Winning Recipe No. 1 – Banana Flower Curry with Lentil Dumplings

The Lifestyle Portal thanks Chef Shwetambari Pandit of Foodwhizz Cookery School, Mumbai for taking out time to pick the winning recipes in our Recipe Contest. We also thank our sponsors Short Circuit and Urban Kala for believing in us and making this competition more special with their super cool prizes.

The ‘Banana Flower curry with lentil dumplings’ recipe  won the first prize for ‘its innovation and yet a smooth taste on the palate.’ – as pointed out by Chef Shwetambari.

Here’s the winning recipe sent in by Momi Mukherjee an entrepreneur and owner of DEVI. She shares her winning recipe with The Lifestyle Portal in her own words:

Banker turned entrepreneur after 20 years of corporate life. Finding more time to give vent to my creative side now. My passion for food, food presentation, photography-mainly architecture, street life & street life, art, textiles, pottery and all things beautiful keeps me going.

My Ma is a great cook and can conjure up the most delicious food with just a touch, while I might not exactly be in her footsteps, do get inspired to carry on her recipes and hopefully hand them down to my daughter some day! This is my Ma’s banana flower curry with coconut and lentil dumplings ♥.

Why I love this recipe is because:

– Local produce is used

– Nutrition value very high specially dietary fiber, vitamin c and A, flavonoids, and potassium

– Sounds exotic and not an everyday vegetable Banana flowers don’t really have a season but are found more abundantly during this time of the year.

Prep time: 30-40 minutes, as cleaning the florets is the only time consuming task

Cooking time: 30 minutes (along with the dumplings) Serves: 4 people 

[scg_html_carrot] Ingredients

Part I

Lentil dumplings:

  • one cup chana daal (soak for a couple of hrs, grind coarsely)
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • Mix all of the above and make rough small roundels into a wok with hot oil and deep fry and keep aside

Part II 

For the main curry:

  • 400 gms of banana florets (cleaned and chopped up)
  • 1 tsp turmeric Salt Tamarind ball (the size of a 50 p coin)
  • 1 tsp of whole cumin 3 tbsp of mustard oil (maybe replaced by any other)
  • 1 big bayleaf 2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut
  • 1.5 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1.5 tsp of red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 2 whole green chillies (slit half way through)

[scg_html_carrot] Method:

  1. Boil the chopped up florets in water with salt and turmeric, and tamarind (this takes away the bitterness) for ten/fifteen minutes Drain and keep aside
  2. Heat oil, add bay leaf and whole cumin till they splutter Add a tbspn of freshly grated coconut
  3. Stir for 3 mins Add the boiled and drained florets stir for 5 minutes Add salt, coriander powder, chilli powder
  4. Stir for a few more minutes till the raw masala smell disappears Add the fried lentil dumplings and a little water and a pinch of sugar and the green chillies
  5. Cook till done, stirring it from time to time and making sure the curry is moist and not completely dried out (can sprinkle a little water if required)
  6. Before removing from the flame, add the garam masala powder and a tsp of ghee (optional) serve with steaming hot rice and yum!

[scg_html_carrot] Note – you could replace the lentil dumplings with shrimps sautéed with turmeric and salt!

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The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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