Banana Stem Mor Kootu / Vazhaithandu Mor Kootu

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Plantain Stem Mor kootu or Vazhaithandu Mor kootu is one of the easiest dish to prepare. I prepare this often to go with any spicy south Indian gravies or variety rice.

The fresh tender banana stem does not quickly turn brown and I generally use to make dishes immediately after buying and don't intend to refrigerate it. The cleaning process takes little time but every effort is worth due to the enormous health benefit it carries.

Now off to the recipe with step by step pictures.
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Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Servers: 4
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Ingredients:

Coconut oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
dry red chilli - 1
Banana stem / Vazhai thandu - 1
Salt - to taste
Coconut - 1/3 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Green chilli - 1
Roasted channa dal - 1 teaspoon
Curd - 1/2 cup
Butter millk - 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup
Method:

1) Take a wide bowl and fill it to half with water and dilute the buttermilk in it.
2) Clean and remove the outer cover of the banana stem. You need to use the core part for cooking. Slice the core stem in round discs and again cut them into small parts. Remove the fiber that comes while chopping.
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3) Add these chopped pieces into the buttermilk diluted water to prevent it from discolouration or browning.
4) Dip a steel or wooden skewer in to the vessel where you kept the chopped banana stem and swirl it for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, take the skewer out and if you see any fiber then slowly remove these fibers. Repeat the swirling step until you don't see any fiber.
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5) Heat oil in a pan. When it is hot, add mustard seeds and dry red chilli. Allow it to sizzle. Add curry leaves. Saute it for few seconds.
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6) Simmer the flame and drain the water from chopped banana stem and add it to the pan along with salt. No need to add water. The moisture in the banana stem is enough. Simmer and close the pan using a lid and cook it.
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7) While it is cooking, grind the coconut, cumin seeds, green chilli and roasted channa dal and make a paste.
8) Once the banana stem is almost cooked, add this ground paste to it. Use 1/2 cup or required water to rinse the mixie and pour it to the pan. Mix Well.
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9) Allow it to boil until the required consistency reached and turn the flame off.
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10) Pour the beaten curd now and mix well.
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11) Mix well one more time and server hot.
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Notes:

1) The gravy becomes thick while cooling down so turn off the flame when the kootu is little watery.
2) Instead of roasted channa dal, rice flour can also be used as thickening agent.
3) The tender and fresh banana stem stays fresh without discoloration which ideally fit for this kootu recipe. If the banana stem turns brown so quickly, then add a pinch of turmeric powder for improving the appeal of the recipe.

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