Banana Blossom is known as ‘Koldil’ is in my home state Assam and is used extensively in Assamese cuisine. We generally use the blossom of a particular type of banana called ‘Bhimor Athiya Kol’. When I relocated to Bangalore, I was very relieved to see that banana blossom is readily available in the vegetable market. Apart from being very tasty, the banana blossom is rich in vitamins and minerals and a good antioxidant source.
Country chicken: 500 gm
Banana flower: 2 medium-sized
Potato: 2 medium-sized
Onion: 1 large
Ginger paste: 2 tsp
Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chilli: 3, slit
Green cardamom : 3
Cinnamon stick: 1-inch piece
Bay leaves: 2
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder : 1 tsp
Mustard oil : 3 tbsp
Ghee: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Clean and chop the banana blossom. Add to a pan and boil the chopped banana flower in 2 cups salted water for about 6-8 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any excess water. Keep aside.
Chop the chicken into tiny pieces and marinate with half of the ginger and garlic paste and a little salt. Cover with cling foil and keep in the fridge for 2-3 hours or preferably overnight.
Peel and cube the potato into small pieces, sprinkle salt and turmeric.
Heat oil in a pan. When smoking hot, add bay leaves, crushed cloves, cinnamon and green cardamom.
Add the finely chopped onion, the remaining ginger and garlic paste, slit green chilli and sauté till the masala starts to release oil.
Add the marinated chicken, cubed potatoes, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Stir well. Cover and cook over a medium flame for 5 minutes.
Add the boiled, drained banana flower, stir well. Cook for about 15 minutes over a medium flame. Add little water from time to time so that it does not catch at the bottom.
Cook till the chicken tender and we get the desired consistency. Check to season.
Add black pepper powder, freshly and coarsely ground and homemade garam masala powder (cardamom, cloves and cinnamon roasted and powdered).
Add a dollop of ghee or clarified butter. Serve hot with rice and daal.
As a side dish, I made some Banana Blossom fritters.