19 December 2011

Banana Flower (Vazhaipoo) Peas Pulao

My four years in Bengal, has made me a fan of few things Bengali. That is apart from the sweets, I love their Aloo-Posto (poppy seed), the pungent smell of the mustard oil in the Aloo-dum, motor-phoolkopi (motor here means matar or peas and not an engine part, phoolkopi means- cauliflower), jhinge-posto (jhinge means –ridge gourd). The ultimate favourite is the Poneer Paturi, in which Paneer or cottage cheese is marinated in spices and steamed in banana leaf. Some of their recipes are painstaking to make, yet worth the taste.
I noticed I have been writing more recipes from the banana family. Its such a versatile plant, that every part of it is usable.
I once tried a Bengali pulao made with banana flower during Durga pujas. It was a little on the sweet side, so I gave a twist of spices to it.

Banana Flower – 1 Medium
Laung or Clove – 2 sticks
Dalchini or Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cardamoms – 3
Tej Patta or Bay Leaf – 2 small or 1 big leaf
Star Anise – 1
Haldi or Turmeric – 1 Tsp
                                                      Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 Tsp
                                                      Green Chilli – 2
                                                       Onion – 2
                                                       Peas – ½ cup or 100 grams
                                                       Lemon – 1
                                                       Coriander leaf – 1 handful
                                                       Rice (Basmati) – 2 cups
                                                       Oil – 2 Tsp
                                                       Water or Vegetable stock– 3 cups
                                                       Salt – to taste

Devein the Banana Flower and soak them in thin buttermilk, so they don’t turn black. Soak the Basmati Rice in water for 10 minutes. Heat the oil and add the Clove, Cardamoms, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon and Star Anise. When the aromatics start to brown add the chopped Onion, ginger-garlic paste, slit or chopped green chillies. When the onion turns translucent add the peas and the Banana Flowers. Sauté all the above ingredients, add salt to taste and add the soaked and drained rice. Add the water or the vegetable stock. In an open pan it takes up to 15 minutes. I made this in a microwave and it took 10 minutes to cook and 4 minutes standing time. Add the lemon juice.


  1. thanks a lot vidya for this wonderful, healthy recipe. Will try this sometime and let you know about the results (provided i get a vazhaipoo here :(....)

  2. :-D True Deepa. The vazhaipoo is abundant here, so i get to experiment. tell me how it was.