“Vazaithandu” is the Tamil word for what we call a Banana Stem. As per general usage, the most widely used parts of a Banana plant are the actual fruit and the banana leaves, which have widespread culinary application. But very few understand the importance of the flavour and nutritional value of the stem.
The edible part of the stem is the inner portion of the fibrous stalk. The hard white outer region can be peeled off. The edible stem has something of a sweet and tart taste, that can be widely used in south Indian dishes.
The Banana stem is also very nutritious in nature that can help in the treatment of ulcers and acidic stomach. It can also aid in weight loss. Yet another vegetable that has a very special flavour which can actually be very healthy for you!
My application of “Vazaithandu” is a flavorful combination of the mild sweetness of the stem and the rich density of the traditional Palakkad Molagootal. A nice extra serving of a raw mango pickle alongside this dish will revitalize your afternoon meal!



Vazaithandu—                 1

Moong dal—                   ½ cup

Grated coconut—          ½ cup

Dry red chili—                1

Cumin seeds—           ¾ tsp

Mustard seeds—           ¾ tsp

Urad dal—                      ¾ tsp

Turmeric powder—      ½ tsp

Salt—                              1 tsp

Oil—                               1 tbsp

Few curry leaves.



Remove the outer cover of vazaithandu, cut into slices and then into small cubes. remove the fiber that you will find when you slice the vazaithandu. Soak the cut vazaithandu in water to which 2 tablespoons of buttermilk is added, to prevent discolouration. Take a knife and stir it in the vessel which has cut vazaithandu and remove the extra fiber if it persists.

Cook the moong dal. Remove vazaithadu from water. Add turmeric, salt to the vazaithandu and cook it in the cooker for two whistles.

Grind together coconut, cumin seeds and red chili into smooth paste. Add cooked moong dal to the cooked vazaithandu. Add the grounded paste, adjust the consistency by adding water. The consistency should be semi-gravy. Heat oil, add the mustard seed, when they splutter add the urad dal. when the dal changes colour add the curry leaves, add this to the molagootal. Vazaothandu molagootal is ready.


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