Hi Supermoms ,
Plantain Flower known as 'Vazhapoo' in Tamil , is an excellent source of fiber . It has excellent health benefits including soothing and curing menstrual pain and problems. Cooking the plantain flower has been in the Tamil food culture for generations. As not many like the taste of the flower, it is best enjoyed as these crispy fritters. The main work behind cooking this dish is the cleaning the flower. You can do the cleaning of the flower a day in advance.
You can grind the batter smooth and shape it like 'medhu vadai' or grind it coarsely and fry it like 'masala vadai'. I make both ways for variation and they taste equally good.
Recipe courtesy: Mrs. Shreedevi Madhavan
Vazhapoo Vadai | Plantain Flower Vadai :
Preparation time : 1 hour
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves : 6
1 cup = 250 ml cup
Special vessel : Iron Wok for frying ( gives the vadai gives the best colour and taste)
1 flower medium size VAZHAPOO( plantain flower)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 " ginger (grated)
1 cup soaked channa dal /bengal gram( soak it for 1 hour or little more)
2 red chillies OR green chillies
few pudina leaves ( finely chopped, optional)or cilantro
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
oil for frying
1. Remove the black long stock inside each flower , wash and set it aside.
Note: This step can be done earlier .
2. You can boil them in two cups of water for 7-8 minutes or Microwave it with little water for 2 minutes.
2. Keep two teaspoons of channa dal aside and grind the rest of dal and the vazhapoo , red chillies without adding any water to make a thick paste.
3. Add the fennel seeds, chopped pudina leaves ( if adding ) and the whole channa dal.
4. Add salt, asafoetida .
5. Shape them into roundels.
Tip: If the batter is too smooth, then you can shape them like Medhu Vadai.
6. Heat oil in wok/pan and deep fry them till they are uniformly cooked on all sides.
Tip:Temperature of oil is very important for the vadas. Check by dropping a small piece into the oil. If it sizzles and floats on the top, then the oil is ready.
4. When they turn golden brown on both sides, it's time to remove them from oil.
Your most healthy, delicate and soft Vadas are ready to be served with sauce or chutney.
For added taste , you can add finely chopped garlic and onions.
If you have your batter ready by grinding it the previous night, you can fry and pack these even for your kid's lunch box.
A healthy snack for tea party, get togethers, picnics and of course on special occasions.