Saturday, August 6, 2016

Mochar Ghonto Recipe | Traditional Bengali Recipe | Steps to clean the Plantain flower | How to cook Banana Blossom | Traditional Banana Blossom Curry from West Bengal| Gluten Free and Vegan

Mochar Ghonto Recipe | Traditional Bengali Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

The Tamil and Bengali Cuisines use Plaintain flowers in plenty. Though the cleaning of the plaintain flower is time consuming, the health benefits from this flower is so rewarding, so push yourself to use this flower more often in your cooking. I regularly make paruppusili and Vadai using these flowers. This time, I made a Bengali dry sabzi/ curry and it was just so yummy. A must try ! 

'Mocha' in Bengali  means Plantain flowers or Banana blossoms. Plantain Flowers have amazing health benefits . They are high source of vitamins and minerals and also helps to prevent infections. They are beneficial for nursing mothers as it is believed to increase breast milk. The magnesium in the banana blossom makes it a 'happy' flower as it is believed to reduce anxiety and alleviate your mood. In this dish,  'Mochar Ghonto' banana flowers are  cooked along with potato and aromatic spices. This dry curry  is often served along with steaming hot rice and ghee. 

Mochar Ghonto Recipe | Traditional Bengali Recipe:

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients :

1 plantain flower ( cleaned and chopped)
1 large potato ( cubed)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder ( divided, for soaking the plaintain flower and the curry )
1/2 teaspoon dry red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste

To be ground ( without water):

1/4 cup  fresh coconut ( finely chopped)
2 green chillies (finely chopped)

For tempering :

2 teaspoons mustard oil
2 bay leaves 
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1/2 " ginger piece ( grated)
4 garlic pods ( grated)

For garnish :

1 teaspoon ghee/clarified butter

Method :

To clean the banana blossom/plantain flower :

1. Oil your hands and start working with the banana flowers.
2. Firstly, peel the purple layer and remove the florets.
2. In each floret remove the longest string with a round head called the 'stamen'  and the translucent thin cover .
3. Now chop the florets finely and soak them in diluted buttermilk or plain water .
4. Add turmeric and salt to the buttermilk and allow it to soak overnight ( refrigerated) or at least for 30 minutes. 

NOTE: I had demonstrated how to clean it on Snap Chat recently. Here are some snap shots. Do follow me on instagram and snap chat , so that you can see how to clean the banana blossom as I make them often.

To cook the banana blossom/plantain flower:

1. Drain the water from the florets .
2. Pressure cook them with 1/2 cup(fresh) water upto 2 whistles.
3. Once cool, gently mash using the back of a ladle.

To make the curry :

1. Heat a pan with mustard oil over low flame.
2. When the oil starts to smoke, add bay leaves and cumin seeds.
3. Now add the grated ginger and garlic and saute' for 30 seconds.
4. Stir in the cubed potatoes , chilli powder, salt and 1/4 cup water let the potatoes cook for 5-7 minutes. 

5. Once the potatoes are cooked and dry add the cooked banana blossom ,sugar and mix well .

6. Cook covered for 2 minutes.
7. Adjust salt and add the ground coconut- chilli mixture.

8. Immediately add the garam masala powder ,stir well over medium flame and  switch off.

9. Garnish with a teaspoon of ghee.

Your Bengali delicacy is ready to be served along with steaming hot rice. Delicious!

Mochar Ghonto Recipe | Traditional Bengali Recipe

Chef tips :

1. Peeling the skin of potatoes is optional as the skin is full of nutrients.
2. You can add one tomato to add to the tanginess of the dish.
3. Adjust the spice and sugar levels according to your taste. 
4. Freshly ground garam masala simply increases the  flavour of the dish.
5. If you are vegan, you can skip ghee and buttermilk.

Happy Cooking !

With love,



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