The pith or the inside part of the banana stem has many medicinal benefits. Whenever I find a good piece of it, I buy it, at least once in 2 or 3 weeks, I know and do only a couple of dishes with it, one is this Vazhaithandu Poriyal and the other is the Thayir Pachadi ( with yogurt/ curd). I have to learn some more dishes with this vegetable or stem. This is my mother's recipe, the tuvar dal and coconut added gives a nice taste to this curry, try it out, when you get a chance to get this vegetable..
Need To Have
- Vazhaithandu/ Banana Stem - cleaned and chopped, 2 cups
- Tuvar Dal/ Split Pigeon Peas - 2 tablespoons
- Green Chillies - 2, sliced
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
- Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Urad Dal/ Black Gram - 1 teaspoon
- Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
- Grated Coconut - 2 tablespoons
- Curry Leaves - 10
- Salt - to taste
The banana stem looks like a white log, with layers of rind surrounding the smooth interior, we can just make slits and remove the rinds easily, till you get a smooth log.
Now slice it, after each slice, wipe and remove with your finger, the fiber that comes after each slice. Keep the slices immersed in water.
Once you have sliced the entire log, chop them and keep in water. Soak the tuvar dal in water for an hour, drain and keep.
Heat some oil, add the urad dal and mustard seed, when it starts spluttering, add the asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves, mix and add the chopped vazhaithandu and soaked lentils.
Mix, add the turmeric powder, salt and 1/4 cup water, cover and cook on medium heat, till both the vegetable and the dal gets cooked. Then add the grated coconut, mix and serve as a side dish with rice and dal or sambar.
You can prepare the vegetable the previous day, keep it soaked in thin buttermilk, in the refrigerator, then cook it the next day.
You can cook the tuvar dal separately and add, but it should be cooked but not mushy.
You can add a chopped onion along with the green chillies, saute for a minute and then add the vegetable.