green chilli slices, salt, khar, pepper and stir for 5 minutes.
Pour in a little water, lower the flame, cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 15 minutes.
Turn off the stove. Hot, zesty kol posola khar can be enjoyed with warm rice and ghee for lunch.
Banana stem is bestowed with vitamin B6 for elevating brain functions, mood, memory, besides potassium, that ensures optimal nerve signalling in the body. The smoked ash residues of banana peel – khar, a traditional part of Assamese cuisine, is inherently alkaline in nature, helping to balance excess acidic conditions in the stomach and facilitate smooth digestion. Mustard oil is beneficial for lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease.