|Mochar Torkari (banana flower veg)|
Mochar torkari chola daler boda deeye (banana flower vegetable)
Ask any Bengali and s/he will tell you how to use each and every parts of a banana plant. Stems (thor in bangla), flower (mocha), raw banana (kach kola), and ripe banana (paka kola) are eaten while the leaves are used to serve food. Preparation time for mocha is longer than cooking time. To remove the flower, clean and cut it takes time. Moreover after cutting into small pieces it needs to be soaked at least eight to nine hours (or overnight). My mother’s recipe is even tedious, not to mention it make is more delicious. She elaborates the cooking process by adding deep fried lentil choladaler boda.
You need fresh mocha/ Banana flower, nicely chopped potato (mom uses sweet potato (rangalu), cumin seed, coriander powder, red chilli powder, fresh tomatoes chopped, fresh grated coconut, turmeric powder, salt, vegetable oil (typically Bengalis use mustard oil, but any other refined oil can be used),
For cholar daler boda you need lentils (preferably Bengal gram dal/ chola dal or any broken lentils), salt and oil. Soak the lentils overnight, drain water and grind it to thick paste. Add salt and green chillis (optional). Deep fry by pouring one tablespoon of lentil batter to make small balls. Fry till the boda turns golden brown/ cooked. Remove excess oil and let it cool.
For mochar torkari, boil the pre-soaked flower pieces with pinch of salt. Drain the water and leave the boiled chopped banana flower aside. Heat oil and fry the chopped potatoes (or sweet potato/ rangalu) till tender. Remove excess oil. Heat oil in deep frying pan and add all spices (cumin seed, coriander powder, chilli and turmeric powder) and add the chopped banana flower, tomatoes and salt (and little water if required). Add grated coconut and fried potato pieces and fried cholar daler bodas. Cover the pan and cook it till tender. Serve it with steamed rice.
You won't find this recipe in the menus of restaurants... either find a Bengali friend or try to find mocha in supermarket, whichever is convenient ;)
Next blog I'll bring another authentic recipe from mom's kitchen.