Banana blossom recipe | Vazhaipoo recipe | Vazhaipoo Kootu | How to cook with banana blossom | Easy Recipe with banana blossom | Tambrahm style puli kootu
Vazhaipoo puli kootu, a south-indian style tamarind based, thick dal made with banana blossom aka banana flower. A simple and quick pressure cooker recipe with regular pantry ingredients.
Kootu vs Sambar
Vazhaipoo puli kootu is my mother’s recipe. She makes delicious kootu with tamarind. What is the difference between kootu and sambar? In simple terms, sambar is veggies cooked with tamarind water, spiced with sambar powder, thickened with dal mash, usually toor dal.
Whereas kootu, a thick stew made with vegetables and dal. The dal can be a mix of toor, moong and chana dal or just one of them. The spice base for kootu is usually pepper and cumin ground with coconut. I use my mother’s Kootu Podi recipe for my regular kootu. This kootu podi, comes real handy, if you cook south-indian regularly.
Today’s Lunch Thali
On my plate, from left to right.
- Steaming hot rice with generous ghee
- Vazhaikaai Podi
- Vazhaipoo Puli Kootu
- Paruppu Rasam
Types of Kootu
Apart from regular kootu, we have araichuvita kootu with chilies and coconut as spice. Check this simple mixed vegetable kootu made with coconut and chiles as spice. We also have paal kootu, which uses rice flour and milk mix as thickener and just chilies and coconut for spice.
Today’s recipe, Puli kootu slightly resembles sambar, you can even say it as thick sambar. Amma uses, sambar podi along with freshly ground spices for her puli kootu. She also uses a mix of dal for the vazhaipoo puli kootu recipe. Another simple puli kootu with brinjal & chickpeas and made in open pan.
Some Interesting Lunch Menu Recipes
- Vazhaipoo, aka banana blossom. The flowers separated and thick black middle stamen removed.
- Dal, mix of toor dal/split pigeon peas, chana dal and moong dal is used in this banana blossom puli kootu.
- Spices, Sambar podi and fresh masala made with roasted spices, tamarind and fresh coconut, is used to make this delicious tamarind based kootu with banana flower.
- Tempering, regular south-indian tempering spices like mustard, hing, curry leaves.
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Step by Step Instructions to make Banana Blossom Kootu
Please check recipe card below for exact measurements of each ingredient used and also for the detailed instructions
- Prep the vazhaipoo/banana blossom and remove the florets. Remove tthe thick black middle stamen from the florets. The florets can be refrigerated in an air-tight container and chopped whenever necessary.
- Chop the flowers and keep it buttermilk diluted with water. I usually mix 2-3 tablespoon buttermilk 1-2 cups of water. This will stay good in the refrigerator for 7-10 days, that how long i have stored them.
- I usually chop and add them to buttermilk diluted water the previous day, this way flowers won’t taste bitter.
- To make kootu, wash and keep the dals ready. Roast the spices, let them cool, grind it with coconut and keep it aside.
- Heat a pressure cooker with oil, splutter mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves. Add chopped tomatoes and saute.
- Next add the drained and washed banana blossom flowers to the tempering. Add the washed and drained dal to this.
- Add the ground masala paste, add 1 cup water to the mixer, wash and add it to the cooker and top it with another 2 cups of water.
- Add sambar powder, turmeric and salt to this, mix well. Close the pressure cooker and let this cook for 4-5 whistles.
- Let the pressure come down on its own. Open, mix well and serve it with Rice and curry.
Recipe Card for Vazhaipoo Puli Kootu
Vazhaipoo Puli Kootu |Pressure Cooker Recipe | South Indian Lunch Thali #7
- Pressure cooker
- 200 grams Chopped banana blossom/vazhaipoo
- 1 no fresh tomato chopped
- ½ cup Tuvar dal/Split pigeon peas/tuvaram paruppu
- ⅓ cup chana dal/gram dal/Kadalai paruppu
- ¼ cup Moong dal/Pasi paruppu I have used moong dal with skin
- 1.5 teaspoon sambar powder
- 1.5 teaspoon salt or to taste
Roast & Grind
- 1 tablespoon chana dal/gram dal/Kadalai paruppu
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds/dhaniya raw
- 3-4 nos red chillies
- ¼ cup freshly grated coconut
- 25 grams tamarind, size of indian lemon
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds/kadugu
- ½ teaspoon methi seeds /fenugreek seeds/venthayam
- ¼ teaspoon hing/asafoetida
- few fresh curry leaves
Preparing the banana blossom/vazhaipoo
- Separate the florets from the banana flower. Open the flower slightly and remove the black thick stamen in the middle. Cleaned flowers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and chopped whenever necessary.
- The night before cooking the banana blossom, chop them and keep them immersed in buttermilk diluted water. Mix 2-3 tablespoon of buttermilk with 1-2 cups of water. This prevents the flower from blackening and also helps to remove the bitterness.
- Chopped flowers immersed in buttermilk diluted with water, can be refrigerated for 10 days. That is the long I have stored them.
Let us make the Kootu
- Wash and drain the 3 different dals mentioned in the ingredients.
- In a pan, add a teaspoon of oil, roast the chana dal and coriander seeds mentioned in 'roast and grind'. Keep the flame medium and roast. Take it off one the dal turns golden brown. Add the chilies and coconut to hot pan and saute it in the residue heat. Remove it to a separate plate, add the tamarind to this. Let this all cool down completely.
- Once the roasted spices cools down, take it in a spice grinder, add ¼ cup water and grind it to a fine paste. Keep this aside until use.
- Heat a pressure cooker with oil, mentioned under 'tempering', When hot, splutter mustard seeds, hing, methi seeds and curry leaves.
- Next add chopped tomatoes to the hot tempering, sauté them for a minute.
- While the tomatoes are getting soft, remove the amount of chopped flowers you require for the kootu from the buttermilk water into a colander.
- Wash it well under running water and let it sit in the colander to drain. I took about 200 grams of chopped flowers and there was about another 150 grams, which was used later that week.
- Add this flowers to the softened tomatoes and mix well. Saute it for another 1 minute. To this now add the drained dals and a cup of water.
- To this now add sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add the ground masala to this. Add 1 cup of water to the mixer, wash and add that water to the cooker and top it with another 1 cup of water. So totally 3 cups of water.
- Mix the kootu well. Close the pressure cooker and let this cook in medium flame for 4-5 whistles.
- Let the pressure falls on its own. Open the cooker, mix it well with ladle. Serve the kootu with rice.
- This delicious vazhaipoo kootu can also be packed for lunch along with a dry curry.
This delicious vazahipoo puli kootu can be enjoyed as a weekend lunch or can be made in a jiffy for a weekday lunchbox.
While packing for lunch, make sure you cool the rice down first, add kootu mix well, let it sit for 5 minutes, the rice will absorb the liquid, then add 2-3 ladles again, mix and then pack. This way, the rice won’t become like a cake while having it for lunch in the afternoon.