Every part of a banana plant is used either in cooking or in some other ways. Here is my version of Mochar Ghonto where the banana blossom/flower is cooked in a delicious curry. Traditionally in a Bengali cuisine, the vegetarian version is cooked without onion or garlic. But I prefer adding both for some added flavour.
A lot of time goes into preparing it but it is worth every effort when you relish this exotic delicacy either with rice or chapati. Earlier it was a simple homemade curry, but in recent times it made its appearance in many Bengali restaurants. For the non-veg. version it is cooked with prawns or shrimps.
- 2 banana blossom, cleaned and chopped finely
- 1 potato, cubed
- 1/2 cup black chana (chickpeas), boiled
- 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
- 3 tbsp. mustard oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dry red chilies
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1" cinnamon
- 2 green cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
- 1 tsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- 2 green chilies, slit
- 1 tsp. atta (whole wheat flour) mixed with 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tsp. fresh grated coconut and green chilies to garnish (opt)
Soak the chopped banana blossom in tamarind water for an hour. Drain and pressure cook in required quantity of water, salt and pinch of turmeric powder for 4-5 whistles. Drain the water, rinse and mash well. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tsp. oil in non-stick pan and fry the coconut till golden in colour. Keep aside. Heat 1 tbsp. oil and fry the potatoes till light brown. keep aside.
Heat remaining oil and temper with bay leaves, dry red chilies, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves. Saute for a few seconds till the spluttering stops.
Add the onion and fry till light brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste and all the dry spices (except salt and garam masala powder) mixed with little water to form a paste.
Saute on a low flame till oil separates. Add the boiled banana blossom, green chilies, fried potatoes and boiled black chickpeas.
Saute till the moisture dries up. Sprinkle some water and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Now add the flour paste and combine well. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes. When done, add the ghee, fried coconut and the garam masala.
Give it a mix and garnish with green chilies and coriander leaves. Serve either with plain steamed rice or any Indian bread.
Heat 1 tsp. oil in a pan and saute the coconut till golden in colour. Keep aside.
Heat remaining oil and fry the potatoes till light brown. Drain & keep aside.
Temper the same oil with cumin seeds, bay leaves, dry red chilies, cinnamon,
cardamons & cloves.
Add the onion and saute till light brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and all the dry spices (except salt and garam
masala powder) mixed with a little water to form a paste.
Add the boiled banana blossom, fried potatoes and boiled chickpeas.....
.......followed by salt and green chilies.
When done, add the flour paste and cook for another minute or two.
Add the fried coconut and give it a mix.
Before switching off the flame, add the ghee & garam masala powder.
Serve, garnished with fresh grated coconut and slit fresh chilies.