Vazhaipoo Vadai Recipe (Banana flower vada)


Vazhaipoo Vadai Recipe, a popular South Indian snack recipe. This crispy snack is commonly known as banana flower vadai or banana flower fritters. Banana flower is consumed more in Asian countries for their health benefits and this vadai is one of the most popular method of cooking it. You can enjoy vazhaipoo vada hot with some coconut chutney and masala chai. Learn how to clean vazhaipoo (banana flower) easily and turn them into crispy vazhaipoo vadai with step by step pictures and video.

crispy vazhaipoo vadai served with coconut chutneyPin

Vazhaipoo vadai

Vazhaipoo is a healthy, traditional vegetable which we use to make thoran, poriyal with it. But the most common dish made is vazhaipoo vadai. Amma makes this vadai occasionally, because of the labour intensive process of cleaning the banana flower. Every time this vadai gets crispy on the exterior and moist in the middle. I made it few days back and loved it so much. I made it two days in a row.

About Vazhaipoo vadai

Vazhaipoo is also known as banana flower. It is a flower that blooms in the banana tree. Banana flowers (also called “banana hearts” or “banana blossoms”) are used as a vegetable in South Asian & Indian cooking. It is served raw or cooked in many asian cuisines. It is usually made into curries or added to salads.

One of the most popular dish made using banana flower (vazhaipoo) is thoran, curries or poriyal. The most popular dish made using it is vadai. It is similar to Masala vadai or Paruppu vadai, but it has chopped banana flower added to the mixture which makes it so tasty.

Many people restrain themselves from making this because of the time consuming process. The Banana flower takes time to clean and few steps has to be followed when cleaning as well.

Similar Recipes

Paruppu Vadai

Medu Vadai

Rasam Vadai

Watch Vazhaipoo Vadai Video

Vazhaipoo Vadai Ingredients

ingredients for making vazhaipoo vadaiPin

Chana Dal – use yellow split chana dal also known as kadalai paruppu for the vadai. Make sure you soak them for at least 2 to 3 hours prior for even grinding. Don’t soak them over 4 hours which will make them mushy when grinding.

Vazhaipoo (Banana Flower) – use fresh banana flower which is cleaned and then soak them in water+vinegar solution to prevent them from turning brown.

Onion – shallots or onions which are finely chopped is added to the batter.

Fennel seeds – fennel seeds adds a fresh taste to the vadai. You can use cumin seeds as well.

Garlic – fresh garlic is crushed in a blender and used. You can use ginger as well.

Asafoetida – add a good amount of asafoetida which helps with the digestion.

Coriander & Curry leaves – adding a good amount of coriander and curry leaves adds fresh taste to the vadai.

How to Clean Banana Flower

Vazhaipoo | banana flower cleanedPin

The most labour intensive process is cleaning the banana flower. The whole banana flower may see intimidating for many. But actually it is quite easy. You have to separate each petals one by one and remove the bunch of banana flower attached to it.

My grandmother taught me how to clean the banana flower. We used to play a game “who does it fast”. She told, when you hold one single banana floret, you can find a tall “stigma” peeking out behind transparent layer called as “calyx”. which my Aachi calls “kallan” (meaning thief, because the stigma hides behind the calyx ). You have to remove and discard both of that. So easy right.

For your easy understanding I have shown you the picture below. You have to remove the calyx and stigma and discard that. The outer leaf is also inedible but can be used for serving or presentation purpose.

As you keep peeling the outer leaf, you will find the inner core or heart. You can chop them finely and use them in making poriyal or vadai.

banana blossom partsPin

How to Prevent Oxidation in Banana Flower

Banana stem contains Iron and when it gets oxidised it turns black. Yes, it is still edible. You can prevent them from oxidation by doing these following steps.

Turmeric Solution – Mix 1 tsp salt + 1 tsp turmeric in 3 cups of water. Drop the cleaned banana flower in this solution and leave it there till use.

Buttermilk – Mix ½ cup yogurt or sour buttermilk + 2 cups of water. Add banana flower in this solution till use. You can use this to soak banana stem as well. This is what my grandma always use.

Lemon Water – Mix ½ lemon with 2 cups of water. Drop banana flower in this solution and let them soak for 30 minutes.

Vinegar Solution – I always use this method. Mix 3 tbsp of Apple cider vinegar, 2 cups of water. Drop banana flower in this and let them soak for 30 minutes. This prevents them from oxidation.

How to Prevent Oxidation in Banana FlowerPin

How to make Banana Flower Fritters in 3 Easy Steps

Pre-preparation – Soak chana dal for 2 to 3 hours. Strain them completely and set aside. Clean banana flower and set aside.

Making Vadai Mix – Grind chana dal and banana flower separately till coarse. Add it to a mixing bowl. Grind fresh masala mix till coarse. Add it to the chana dal mix along with onions, chillies, asafoetida and salt. This is your vadai mix.

