Today we will see an easy and nutritious Kerala style thoran, the vazha koombu thoran or kudappan thoran. Vazhakoombu, vazha chundu or kudappan is the Malayalam words for banana flowers or banana blossom.
It is rich in fibers, iron and vitamins, The diabetic patients are recommended to consume this vegetable either raw or boiled because of its ability to reduce blood sugar level. In general, it is very useful to us especially for women, as it reduces menstrual bleeding, maintain a healthy uterus, restrict constipation during pregnancy, improves milk production in lactating mothers, improves mood and reduce anxiety, helps in weight loss etc.... In spite of its health benefits, it is a tasty vegetable which can be converted into starters, main course etc.
While preparing this thoran, one or two things should keep in mind.
Step by step
- Ok, let us start, this is banana blossom (vazhakoombu or kudappan in Malayalam). I know, we malayalies don't need an explanation as it is very common in our backyards. Anyway, choose fresh flowers with tightly packed overlapping outer leaves.
- Remove all the outer petals unless you reach the white inner portion.
- Chop it into small pieces by making vertical and horizontal cuts at the top and put the chopped pieces directly into water.
- Keep in water till used. This will prevent the discoloring.
- Now make crushed coconut (thenga othukkuyathu) by crushing the shallots, green chilies, cumin seeds in a mixer grinder. Once done, add coconut and turmeric. crush again. Don't make a fine paste, it should have a breadcrumb like consistency.
- Now we will start cooking. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and wait till it crackle.
- Break the dried red chilies into two pieces. Add this also and saute for one or two seconds.
- Add peeled, chopped shallots and saute till they turn golden brown.
- Then throw one spring curry leaves.
- Add chopped and drained banana blossom / kudappan and salt.
- Mix well.
- Cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes, till they turn soft and the water content reduced.
- Add crushed coconut and mix well.
- Cook, covered till the raw smell of coconut vanishes.
- That's it. Vazhakoombu thoran is now ready to serve. Serve with steamed rice.
- Some varieties of banana flower will have a slight bitter taste. If you are not sure about the variety, boil in water first, discard water. Use this drained kudappan for thoran.
- Make sure that, the kudappan is not watery before adding the crushed coconut.