Raw Banana and Banana Stem Stir Fry, a quick, simple and healthy vegetable stir fry using raw green plantain and the stem of plantain tree. With a bowl of hot steaming rice and a dal or sambar on the side, it is a complete and satisfying south Indian meal.
Raw banana is widely used in Indian cooking for making stir fries (Kela Upkari), curries and even vegetarian koftas or fritters. It is one of my favorite vegetables to stock in my refrigerator. Once peeled and chopped, it cooks very fast, so it is perfect for quick cooking.
Not many people know but the banana tree stem is equally if not more nutritious. Consumed regularly, it fights diabetes, helps in preventing kidney stones and aids in digestion too. Banana stem juice is not so popular but is considered best for all the above ailments in addition to reducing acidity problems, stomach ulcers etc. it is a very good source of dietary fiber too.
With all these amazing benefits, whenever I come across banana stem in the market, I make sure to get a piece to make a stir fry with it or add to curries. Did you know you could make a raita with it? Well, I will share that recipe soon!!
Cutting banana stem needs some practice. Peel the tough outer layers of the stem until it is difficult to peel. Cut into slices and remove any fiber that comes, by rotating with your fingers. If the stem is tender, there will not be any fiber. Chop and immediately immerse in water or buttermilk to prevent darkening or browning. Keep aside until cooking time.
This curry or stir fry is made the south Indian way; with just minimal spices. This enhances the taste of the vegetable more. With just a tempering of mustard, hing/asafetida powder, dry red chilis and turmeric, cook the chopped raw banana and banana stem on medium high until just cooked and tender crisp. This takes not more than 5 to 7 minutes (if the stem is tender).
Garnish with freshly grated coconut (optional) and serve hot with rice and dal, it is a perfect south Indian meal to savor. Avoid ghee and you have a totally vegan dinner or lunch option!
So, now that you know how versatile a raw plantain or even its stem can be, go ahead and try this stir fry right away and let me know how easy it was and how much you enjoyed it!!
Did you know you can make a stir fry with the banana flower? Now, that is another dish for another day soon!!!
- 1 cup peeled and chopped raw bananas or plantains
- ½ cup finely chopped banana stem
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp hing/asafetida powder
- ¼ to ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 3 to 4 dry red chilies roughly cut up
- Few curry leaves
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Wash, peel and chop raw banana or plantain into small cubes and keep aside in a bowl of water (to prevent quick browning).
- Wash, remove the tough outer two to three layers of the banana stem and finely chop the inner tender portion into small cubes; place in water to prevent browning and discoloration.
- Heat coconut oil in a deep saucepan or kadai and once hot, add mustard seeds.
- As soon as the mustard crackles and pops, add hing, dry red chilis, curry leaves and turmeric powder.
- Give it a good stir and sauté for a few seconds.
- Immediately, add drained raw chopped bananas and banana stem pieces.
- Add salt to taste, mix well and cook on medium high heat, covered for about 5 to 7 minutes or until soft and cooked. If needed, sprinkle some water in between, if it gets too dry.
- Do not overcook the vegetables; they will turn mushy!
- Serve hot as a side dish with rice and dal. For additional tropical flavor, garnish with freshly grated coconut before serving.
- You can make this same curry without banana stem; add onions instead.
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If you liked this simple and easy vegetable stir fry with minimal spices, then you should definitely try:
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