With an exception of mango, I generally dislike tropical fruits when they are ripe. However, the same tropical fruit, when raw and cooked using Konkani spices, are an absolute delicacy. One such delicacy is banana blossom or keLfool as we call it in Marathi. I remember my grandmothers cleaning banana blossoms greasing their hands with coconut oil and taking off a black thread. I have seen the actual kelfool in our local Indian stores too, but although I always had a desire to make this bhaaji, I don't have the necessary expertise to cut the banana blossom. So I was overjoyed to spot a can of banana blossoms at our local Chinese stores.
Banana Blossom Stir Fry
1 can banana blossoms, rinsed, chopped
1 cup boiled kale vatane
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
1 tbsp Vengurla Masala
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
2 shallots, chopped or 1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp freshly scraped coconut
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. As they sizzle, add smashed garlic.
2. As the garlic changes color, add shallots or onion. saute till onion is soft.
3. Now add vengurla masala. Saute for 1 minute.
4. Add chopped banana blossom, boiled kale vatane, salt, jaggery.
5. Cover and let it cook for at least 10 minutes.
6. Mix coconut and black pepper. Add it to the bhaaji.
7. Switch the gas off. Cover and let it stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.
1. Traditionally more coconut is used.
2. I got Banana blossoms in a can at our local Chinese Market.
3. Vengurla Masala is a special spice blend from the coastal town of Vengurla, Maharashtra. Since my friend shared this masala with me, I do not have the recipe. You can substitute Malvani Masala or A combo of Red chili powder and garam Masala.