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Author Notes: The Banana plant is generally revered in India as a "kalpvriksh' - a giving source whereby almost every part of the plant is useful. The core of the stem is used as a a vegetable, the outer layers is stripped down for rope fiber. the leaves are used as disposable plates, and the blossoms are used as a vegetable for savory dishes.
Preparing the blossoms is laborious , the inflorescence is stripped off the fibrous pistil individually , diced and immersed in acidulated water to prevent oxidation, drained and combined with chickpea flour and spices to make a thick mix that is deep fried.
Banana blossoms are available in Asian or Indian grocery stores on a regular basis. Look for vibrant large maroon colored conical specimens that are not wilted . —Panfusine
Makes 20-22 pieces
cup chickpea flour
tablespoons rice flour
tablespoon cayenne pepper powder
teaspoon turmeric powder
tablespoon dried thyme
Salt to taste
tablespoons plain kefir as needed
Oil for deep frying
- To prepare the blossoms, remove the leathery coverings (bracts) from the inflorescence one at a time. (keep a large bowl filled with acidulated water (either lemon juice or some kefir whisked in) . Grasp the bunch of immature flowers and rub them vigorously against you palm to 'open' the closed buds exposing the fibrous sticky pistils (the female part). yank out the pistils firmly and discard. Stack the cleaned buds, chop them finely and immerse in the acidulated water. as you work through the the layer, the bracts become lighter in color and need to be pried out to expose the buds, and the blooms progressively become smaller. Stop at the point when the bracts cannot be pried loose.
- Once all the buds have been chopped, drain the acidulated water completely, and add the chickpea & rice flour along with the cayenne chil;i powder, turmeric, Thyme and salt. toss to coat completely. Add just enough kefir to make a thick batter that can be scooped up with a spoon.
- Heat the oil till it just begins to smoke. Drop the batter with a spoon in batches and fry on a medium-high heat until the fritters turn a golden brown, remove from oil and place on a plate line with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve hot with your choice of chutneys or dip.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Bananas or Plantains