Banana stems are packed with nutrients and have amazing health benefits. To list a few, banana stem improves digestion as it is great source of dietary fibre. This eases bowel movement reducing constipation. As water content is high, it is good for body re-hydration if consumed uncooked. Good for the people having kidney stones issues. So far I have used this only in curries, salads, palya (stir fry) or in dosa. Recently I have attended pooja in a relative’s house with my family. The bajji that I ate during the lunch was so yummy and actually I could not recognize what it was made up of. Finally I came to know that it was prepared from banana stem that too after a family member revealed it. Today I got a fresh plantain stem in our own garden and I could not resist myself from preparing this out.
Here is the recipe.
Banana stem – 1 foot long
Gram flour/ Kadle hittu – ½ cup
Corn flour/ Corn starch – 3 teaspoons
Red Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon (adjust according to taste)
Salt – 1 spoon (to taste)
Ajwain/ Om kalu – ¼ teaspoon
Asafoetida – A pinch
Garam masala powder – ¼ teaspoon
Oil – for deep frying
Method:Remove the outer layers of banana stem that come out clean. Wash and clean the innermost tube and cut into round, thin slices. Soak in water for 5 minutes and remove from water. Allow to dry. Sprinkle little salt, half spoon of the red chilli powder and garam masala. Toss once in order to apply the salt and chilli to all the pieces. Cover and keep aside.
In a vessel, take gram flour, corn flour, salt, chilli powder, ajwain, and asafoetida. Add little water at a time to prepare the batter. The batter should not be too watery. It should form a thick cover to the vegetable. When batter is done, heat the oil in a frying pan. To check the readiness, drop little batter into oil. It should float immediately without sticking to the bottom of pan. When oil is ready, dip the vegetable in the batter and drop this batter covered vegetable in the oil. Fry until it turns to golden brown in medium flame. Serve hot with choice of sauce like tomato sauce. Enjoy the banana stem bajji, its ideal for an evening snack or during a South/North Indian meal time.