In today's edition of let's look at a plant/vegetable/fruit that's another super star. Plantain/Banana!

Let's start with the flower.

When the banana bunches have mostly formed, the flower can be plucked and used in dishes. The best out of those is Usili, ground lentils is seasoned, steamed and stir fried with chopped petals, asafoetida, red chillies etc. The stigma and a thickish skin is removed from the peta as part of the cleaning process.

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The plantain, while raw is eaten as a simple stir fry called kaaya mezhukkupuratti.

Another way is to mash it up and temper it with mustards, red chillies etc to make a podimas.

There's also the Erisseri, which is made by making a roasted coconut curry with cumin, black pepper, lentils etc.

Another use of the raw plantain is my favourite.

You guessed it, the CHIPS!

The chips can be made when the plantain is semi-ripe as well. That adds a sweetness that makes the chips irresistible.

The peel can be chopped up and made into a stir fry with boiled lentils too.

Next comes the ripe plantain.

It can be eaten parboiled.

Dip them sliced in a flour-sugar batter, deep fry to make delicious pazhamporis!

Puree it and make pazhampradhaman.

Use them as an outer cover for a coconut-jaggery filling and make unnakkayas!

The possibilities are endless.

The stem is an underrated part of the banana tree. A coconut based curry can be made with it. A recent discovery I've made is making a raita with chopped banana stem, crushed green chillies, shallots and yogurt.

@BinLady I sometimes pack this and a poriyal with rice for lunch.

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