1noVazhaipoo / Banana Flower / Banana BlossomsQuantity of flowers depend on the Vazhaipoo Bunch
2tbspSesame Oil 1 tsp for greasing hands for chopping Vazhaipoo
1/2tspMustard Seeds or Rai
3-4nosWhole Red Chillies I have used Pondi Chillies
Few Sprigs of Curry Leaves
Salt to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR LENTIL CRUMBLE OR PARUPPU USILI
1/4cupChana Dal 1 cup is 250 ml measurement
Water to wash, soak and steam the dals as required
FIRST STEP - To Make Lentil Crumble or Paruppu Usili
Wash and Soak the 1/4 cup Chana Dal and 1/4 cup Toor Dal separately for an hour.
Drain the water in the colander, give a quick rinse and allow it to sit for 10 minutes until the residual water has also drained out.
Now add both these ingredients in a mixer grinder jar and pulse them once or twice until coarse (do not add any water)
Collect the coarse dal mixture on a greased steamer plate and steam them for atleast 15 minutes.
Once they have steamed, cool completely and pulse them in a mixer grinder. (note - I have written pulse which means just one or two turns of the grinder and not more than that) we are looking for a coarse sand mixture not a wet sticky one). Use immediately and store balance, if any, within the next 48 hours. Store it in a refrigerator.
SECOND STEP - How to make the Vazhaipoo Paruppu Usili
Once the Vazhaipoo is cleaned and chopped, soaked in the buttermilk mixture, we are ready to cook the vegetable.
Drain all the buttermilk water, give it a quick rinse and pressure cook this vegetable (without any water) along with some salt and a pinch of turmeric powder for 2 whistles.
Once the cooker is cooled and pressure released, lid opened. Heat a pan and add oil followed by urad dal, mustard seeds, whole red chillies.
Add some curry leaves and then add in the cooked Banana blossoms. Stir well, check for salt and add more if required
You will notice some moisture. Allow it to fully evaporate before you add the lentil crumble else it would turn lumpy.
Once water evaporates from the pan, add the lentil crumble, mix well and switch off the flame.
Serve piping hot with Sambar, Rasam or Mor Kuzhambu.
The cooked vegetable stays fresh in the refrigerator for a day. It does tend to get slightly bitter, best to cook it fresh and consume.
The lentil crumble can be made extra and stored in the refrigerator for couple of days. Can be added to vegetables like french beans, cabbage etc.
The vegetable is usually consumed in small portions, as it is extremely filling.
I usually do not add whole red chillies to my paruppu usili mix and prefer adding it separately. I make an extra batch and use it for the next day too.