Vazhai thandu / Plantain Stem which is also known as Plantain pith happens to be rich in fibre and also has many medicinal benefits. When my younger one was suffering from constipation years back, the Doctor advised me to feed him the juice extracted from the plantain stem as a natural cure. The juice is also given to young girls to attain puberty as it cleanses the Uterus in a natural way and also heals the stomach cramps that they may suffer during the mensus time. As this is a no onion, no garlic recipe, its perfect to make and have with lunch during Vrat (fasting) days when you are not supposed to cook those ingredients. While my Mom makes the Banana Stem poriyal
differently, this curry version is my MIL’s that is simple, quick which does not involve any grinding.
Vazhathandu Poriyal Recipe
Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins | Serves: 4
Recipe Cuisine: South Indian | Recipe Category: Side Dish
- Vazhai Thandu / Plantain (Banana) Stem – 2 cups
- Tur Dal (pigeon peas) – 3 tbsp
- Sambar powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Urad dal – 1 tsp
- Bengal Gram / Channa dal – 1 tsp
- Whole dry red chilies - 2
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Asafetida – 1/8 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 3 tsp
- Remove the outer covering or thick hard shells covering the tender plantain stem and discard them.
- Cut the plantain stem into roundels and further chop them fine. Remove any fibre that comes off while chopping and discard them.
- You can soak the chopped plantain stem in a mixture of buttermilk and water to avoid any discoloration. This step is purely optional.
- Soak the tur dal in enough water for 15 minutes or before you begin chopping the stem.
- Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle, add urad dal and channa dal and once they become golden brown, add broken dry chilies, asafetida and sauté for a few seconds.
- Now add the soaked tur dal after draining the water away, chopped plantain stem, salt and mix well. Close with a lid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Now add sambar powder, turmeric powder, mix well and let it cook over low flame. Keep mixing in between for even cooking of the plantain stem. No need to close with a lid or add water. The moisture in the stem is enough to cook. It should take 5-7 minutes to get cooked till the stem becomes soft.
- Before taking off add grated coconut, curry leaves, mix well and take off fire. Close with a lid and leave it for 2-3 minutes for the flavors to merge together.
- Serve as a side dish with rice and gravies.
- If you are soaking the chopped plantain stem in buttermilk to prevent discoloration, drain the stem before adding it to the curry.
- Do not discard the buttermilk used for soaking. Add salt to taste and drink it. It will taste a bit sour but trust me it is now full of fibre and nutrients to waste it away.
Labels: Gluten Free, Side Dishes - Rice, South Indian Lunch, Stir fry / Poriyal, Vegan Recipes, Vegetable: Vazhaithandu / Plantain Stem