Tag Archives: Banana flowers

Travel, Traditions and Recipes…Go Bananas… with Fruity Fridays

Good morning…from sunny Thailand…It’s Friday and time for some recipes and a chat…Bananas… I reckon everyone can buy a banana and has most certainly eaten or made banana bread and or a banana muffin…But do you know much about the banana, its health benefits and uses?

Bananas grow everywhere here...In gardens, by the roadside and on plantations…

Its scientific name is Musa Sapientum which roughly translated  means  Fruit of wise  men

Here it is called Kluay pronounced glue eye.

Seasons vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry. Did you know that?

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri-coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork floss.

Tri Cloured sticky rice with pulled pork

The saying that you eat with your eyes certainly applies here as so much of the food is just so beautifully served and such lovely colours like this rice aren’t they pretty and all wrapped in a banana leaf.

Banana flowers are, as the name suggests, the blossoms from a banana tree. Left on the tree, considered as a vegetable.  It’s a very good source of fibre and has many medicinal values.

Banana flower

Banana flowers are the purplish-red flowers growing at the end of the long banana stem. The mature flower often has hard husks on the outside. When the husks have been peeled away, the leaves in the middle can be used to cook. It is also used to make a salad in some countries as well. If you are about to buy some for cooking, you should make sure to choose the fresh ones which are tight and undamaged. The outer husks should be closely overlapped each other for freshness purposes.

The flower can be eaten steamed with a spicy dip or made into a salad…For banana, recipes see this post…

As well as Thailand being known for a great source of Bananas...How about a trip to  Banana Beach in Phuket?

A small beach which can only be accessed by climbing down …Just as well I had Aston to help me and take my hand he is such a good boy to his Nannie…

It was a little way down and a bit slippery in places…But finally, we were on the beach…

It was well worth the climb apart from somewhere to buy a soft drink and a snack, a few boats offering trips to neighbouring islands just lovely sand and blue sea…

We spent a lovely few hours there just relaxing it was beautiful…

Nam Pboon Sai…A red banana dessert…

How was it made…The translation from my daughter in law was it is lime powder…from limes? Apparently not…It is a red powder she said…Ok…

Where does my red Lime powder fit in well it is sold here and apparently some of the powder is rubbed under the top gum of the mouth…I was warned( not) that I had any intention of doing that …To be careful it may burn!!!!!!!!

I was also getting a lot of surprised looks and smiles which translated I think meant what is this lady doing buying that… just as well I had Tik with me to translate that I wasn’t intending to smoke or rub it under my gums but cook…They still looked slightly bemused but I am used to that now.

I just wanted to know and see what made this Banana dessert red…..

To make red lime, powdered turmeric is added to the mixture. Instead of turning yellow like turmeric, this pasty mixture turns bright red. Nam Pboon Sai or limewater is made when more water is added to the mixture. When the lime settles, the clear, pinkish water above is used in cooking.

Limewater is used in Thai cooking to keep fruit used in long cooking like a banana in syrup or breadfruit in syrup. The fruit is peeled and cut and let soak in the lime water.

The grandmother here stores her red lime paste in a jar filled with water. The heavier lime sinks to the bottom while the clear limewater floats above.  When she needs the limewater, it’s ready. She would pour the clear pinkish water out from the jar. She just tops up the limewater by adding more water to the jar. There is also no need to refrigerate limewater or lime paste.

Just a word of warning…

sweet radish croneck squah and red lime powder

The powder I bought was available in red or white but apparently also comes as a red paste. It is pictured here with the pretty eggplants I found…

If you get pickling lime from hardware stores, which often have canning materials available, make sure you get the food-grade quality. The lime building material may contain a metal such as lead.

This is where I began to get quite scared as I know that there are some who just mix whatever they have to sell with no regard for the consequences.

The bananas in this desert look bright and shiny and sweet but are not as sweet as they look… I have found a recipe and now need to find the right bananas…So that is for another day…

That is all for today...Thank you for joining me x

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

 

Fruity Fridays… The Banana

Fruity Fridays Banana

We have many exotic fruits here, so armed with my camera I went to the local fruit market. Well, lots of oranges are in season at the moment as are Watermelons galore and the mangoes are just coming back into the season….but what I was looking for…not in season

Back home I went disappointed and thinking hard as a lot of the fruits are what I call staples available most of the year and now because of progress available all over the world.

What can I feature??? Well, I am sure most of you can get Bananas in your supermarket which will probably be the Cavendish by name as the original Banana favoured by the supermarkets was the  Gros Michel which became extinct by 1960 as it was wiped out by a fungus called the Panama Disease.

