How to Clean Banana Flower / Vazhaipoo Cleaning Method

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A Banana Flower also known as banana blossom, vazhaipoo. One of my favorite edible flowers and I make vadai(fritter) whenever I get the fresh one.

In Banana Flower, Each purple petals(bract) has to be removed. Each florets consist of calyx(transparent white small petal), pistil(a stigma with a head which look like a matchstick). These two has to be removed from each florets. Please refer the picture for easy understanding.

The center white part of the flower is called as banana flower heart. It doesn't need any cleaning and it can be used as it is. The tender florets in which the perianth(the transparent white outer big petal in the floret) cannot be opened, then it can be used as it without removing the stigma and calyx.

Cleaning the banana blossom is a tiresome job but it is worth to try for it's health benefits and just for the tasty fritters.

The cleaned florets are chopped finely and then used in various recipes. Some of the recipes are
1. vazhaipoo vadai
2. Vazhaipoo adai
3. Vazhaipoo poriyal
4. Vazhaipoo usili

The banana flower heart can be used in making a south Indian special gravy which goes very well with rice. It has an unique taste and many health benefits. It is rich in iron, calcium, vitamin a and c.
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Basic Information:
Cleaning Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Banana Flower
1 tsp gingelly oil or any oil
3 cups water
¼ cup curd

Video Method:

Method with step by step pictures:
1) Apply a teaspoon of gingelly oil or any type of oil in your hand. Rub it all over the hand. The oil prevents the hands from darkening.
2) First remove the purple petals which is called as bract and keep it aside.
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3) Now you can view the bunch of florets. Remove those florets and collect them in a wide plate.
4) Repeat this step until you see a white cone and unable to separate the petals at all.
5) This white cone is called as banana flower heart. It can be used as it is and it doesn't need any cleaning.
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6) Now, take one floret at a time and separate the white transparent small petal and then the stigma. Pluck these two carefully.Please refer the picture for easy understanding.
7) Repeat this step with rest of the florets. The flowers which are slightly dark or black in colour can also be used.The tender florets can be used in recipes without remove stigma and calyx.
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8) After cleaning, Whisk 3 cups of water with 1/4 cup curd. now the buttermilk is ready.
9) Finely chop the cleaned florets along with the banana flower heart(white cone).
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10) Keep immersed in water till it is used in any recipe. Drain the water and rinse it well, just before using it any recipes.
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Serving Suggestions:
1) It can be used as a raw ingredient in salads.
2) It is used as a one of the ingredients to make vadai or poriyal (southindian delicacy).
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Notes:
1) Your hand sometimes becomes dark even after applying the oil. To avoid it, you can use the hand gloves.
2) The cleaned florets can be stored in a dry container or ziploc and stored in refrigerator for 8 hours.
3) To remove the bitterness of the banana flower, it is soaked in salted or lemon juice mixed water as soon as it is cleaned. Make sure to rinse it in cold water before using this soaked florets in recipe. 

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