Banana flowers also known as mocha are the blossoms from a banana tree. Like bananas, they are wonderfully edible.
One can use banana flowers the same way one use cabbage or other greens, they cook quickly and lose quite a bit of volume when cooked.
Mochar Paturi is one of the famous Bengali vegetarian dishes, generally cooked in Banana leaf. The flavor of banana leaf enhances the taste into the dish.
• 250 gms prepared banana flower
• 200 gms wax gourd (potol) (diced small)
• 125 gms onions (coarsely chopped)
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp turmeric
• 8 green chillies
• 125 gms yellow & black mustard (equal quantities)
cup mustard oil
• 2 tbsp water
• ½ tsp salt & 1 tsp sugar
• 5 banana leaves thread
1. To prepare the banana flower, peel off the red covering sheaths of the spadex and pick out the yellow flowers.
2. Remove the stamens from the centre and the tough calyx at the bottom. Chop the tender flower petals and soak them in water with a teaspoon of turmeric for an hour. Drain and squeeze out the water.
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3. Take the prepared banana flower and mix it with the diced wax gourd, coarsely chopped onion, chilli powder, turmeric, 6 green chillies slit down the middle, and a paste made with the yellow and black mustard, 2 green chillies, sugar and salt and 2 tablespoons of water and mustard oil.
4. From 5 banana leaves cut 10 pieces to fit your griddle (tawa). A non-stick pan serves well to make paturi. Place 5 layers of leaf and put the banana flower mixture in the middle, cover with another 5 layers and fold them under the banana flower mixture.
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5. Bring the bottom leaves over the top leaves to make a packet and tie it with thread to keep it together. Place the greased griddle (tawa) on high heat and grill the packet until the leaves burn off one by one to the last leaf.
6. Flip the packet carefully and repeat the process. Leave in the packet till it is ready to serve. Reheat and serve in the packet—to be cut at the table.
You can serve it hot with a plate of rice.