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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Thor Chechki (Plantain Stem Stir Fry - Bengali Style)

          Banana stem or Thor in the Bengali lingo has a lot of nutritional benefits. It contains fibre, potassium and vitamin B6. Besides, it aids in weight loss and improving high blood pressure. 

          So here is a simple Banana Stem stir fry known as 'Thor Chechki'. It is a dry recipe, usually prepared with fresh grated coconut and other seasonings. Vadi / dried lentil dumplings or boiled black chickpeas may be added if preferred. The vadis can be deep fried, crushed and added to the end product too.

          In this recipe. I added some kasundi for some mustardy flavour. In the absence of it, you can go ahead and add homemade mustard paste. To enhance the flavour a bit more, I sprinkled some roasted and ground panch phoron powder. Enjoy it as a side dish with either chapattis or plain steamed rice-dal combo. 


          The cleaning of the Thor (Banana Stem), seems to be a tedious affair, but I realized it is much more easier than cleaning Mocha (Banana Blossom). Discard the outer part of the stem and the inner core part is edible. Cut into thin slices and discard the fibrous part of the stem. Then cut them into thin slices and immediately soak it in water to avoid discolouring. Now it is ready to be prepared into your favourite stir fry dish.

  • 1 small plantain stem, chopped, cut into thin slices & immersed in water.
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chilies
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 tbsp. kasundi / mustard paste
  • 1 tsp. roasted panch phorin powder (equal quantities of mustard, fennel, fenugreek, cumin & nigella seeds)

         Keep the chopped stem immersed in water with a pinch of turmeric powder to avoid it getting dark in colour.

          Rinse well and pressure cook in required quantity of water for 2 whistles. Drain and keep aside.

         Heat oil in a pan and temper with dry red chilies and mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the coconut and ginger. Saute till it changes to light brown.

          Add the boiled plantain stem, nicely squeezed of all the water, salt, turmeric powder and green chilies.

          Saute on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Then add the kasundi and continue to fry for another minute.

          When done, add the panch phoron powder and mix well. Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapattis.

                                      Remove the outer covering of the stem and then slice
                                      into roundels.

                                        Cut into thin strips.

                                    Immerse in water to avoid discolouring.

                             Boil and drain.

                          Dry roast the panch phoron. When cool, grind them.

                          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and dry red chilies.

                             Then add the coconut and ginger. Saute till light brown.

                            Add the boiled Thor, salt, turmeric powder & green chilies.

                             Then add the kasundi and mix well. Saute for a minute or so.

                            When done, add the panch phoron powder and give it a mix.

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