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Banana Flower Keema

21 May

Arati Puvvu Keema.

Plantain trees are abundant in south India, so are plantain flowers and plantain shoots. Food that is minced is called keema. Plantain flower is chopped finely and cooked with onion and tomato along with various spices to obtain a slightly wet curry called plantain flower keema.
Makes: 4 – 5 Servings


Plantain Flower 1 small
Onion 1
Tomato 2
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon 2 inch piece
Cloves 3
Green Cardamom 2
Poppy Seeds 2 tsps
Bay Leaf 1
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder a big pinch
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Peel, remove ends and finely chop the onion.
Wash and finely chop tomato.
Remove leaves and collect all the individual flowers of banana flower.
Discard the transparent outer covering and pistil of each flower except for young ones.
Check this picture to help understand.
Wash the prepared flowers along with young ones under running water and finely chop them (about 1 1/2 Cups).
The chopped flowers can be boiled in half a cup of water and pinch of turmeric powder for 10 minutes or until flowers become soft.

Heat oil in a deep pan, add fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, poppy seeds and bay leaf.
Poppy seeds splutter vigorously, so cover the pan with a splatter screen.
Once fennel seeds become aromatic, add finely chopped onion and salt.
When onion turns translucent, add ginger garlic paste, chopped tomatoes and finely chopped plantain flowers.
Stir fry for a minute and pour a cup of water.
Keep covered on low flame till plantain flowers get cooked and turn soft.
Add more water if required and stir in garam masala powder, red chile powder and turmeric powder.
Cook uncovered till most of the moisture is gone and then remove from heat.
Serve plantain flower kheema with plain steamed rice or roti.
Notes: Make sure plantain flower is cooked before removing from heat.

Suggestions: If the curry feels little raw, add more water and cook on low flame covered till done.
Variations: Vazhaipoo Paruppu Usli, Plantain Flower Fritters, Plantain Flower Rice.
Other Names: Vazhaipoo Kheema, Plantain Flower Keema.