How to clean banana flower/vazhaipoo/plantain flower/banana blossom
Whenever I look at a banana plant/tree, I always see it with a sense of gratefulness. We benefit from each and every part of the plant say its fruit, leaves, flowers, and trunk. Mother nature has gifted this magnificent plant to us. Bananas are rich in potassium, lowers blood pressure and helps a lot in constipation. The leaves are used for cooking, storage, and serving food. Banana flowers and trunk are also used for cooking. Banana fiber and bark are used to make papers.
I know most of you knew how to clean the banana flower,vazhaipoo. This detailed post is mainly written for beginners. You can make a lot of dishes using vazhaipoo like vazhaipoo kootu/banana blossom curry, vazhaipoo poriyal, vazhaipoo podimas, vazhaipoo adai, vazhaipoo soup, vazhaipoo thoran, vazhaipoo paruppu usili, vazhaipoo vadai etc.
Banana flower/vazhaipoo has got so many health benefits: reduces menstrual bleeding, manages diabetes, reduces anxiety, and has rich source of vitamin and minerals. I know cleaning vazhaipoo is a time-consuming process, but considering its health benefits, let us try to cook vazhaipoo often at home.
Few of you have asked me how to select a perfect vazhaipoo? Usually, I see whether the petals are firm enough and also deep red and purple in color.
Now, how to store the banana flower? If you have bought the banana flower, but planning to use it after a couple of days, then just wrap it completely with a cling wrap and refrigerate it. If you have cleaned and chopped vazhaipoo, soak the vazhaipoo in buttermilk and refrigerate it for a couple of days. This will prevent the discoloration of vazhaipoo.
I do not get vazhaipoo often here. I get it once in three months. Whenever I go to buy it, I would always have to choose the best among the remaining two or three vazhaipoo there. I bought a vazhaipoo last week. I know it does not look perfect and the flowers are light brown in color. Still, I have managed to take pictures and write a detailed post.
Banana flower/vazhaipoo – 1 cup
Gingelly oil – few drops to grease your hands (optional)
1. You can spread a newspaper or large plate on the surface area where you are going to clean the vazhaipoo in order to prevent stains. Grease your hands with gingely oil to avoid blackening of your fingers and nails. Open the petal one by one and remove the bunch of long yellow florets attached to the leaf (third picture).2. Remove the florets and keep it in a plate. Initially, you will find long florets, but as you keep on removing the leaves, you will find very small florets. Discard the very small florets as well as the leaves. Now take each flower and slightly brush it on your palm. Closely observe the flower, and you would see a stamen (a long stem like part) and a thin white plastic feathery part.3. Now remove those two parts away. Do the same for all the flowers. Once you remove those two parts, you will be left with the edible flower (refer the third picture). Collect them and keep it aside.4. At the end, you will find the innermost layer : a white cone. You can eat it as such as it is good for stomach ulcers. You can use the vazhaipoo just like that or chop them. In a mixing bowl, add a cup of curd and two cups of water and whisk well. Soak the vazhaipoo in the buttermilk. This helps to prevent them from blackening. Keep it refrigerated until the time of cooking.Now, your banana flower/vazhaipoo is ready for cooking.
- You can clean the vazhaipoo in the previous day and refrigerate it in a ziplock bag.
- Soak the vazhaipoo in buttermilk to prevent it from blackening.
- Grease your hands with oil, in order to prevent your fingers and nails from blackening.
- You can use the vazhaipoo leaves for serving food. For example, when I have guests at home, I would serve vazhaipoo vadai on the leaves.
How to clean banana flower/vazhaipoo/plantain flower/banana blossom below: