Almost all of us have eaten bananas – a very common (and popular) fruit – but many of us may not be aware that the banana flower can also be eaten. In fact, it is a delicacy in Bengal. The flower is rich purple in colour and is large – it could stretch to lengths of 12 to 18 inches!
In today’s post, we look at the traditional Bengali way of cooking the banana flower, which is called Mocha in Bengali. The dish features the banana flower steamed in a banana leaf (Paturi). The dish is, therefore, called Mochar Paturi.
The ingredients you will require are:
- Banana Flower (Mocha): One 500-gram flower
- Mustard Oil : 3 tablespoon
- Coconut, grated: 500 gram
- Mustard Seed Paste: 3 tablespoon
- Nigella Seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon
- Red Chilli Powder: 1 teaspoon
- Sugar: 1 teaspoon
- Salt: to taste
Remove the hard stock and the whitish style from the inner portion of the banana flower. Cut the flower into small cubes. Soak these in turmeric water for 15 to 20 minutes.
Boil the banana flower cubes till they become soft. Once they are done, drain the water and keep the banana flower pieces aside.
Place the Nigella seeds, Mustard Seed paste, Turmeric powder, Red Chilli powder, coconut, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add two tablespoon of Mustard Oil. Mix thoroughly. Now add the banana flower pieces and continue mixing.
Take two banana leaves, wash them in warm water and then shake the water off. With a brush, apply the remaining Mustard Oil on the surfaces of the banana leaves.
Now place the mixture of banana flower pieces, spices and Mustard Oil on the centre of one banana leaf. Cover it with the other leaf. Fold the edges in to form a neat packet and use toothpicks to hold the banana leaves in place.
Your banana flower (Mocha) is now in the banana leaf (Paturi). It’s time to steam the mixture.
Boil water in a Degchi (metal container). Place a strainer across the mouth of the Degchi. Next, place the banana leaf packet on the strainer and let the contents steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
Your exotic Banana Flower in Banana Leaf (Mochar Paturi) is now ready. Serve it hot with steamed rice.