Banana flower (kesel muwa) or banana blossom is a tasty ingredient for Sri Lankans to cook it as a stir fry or in a curry. Even we cook this as banana flower pickle or as a seeni sambal. I usually buy banana blossom (kesel muwa) whenever we visit Little India to buy vegetables. Among different Sri Lankan recipes to cook banana blossom, this is one of very easy recipe, which is called banana flower stir fry or in Sri Lankan way, it is kesel muwa thel dala.
How to cut & clean a banana blossom?
Before cooking a banana blossom, you need to cut it and clean. However, there are few tips that you should know to keep the fresh taste of banana flower in your dish. Although there are different ways to clean a banana blossom, here is how we do usually in Sri Lanka.
At this time, I don’t have step by step photos to show how to clean a banana blossom, because whenever I do cleaning or preparing banana flower recipe, it is bit difficult to do the photographing at the same time. Doing quickly is important to avoid the bitter taste or dicolouring of banana blossom.
So here are the few steps to clean a banana blossom.
When you take a banana blossom, you’ll see there are lots of leaves covered tightly around the small blossoms. Outer leaves are usually maroon in colour. Also these maroon leaves are not delicious in a curry or in any recipe.
So, remove the dark maroon leaves till you reach the inner soft light colour thing. With my experience in Sri Lankan cooking we discard the rough maroon leaves (matured leaves) till we reach the soft leaves. Then we start cutting/slicing. In this way, we use most of the banana blossom and discard few leaves (most of the time 3-4) depending on the quality of banana blossom. However I’ve found that in some cuisine such as Indian, Thai, they discard almost all maroon leaves till they reach the white part. So, that is up to you to decide until when you want to discard the maroon leaves.
When you remove maroon leaves, you’ll find small yellowish blossoms. Don’t discard those blossoms; you can still add these blossoms into your recipe.
Once you removed all matured leaves, now it is time to cut/slice banana flower.
In a bowl add some water and squeeze lime juice into it.
Now slice your banana flower and add those into the water bowl with lemon juice. This is to avoid discolouring of banana blossom.
After slicing the entire banana blossoms and leaves, squeeze water and prepare it for cooking.
To cook this banana flower stir fry recipe, add pinch of turmeric powder to the sliced banana flower and mix well. Keep it aside.
Here is the recipe for banana flower fry.
Recipe for Sri Lankan Banana flower fry (Kesel Muwa)
1 small size banana flower
1 tomato cut in to slices
1 tsp chilly powder
1/2 tsp Curry powder
2 green chilly -cut into pieces
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 piece cinnamon
1 big onion chopped
Few curry leaves
Rampe/Pandan leaf 1-2 inch piece
2 tbs oil
Salt to taste
1 tsp Maldive fish (optional)
½ cup thick coconut milk (optional)
Wash & cut banana flower in to small pieces and add to water with lime juice while cutting.
After finish cutting,squeeze banana flower in water using hands & remove water.
Then add ¼ tsp Tumeric powder and mix well.
Heat the pan
Add oil to it
When oil is hot, add mustard seeds & when mustard seeds are popping up, add cinnamon & Mix well
Then add onion sliced. Once the onion is tender, add curry leaves, pandan leaf and finally banana flower.
Then add tomato.
Add chilly powder,curry powder & turmeric powder.
Add green chilly & Maldive fish & mix well.
Once the banana flower is cooked,add thick coconut milk if you prefer it with coconut milk.However still it is delicious without coconut milk.
Add salt to taste.
Mix well & switch off the flame.
Serve with rice