Shaping & Frying – Take small portion from this, flatten it and drop in hot oil. Fry till golden brown. Strain and set aside.

crispy banana flower vadai with coconut chutneyPin

How to Make Vazhaipoo Vadai (Stepwise Pictures)

Cleaning Vazhaipoo

1)Take a whole vazhaipoo or banana flower. Peel the outer skin of petals one by one. You will find small bunches of florals inside the petals. Remove them one by one. Make sure you put them immediately in the vinegar water to prevent oxidation.

clean banana blossomPin

2)You will fine a tall stiff stigma and transparent petal like. You have to remove the calyx and stigma and discard that.

remove the floretsPin

3)You need the banana floral alone. Discard the stigma and calyx.

clean the banana flower Pin

Soaking in Vinegar Water

4)Mix vinegar with water. Add the banana floral in the vinegar water so it prevents oxidation. Instead of vinegar water, you can soak them in buttermilk or curd mixed with water.

soak the florets in vinegar water solutionPin

Chana dal & Banana Flower

5)Make sure you soak split yellow chana dal in water for at least 2 to 3 hours. Don’t over soak the dal. Else it will turn sour and mushy.

Once the dal is soaked, strain them in a colander and set aside for few minutes so the water drains completely.

soak chana dal and strain themPin

6)You have to strain the banana flower mixture as well. Make sure it is drained completely.

strain banana flowerPin

Making Masala

7)For the vadai. You have to grind a fresh masala which adds flavour. Take some dry red chillies, fennel seeds in a blender.

You can use cumin seeds and black pepper as well.

grind chilli, fennel seedsPin

8)Add in coriander leaves and curry leaves in the blender. You can use mint leaves for added flavour.

add coriander leaves and curry leavesPin

9)Add in garlic. I don’t peel the garlic. It is not necessary. Fresh ginger can be used as well.

Don’t add water when grinding. Just crush the masala in a blender. It can be coarse.

add garlic and crush coarselyPin

Grinding Banana Flower & Chana Dal

10)Once the chana dal is strained. Take it in a blender and pulse few times, Don’t add water when grinding. The mixture has to be coarsely ground. Remove this ground chana dal to a bowl.

Pro Tip: Leave some chana dal whole without grinding which adds better texture in vadai.

grind chana dal to coarse mixPin

11)Take the banana flower (which I chopped roughly) in the same blender. Grind them coarse. Don’t make them into a paste. Make sure you don’t add water when grinding. the water that naturally comes from banana flower and chana dal is enough.

Pro Tip: Most of the time, I prefer to finely chop banana flower and add it into the ground chana dal. This adds texture to the vadai and makes it even more tasty.

grind banana flower to coarse mixPin

Making Vazhaipoo Vadai Mix

12)Take ground chana dal, vazhaipoo mixture in a mixing bowl.

add banana flower and chana dal in a bowlPin

13)Add in the ground fresh masala, finely chopped onions.

add masala and onionsPin

14)Add in asafoetida, chopped green chillies to the dal mixture.

add asafoetida and chilliesPin

15)Add in salt and mix this really well so it is combined.

add salt and mix wellPin

Shaping Vadai

16)It is quite easy to shape the vadai. Take small portions from the chana dal and vazhaipoo mix. Shape into small ball.

take small portion and shape into ballPin

17)Flatten it using both of your hands. Thats it your mini vazhaipoo vadai is done.

flatten balls into vadaiPin

Frying Vadai

18)Heat oil in a cast iron kadai. I used neutral oil like refined oil or sunflower oil for frying the vadai.

Drop few vazhaipoo vadai in hot oil and fry on medium high heat.

drop vadai in hot oilPin

19)It will take 3 to 4 minutes for the vadai to get crispy and cooked. Once the vadai turns golden brown, strain them using a slotted spoon and remove to a serving plate.

fry vadai till golden and crispyPin

20)Serve hot vazhaipoo vadai with coconut chutney.

serve crispy vazhaipoo vadai Pin

Expert Tips

  • Instead of grinding banana flower, you can chop them into small pieces and add it to the vadai mixture.
  • Don’t soak chana dal over 3 hours which will make them mushy.
  • Make sure you strain chana dal and banana flower completely before grinding. 
  • Don’t grind chana dal to a smooth paste. Grind them coarse and mix with the other ingredients.

Storage 

This vadai mixture cannot be stored as it is. Since the banana flower may leave some water. So for longer storage, fry the banana flower vadai and store them in fridge. You can refry again or reheat in air fryer for few minutes before serving. 

Try These Vadai Recipes

📖 Recipe Card

Vazhaipoo Vadai | Banana Flower Vada Recipe

Vazhaipoo Vadai Recipe, a popular South Indian snack recipe. This crispy snack is commonly known as banana flower vadai or banana flower fritters. Banana flower is consumed more in Asian countries for their health benefits and this vadai is one of the most popular method of cooking it. You can enjoy vazhaipoo vada hot with some coconut chutney and masala chai. Learn how to clean vazhaipoo (banana flower) easily and turn them into crispy vazhaipoo vadai with step by step pictures and video.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Soaking time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 12 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 292kcal

Notes

  • Instead of grinding banana flower, you can chop them into small pieces and add it to the vadai mixture.
  • Don’t soak chana dal over 3 hours which will make them mushy.
  • Make sure you strain chana dal and banana flower completely before grinding. 
  • Don’t grind chana dal to a smooth paste. Grind them coarse and mix with the other ingredients.

Storage 

This vadai mixture cannot be stored as it is. Since the banana flower may leave some water. So for longer storage, fry the banana flower vadai and store them in fridge. You can refry again or reheat in air fryer for few minutes before serving. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servings | Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 1110mg | Fiber: 24g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1197IU | Vitamin C: 598mg | Calcium: 247mg | Iron: 103mg

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