'Vazhaithundu' or the Banana Stem is full of dietary fibre and detoxifies our body. There are so many health benefits of consuming Banana stem regularly. They are helpful in weight management especially reducing belly fat, promotes healthy kidney functioning and also prevents acidity.
The Banana Stem cooks very fast. You can also consume them raw. Instead of just making a stir fry, you can make this tasty Banana Stem Sambar . Enjoy the sambar with steaming hot rice or as a side to your tiffin.
The main part of making the banana stem sambar is chopping the banana stem, which requires skill and practise . Firstly, remove/peel the external layers of the stem.Then cut them into roundels and when cutting each roundel, remove the fibre that protrudes using your index finger. Keep a vessel with buttermilk mixed water and turmeric powder ready. Chop the banana stem into thicker juliennes and soak them in the buttermilk water till use. This helps to prevent any discolouration of the stem.
Vazhaithandu Sambar :
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 25 minutes
Serves : 4
1 cup = 250 ml
2 cups banana stem/vazhaithandu
1/2 cup tuvar dal /thuvaram paruppu/pigeon peas ( boil and mash )
gooseberry size tamarind ( soak in warm water and extract juice)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder/manjal thool
salt to taste
For the sambar masala:
1/2 cup fresh coconut ( grated or chopped)
6-7 dry red chillies/ sivappu milagai
1 tablespoon coriander seeds/dhaniya
1/2 teaspoon oil
pinch of asafoetida/perungayam
For tempering :
1 tablespoon sesame oil/Nallennai/ Til oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds/kadugu
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds/vendhayam/methi seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1. Heat a kadai/pan with oil and roast the coriander seeds and dry red chillies till they turn fragrant , switch off and transfer them to a mixer jar.
2. Add coconut and grind them to a fine paste adding water, little at a time and set it aside.
3. Heat a wide pan with oil and temper with ingredients given for tempering.
4. Once tempered, add the banana stem, turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
5. Add the tamarind juice and allow the banana stem to cook in this juice for 3-4 minutes over low flame.
6. Now add the ground sambar masala , mix and then add the boiled and mashed toor dal.
7. Adjust water quantity and let it cook for another 7-8 minutes over low flame.
8. Add the asafoetida powder, mix and switch off.
Your delicious and healthy Vazhaithandu Sambar is ready !!
Happy Cooking !