This could happen at any time as Bananas are actually clones and if they become infected with a fungus it just runs rampant and kills them all.

Banana it is then..here in Thailand and in my garden Bananas grow in abundance.

Its scientific name is Musa Sapientum which roughly translated  means  Fruit of wise  men

Here it is called Kluay pronounced glue eye.

Seasons vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry. Did you know that?

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork floss.

Tri Cloured sticky rice with pulled pork

Coloured Thai sticky rice with pork floss

The saying that you eat with your eyes certainly applies here as so much of the food is just so beautifully served and such lovely colours like this rice isn’t it pretty and all wrapped in a banana leaf.

The purple flowers of the banana are steamed and eaten with a spicy dip see the picture in the header image.

To make Thai spicy dip:
Finely chop one small shallot, 1 clove of garlic, finely slice 6/8 fresh chillies, add 3 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice…I stir in a little-chopped coriander. If the dip is too salty add a little warm boiled water.

chili-sauce-908355_1920

Thai Chilli Dip

The inside of the skin is also used to stop itching and inflammation of insect bites and burns. It is also said that if you tape a piece of banana skin side down over a wart every night that the potassium in the skin makes the wart disappear with 1-2 weeks.

Mashed and mixed with a tbsp of heavy cream, and a tbsp of honey and then applied to dry hair covered with a shower cap and a hot towel. Left for an hour and then rinsed off before shampooing the hair it is a wonderful moisturising treatment.

There is no end to the properties of this low calorie, no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol berry which is also rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, fibre and B6.

Here it is used to make bread and muffins.

Banana Bread https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/if-your-dreams-dont-scare-you-they-arent-big-enough/

If cooked the banana skins are edible, you will see fried bananas in abundance on the street food stalls…they are fried in batter, grilled on the BBQ in their skins and turned into golden fritters ( Kluay phao)

fried-banana-285222_1920

Banana spring rolls with a sweet dip or eaten green and raw with a spicy dip.

To make Thai spicy dip:
Finely chop one small shallot, 1 clove of garlic, finely slice 6/8 fresh chillies, add 3 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice…I stir in a little-chopped coriander. If the dip is too salty add a little warm boiled water.

They can be used to make a beautiful Banana Blossom stir fry.

Green unripe bananas are also used to make Tam Maak Kluay which is a version of the famous Som Tam ( Papaya Salad) which I first had from a roadside stall near Bang Tao beach in Phuket and it is beautiful.

My most recent favourite dish with green bananas is a recipe from my blogging friend Reena…I have made it a couple of times now and it is awesome we just keep eating them they do not last very long and a great way to use green bananas when you get so many bananas as we do…

Green Banana Koftas

Ingredients for Kofta’s

Raw Green bananas-2
Cottage cheese—1/2 cup(optional) Did not use the cheese.
Finely Chopped onion- 1/4th cup
Grated ginger- 1 tsp
Chopped green chilli- 1 tsp (or more) I used red chillies as had no green.
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Shahi Garam masala powder– 1 tsp
Red chili powder- ½ tsp(optional)
Amchur(dry mango ) powder- 1 tsp…I used a squeeze of lime juice.
Corn flour- 1 tbsp(as binding agent)
Chopped dry fruits for filling(cashew, walnuts, raisins, pistachio or dry berries)
Butter cut into very small cubes
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

green kofta ingredients
To Make Koftas
Slit the top and bottom of the bananas. Pressure cook the bananas with skin on till soft. Peel and mash the bananas add all ingredients except nuts, raisins, butter and oil.
Mash everything nicely to make a dough. Its better to use your finger to make a dough. Make equal sized balls out of the dough. Take one ball on your palm and make a hole in the middle with your finger. Fill the hole with dry fruits and a butter cube in it. Close the hole and reshape it like a small oval. Repeat and make such ovals out of the dough. Sprinkle, little cornflour over it and keep aside.

green banana koftas frying
In a deep wok add enough oil for deep frying the koftas in batches of 3-4. Deep fry in medium flame till brown. Do not fry in high flame otherwise, the koftas will be browned from outside and inside it will remain undercooked.

As this was the first time I had made these I didn’t make Reena’s curry sauce but I had a small pot of sauce in my freezer which I defrosted and used with the Koftas. Purely because I didn’t know if we would like them. They were amazing…Well, the menfolk queried the lack of meat but they are such carnivores…lol

green banana koftas in curry sauce
They are lovely eaten as a snack and also with the curry sauce…

As you can see from the original list of ingredients I use red chilli instead of green and lime juice instead of the mango powder and no cottage cheese…I was going to use feta cheese instead but thought I would try them without. The mix of filling for the centres I used pistachios, walnuts and raisins chopped finely.
With thanks to Reena for a lovely recipe for Green Bananas. They are amazing my friend…Thank you

 

Just a piece of trivia...did you know? That more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit.

