Apr 23, 2012

Mochar Ghonto (Banana Blossom / Flower Curry)

 Rich in nutritional value, Mocha or Banana flower is one of the favourite vegetarian dishes of Bengal. Banana trees are found in great quantity in rural Bengal and in Bengal every part of a Banana tree and flowers are utilized. Stem or pith - Thor in Bengali is made into a tasty vegetarian dish rich in Iron content. Flower-Mocha (in Bengali) is what I made for dinner tonight. Leaves - Traditional plates for food. And they serve as a wrap for preparing smoked or grilled items. Even for religious and social rituals they are utilized. Fruit- of course the banana fruit!!! Raw bananas are used as vegetables.

          "Mochar Ghonto" is a uniquely Bengali preparation of the banana flower. It has now made quite a name for itself in the famous restaurants of Kolkata. This signature dish is delicately spiced, has a delicate sweetness and a hint of coconut that compliments the flavor of the banana flower. The fine texture of the banana flower is really unparalleled, nothing comes close and when it touches your mouth you know you are eating an exotic delicacy.

Ingredients :

Banana Flower : 1 medium
Potato : 2, medium size

Boiled Chana : 1/4 cup
Ginger Paste : 1 tsp.
Green chilli paste : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder : 1/2 tsp
Greated coconut : 1/2 cup
Garam masala powder : 1 tsp
Salt and sugar to taste
Oil : 2 tbsp

For tempering ~

Bay leave : 1
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp.

Method :

Peeling the Banana FlowerOnce the tougher, darker outer bracts/ leaves are pulled away, the florets inside are revealed. These florests can be pulled out and used to make several dishes. In each floret, you will find
a string in the middle with a tiny head and also a small plastic like white cover around it. Both are not edible. You must remove both from all the florets. This is the inconvenient part of the whole cooking process, but with a little practice you can master it.

Cooking the Banana Flower ~  Once the florets have been cleaned, chop them into small size. Boil this in pressure cooker with little salt till almost cooked. Remove water and keep florets aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and bay leaves, and once the seeds start to splutter, add the boiled
mocha. Add turmeric powder and salt, cover the pan with a lid, and allow it to cook for 10 minutes on a slow

In another pan heat some oil and fry the diced potatoes. Set it aside.

Open the lid of the pan, add the mocha and gently cook it by tossing and turning it several times.

Add ginger paste, green chilli paste, cumin powder and mix them well. Also add a spoon of sugar to taste.

Add the fried potatoes, boiled chana and cook till all the ingredients are soft and the water has dried out.

Now add the grated coconut now and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Finally, add the garam masala mix.

Set it on a bowl and garnish with a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter). This dish goes very well with rice,
roti or paratha.

Tips ~

When peeling the mocha, apply some cooking oil/mustard oil to your hands to prevent the sticky juices of the mocha from staining your hands.


Sending this Vardhini's "Healthy Diet – Vegetarian Side Dishes" event, Sara's "Kitchen chronicles Heirloom recipes" event and Rasi's "Walk Through Memory Lane" event

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