Banana is one of those plants which can be used in various different ways. From its stem to the flowers and the fruits to the leaves everything is in use. Banana flower, what we call mocha in my mother tongue, Bengali is a delicacy to have. It is prepared in different ways, using various ingredients.
After coming to Bangalore I had never seen banana flowers sold in the market. The last time when I went to my nearby supermarket, there was a whole rack of banana flowers being sold. I just couldn’t help myself and brought one of them back home. My mom cooks it in many ways. I started thinking of which one would be most simple and easy to cook. She puts in gram seeds (chola), even small pakoras made of lentils. But due to lack of time, I cooked it with potato and nothing else. As you all know Bengalis just can’t live without potatoes, so that was a simple choice for me.
The preparation turned out petty well and all my friends who came home that day had only one thing to say, "You made me remember my mom". I remembered watching Ratatouille, when the food critic too remembered his mom having had the dish. That is always the best part of cooking an authentic dish from Bengal.
Banana Flower (Mocha): 1 medium size
Potato (Alu): 2 medium sizes
Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon
Chili Powder (Lanka Guro): 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder (Jeera Guro): 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder: ½ teaspoon
Clarified Butter (Ghee): 1 teaspoon
Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 tablespoon
1. Take out each flower from the inflorescence and cut off the anther from it.
2. Chop the flowers very finely.
3. Put all the chopped flowers in a deep pan and pour in water till it is fully under water
4. Get it to boil and drain of the water, keep the chopped flowers aside.
5. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the potatoes till tender. Take out the potatoes and keep separately.
6. To the left over oil add the spices except ghee and garam masala, fry for 30 seconds.
7. Throw in the boiled flowers and mix the spices well with it.
8. Add the potatoes and pour in some water for the vegetables to get cooked constantly.
9. Simmer the flame and stir it often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
10. Add extra water if it is not cooked properly.
11. Just before taking it out of the flame sprinkle garam masala powder and ghee; mix well.