Banana Flower Stir Fry

By: Esther Vasa

Banana Flower has many health benefits and is largely used in Asian cooking. It can help those with diabetes, hypertension, promotes cardiovascular health, helps in healing cuts and wounds and is good for women with gynecological problems (especially menorrhagia)

Banana Flower - 1
Banana Flower Stir Fry
(Finished Product)
Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 1 tsp

For Stir Fry
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4th tsp
Bengal Gram or Split Garbanzo Beans - 1 tsp (optional)
Black Gram or Split Black Lentils - 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/8th tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/8th tsp
Curry Leaves - 6 (optional)
Sliced Onion - 1/2 cup
Chopped Garlic - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro finely chopped - 2 tsp
Himalayan Salt to taste

Steps to prepare the banana flower for stir fry:

First off, apply one teaspoon of olive oil to your hands before working with the banana flower. As you work with the flower, your hands get sticky and the olive oil prevents this.
Figure 1

First get a banana flower. These are available in Asian stores mostly. Figure 1 shows how a banana flower looks like.
Figure 2

As shown in Figure 2, open the red petal of the banana flower. You would find young bananas hidden there. Remove them. This way open each petal and separate the young bananas until you can't open the petals any more.

Figure 3

The core of the flower is what you arrive at as you peel or open each petal. The core is also called the "heart" of the flower and it is as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 4

As shown in Figure 4, separate the stamen and the smaller looking petal from each young banana. This looks like a time taking process but it isn't as bad. It is a fun activity especially for children. 

Figure 5

Thinly slice the flowers and the heart. Transfer the slices into a strainer as shown in Figure 5. Slip the strainer with its contents into a large bowl filled with water. Squeeze lime juice and thoroughly wash the slices. Set it aside. The banana flower is now ready for the stir fry!

Stir Fry Procedure:
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large, thick and heavy bottomed steel pan.
  • Splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add the curry leaves, bengal gram and black gram and fry until the seeds are golden brown in color.
  • Then, add onion and allow it to sweat. 
  • Next, add garlic and the banana flower from the strainer. Mix well for a minute.
  • At this point you can add turmeric, cumin powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Saute for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Just before transferring into a serving bowl, mix in the chopped cilantro. 
  • Enjoy with warm corn tortillas ( non-GMO ) or brown rice or quinoa!

Serves: 2-3