May 6, 2014

Vazhaipoo Kootu | Plantain Flower Stew

Vazhaipoo Kootu is a traditional tamil recipe  made exclusively from plantain flowers. 
Vazhaipoo is extremely tasty, but cleaning the flower is a laborious process. Specialties of  plantain flowers are vada (deep-fried fritters), kootu (stew), or poriyal (stir fry). 

Whenever I bring this flower, after removing the style I divide it into two portions to make two different recipes.

Vazhaipoo kootu is prepared with bengal gram and plantain flowers which is immensely flavored with garlic. It is served with white rice or chapathi.


1/2 cup Bengal gram
4 cups Plantain flowers, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Chili power
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

 For seasoning
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 Whole Red Chili
1 Garlic clove, crushed


  • How to clean plantain flowers-
    • Remove the petal from the flower. You can see a bunch of florets inside. They are very delicate and easily fall off from the flower. 
    • Repeat above step until you reach a stage where the florets are extremely tender. So retain the entire chunk of flower holder both the petals and florets

    • Now take a floret, remove the outer cover until the stalk. Inside the floret you can see the stamen. Remove the entire stamen by pulling it. Repeat this process for remaining florets
    • You can chop the tender florets, without removing the stamen
    • Remember to soak vazhaipoo in water. They discolor immediately

          Making of Kootu-
  • Cook Bengal gram in a pressure cooker upto 3 whistles with  1 1/2 cups of water
  • Add plantain flowers, chili powder and turmeric powder. Pressure cook again for 1 whistle
  • In a pan, heat oil. When it turns smoky, add mustard seeds, red chili and garlic clove. when it starts to sizzle, return the seasoning to the pressure cooker. Season it with salt and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Serve hot with rice or chapathi

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