June 11, 2013

Kehel Muwa

This new country has made me quite adventurous when it comes to new cooking.

I've seen plenty of unusual vegetables in India, but have never even wanted to try cooking them. But somehow the vegetable aisle in Sri Lankan supermarkets has tempted me enough to experiment.

The first week I made dhal with Snake Gourd, the following week made a curry with Thai Eggplant and yesterday stopped at the stores on my way home and picked up some Kehel Muwa- Banana Flower. Definitely the most interesting of the lot. I've never eaten it, let alone cooked with it. But I'd seen a recipe on a friend's blog- Love Food Eat and was convinced that I couldn't possible go wrong if I followed that.

Read the recipe HERE. The recipe was quite straightforward (and her pictures are really good!), but I had to alter it because of lack of ingredients.

My changes:
Had to omit the urad dhal unfortunately. I think it would have really added a lot to flavour and texture if I had it. I substituted dried chili for fresh ones. Quite a difference in taste too. I also added some turmeric and a bit of garam masala. Needed a bit more flavour. Contrary to what she said, this banana flower was not bitter. So, I omitted the jaggery too.

Some more pointers about cooking with it: 
1. Make sure you remove all the tough outer petals. It is not tender at all.
2. The flower loses it's colour really fast and becomes a weird grey, so cut and put into water really fast.
3. It can be a bit sticky and fibrous. So wash well in cold water.
4. I didn't like the little stringy bits, so I boiled it for a bit longer and cooked it more. Probably killed the freshness, but I think it kind of depends on the flower and on preference.

It turned out a lot nicer than I expected. Was tasty and went well with the red rice and potato and coconut gravy for lunch. Leftovers with bread was also tasty.

Next on my list of experiments is Jackfruit. :)

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