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Thursday, June 30, 2011

HOW TO CLEAN VAZHAIPOO (BANANA BLOSSOM)

Banana blossom, vazhaipoo in tamil, has immense medicinal properties. The flower is rich in fibre and is effective in treating menstrual disorders like excessive bleeding & painful menstruation. It provides relief from stomach ailments, especially ulcers. Cleaning the flower is a task for novice cooks, but the benefits are worth the task.

South indians make a variety of dishes (poriyal, paruppusili, vadai etc.) with these flowers.

The pictures are self explanatory, yet a small explanation.


Apply oil on your hands. Remove the bracts (red coloured petals).


Collect all the florets.

How to open the flowers?.. Gently rub the top edges of the flower on your palm. The flowers will open and you will find a hard stamen (KaLLan in Tamil) and husk(plastic like small petal). Remove the stamen and the plastic like petal.These are to be discarded and should not be used while cooking the flowers as they will be very hard.

Continue the procedure with all the blossoms.

Chop the blossoms finely and add to a bowl of diluted buttermilk to prevent discolouration. Vazhaipoo is ready to cook.

22 comments :

  1. i too clean it this way (my Mil's way)good pics self explanatory..

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  2. Very useful post for many of us..awesome..

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  3. I never used this..might b very helpful when I get one..:)

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  4. Very lovely post and useful too:)

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  5. Lovely pics...What a fresh flower you have got..Its been ages since I got this fresh one. Feeling very jealous now.

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  6. Interestng and informative post..thanks for sharing!

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  7. Sometime back I did a post on banana flower tikkis and explained the procedure of cleaning the flowers, we Bengalis love the flower but working women find it difficult to go through the whole process.

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  8. Very helpful post.. thanks for sharing !!
    Indian Cuisine

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  9. this looks awesome!!! wonderful pics!!!

    Happy Blogging!!!!
    Food Blog News Daily
    Good Food Recipes

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  10. This is a very very useful post akka..i remember the very first time i made poriyal with this vazhai poo ;) omg that was a disaster and this is gng to help so many :)

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  11. Very useful post,sure will be helpful for many!

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  12. I remember seeing the finely chopped poo mixed with turmeric powder and sold by measure(aazaakku)in Secunderabad market (very rarely).The very last flower bunch in the end is called GOPU is it?That tastes like coconut and can be consumed as it is.And the stamen is called Kallan.What cld be the reason for the names?

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  13. Nice post Maami and wonderful pictures! I loved your parupusili too. But we hardly get this here.

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  14. Nice pictorial explanation :)

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  15. wow, that is a tedious process, love your pics.

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  16. Such simple explanation as only you can give, super useful post.

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  17. Awesome explanation, I have always done this cleaning under my amma's supervision but never alone. Thanks for providing wonderful information through pictures.

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  18. Hello Aunty, motivated by your post on Vazhapoo, I bought one yesterday and cleaned it carefully to make use of it in Vazhapoo cutlet. I cut the banana flower as instructed by you and steamed it using water, salt, turmeric powder. I used two medium sized aloo and boiled them in cooker - using few curry leaves, green chillies diced, little asefoetida and salt and lots of coriander leaves (in a kadai with hot oil) - I mashed banana flower, aloo together - to thicken further - I squeezed two whole wheat bread slices into the mixture. The filling for cutlet is ready. This I dabbed with corn flour - water mixture and rolled in bread crumbs powder and fried with minimal oil (on both sides) using a fry pan. It came out yummily :)

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  19. Hello Shanthiji, Very nice and inspiring website with many many traditional Iyengar recipes. I tried Vazhaipoo Paruppu Usili - it tastes bitter... I followed the same cleaning process - Is there anything special we need to do to remove the bitter taste? I removed "Kallan"..

    Many Thanks, Kalyani

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