Thursday, June 19, 2008

simple banana flower dish

Banana flowers are dark, powerful looking flowers, heavy and serious. Dark purple petals hide inch and a half long creamy flowerets which become the bananas. Hoards of black bees hover around these creamy flowers which are revealed one petal at a time in some exotic secretive tryst. The whole flower can be eaten but must be soaked in a lime / salt water bath for at least 4 hours first. Harvest with the banana, or cut earlier (when the bananas are 2/3rds grown) for a larger flower.
Preparing the flower
Banana flowers are horribly horribly sticky and their snotty sap will turn everything a dark brown, so unless you are naked in the kitchen, take care! They will also destroy cutting boards and render knives into gooey gluey nightmares, be warned!
Remove stem. Cut on a wet plate with a wet sharp knife. Holding the flower at the base slice as you would an onion, scrape the sliced flower into a bowl of salted lime water as you go, stopping often to wet the knife. Wash the plate and knife immediately after finishing. Wash hands with soapy water.
The recipe
Prepared banana flower
An onion
Turmeric, ½ teaspoon
Ginger, inch and a half, or to taste
Garlic, 4 cloves or to taste
Coriander, teaspoon, or to taste
Good sized lime
Coconut milk, 1 cup
Oil for frying, salt to taste
Heat oil and fry spices and garlic stirring constantly, until the smell is unbearably good. Add chopped onion and banana flower and stir to coat, cook for two minutes then add coconut milk and lime juice and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until onion and flower are softened. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.