Friday, October 23, 2009

Banana Flower Stir Fry / Bondi Upkari

I find this vegetable most of the times when I visit my local Indian grocery store. This stir fry is a very interesting combination of coconut and the banana flower. Banana flower is considered to be a little heaty for the body so I mostly make it in the winters and the cold season. We never used a lot of it in India, but I tried to make this like any other Upkari's or Sabzi's I make. It tastes great with rice and a spicy curry like Sambar.

1 banana flower
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 cup grated coconut
3 tablespoon gur or jaggery or sugar
2 dried red chilies
salt for taste

Remove and discard the first few layer of petals (i remove at least 3-4 layer of petals) covering the banana flower and use the flowering buds found inside the petals. The petals are discarded as they are very fibrous in nature. Chop the rest of the flower into very fine pieces. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard splutters, add the red chili and fry for a minute. Add the chopped banana flower and a cup of water. Cook covered for at least 30 minutes or till it is soft. Add gur or sugar and salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot.

Zucchini Spice Bread

This is the first time I participated in Taste and Create event, a challenging event hosted by Nicole of For the Love of Food. In this event two bloggers are paired against each other. Each of the paired bloggers has to select and make a dish from the other's blog and send the entry to the event. I feel that it is an amazing way to get to know other bloggers and expand one's horizon in the world of recipes. I was paired with Stephanie from Iron Stef . I short listed many of her recipes including Zucchini Spice Bread, banana bread , bruschettas, potato chips in microwave, Falafel. I loved the falafel recipe as it is on my soon-to-do-list but when I saw the zucchini spice bread I fell in love with it instantly. Both I and my husband love zucchini and I try to use it in soups and sabzi's. I also saw a Zucchini bread recipe in her blog, but choose the spice bread as it made use of plenty of spices. I used half quantity of whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour. I didn't have walnuts on hand, so I used cashew nuts and black raisins. Half way through the baking process the whole house was filled with the sweet aroma of spices. The bread was delicious and we had it for tea. Check out the recipe here.