Previous Fruity Friday posts you may have missed.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/fruity-fridays-the-pineapple/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/fruity-friday-the-humble-fig/

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/fruity-friday-pomegranates/

Thank you for joining me for Fruity Fridays I hope you are enjoying the posts and recipes if you have any fruits which you want me to feature then please just message me with a name and or picture.

Also sharing is caring so if you love my posts please reblog or share on your favourite social media channel..Thank you xxx

 

A Banana #thelme55fruitweekend.

No, not just a Banana…..I thought about Thelma’s fruit weekend challenge and we have many exotic fruits here, so armed with my camera I went to the local fruit market. Well, lots of oranges are in season at the moment as are Watermelons galore and the ever present mangoes….but what I was looking for…not in season..sam_8482

Back home I went disappointed and thinking hard a lot of the fruits are what I call staples available most of the year and now because of progress available all over the world.

What can I feature??? Well, I am sure most of you can get Bananas in your supermarket which will probably be the Cavendish by name as the original Banana favoured by the supermarkets was the ” Gros Michel” which became extinct by 1960 as it was wiped out by a fungus called the Panama Disease.

This could happen at any time as Bananas are actually clones and if they become infected with a fungus it just runs rampant and kills them all.

Banana it is then..here in Thailand and in my garden Bananas grow in abundance.

So much so that I always freeze some ready to make a smoothie.

This recipe is one that my daughter gave me along side a packet of chia seeds Banana Espresso Smoothie

Its scientific name is “Musa Sapientum” which roughly translated  means ” Fruit of wise  men”

Here it is called Kluay pronounce ” glue eye” spellings vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry.

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork.

The purple flowers are steamed and eaten with a spicy Thai dip.

The inside of the skins are also used to stop itching and inflammation of insect bites and burns. It is also said that if you tape a piece of banana skin side down over a wart every night that the potassium in the skin makes the wart disappear within 1-2 weeks.

Mashed and mixed with a tbsp of heavy cream, and a tbsp of honey and then applied to dry hair covered with a shower cap and a hot towel. Left for an hour and then rinsed off before shampooing the hair it is a wonderful moisturising treatment.

There is no end to the properties of this low calorie, no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol berry which is also rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, fibre and B6.

Here it is used to make bread and muffins. If cooked the banana skins are edible, you will see fried bananas in abundance on the street food stalls…they are fried in batter, grilled on the BBQ in their skins and turned into golden fritters ( Kluay phao)

Banana spring rolls with a sweet dip or eaten green and raw with a spicy dip.( See recipe above)

They can be used to make a beautiful Banana Blossom stir fry.

Just wash the blossoms and put in a bowl of cold water with some lemon.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp coconut oil/olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp yellow split peas/chana dhal
1 tbsp split green lentils/urad dhal
1-2 dry red Chilli halved
2 tsp tamarind juice
5-8 Curry Leaves
1 Banana flower
1 large red onion, diced
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ cup grated unsweetened coconut, fresh/frozen
Salt to taste

To cook!

Bring some water to the boil in a cooking pan and add the banana flower to a boiling water pot and cook for 10 minutes, until they are soft and done. Drain the water through a colander and squeeze with the hand to remove any excess water. Set them aside.

Heat oil in a cooking pan and once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, Let them pop, add lentils and halved red chillies. Now add tamarind juice and curry leaves and mix well,
Mix in finely chopped onion and saute on a medium flame till they are light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric and mix well.

Add the cooked banana flower to the pan. Stir fry for 2 minutes at on a medium flame until they are mixed well with the spices.
Add salt to taste and sprinkle grated coconut on top and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with steam rice.

Green unripe bananas are also used to make Tam Maak Kluay which is a version of the famous Som Tam ( Papaya Salad) which I first had from a roadside stall near Bang Tao beach in Phuket and it is beautiful.

Just a piece of trivia...did you know? That more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit.

 

Banana Flowers

I continue in my quest to find you some unusual foods which actually are very tasty.

I hope you enjoy!

Banana flowers are, as the name suggests, the blossoms from a banana tree. Left on the tree, they would become bananas, they are also edible.

What do they taste like? Well…

They have a similar aromatic profile to a banana, but it’s more delicate when still in the blossom form.

Where would you find Banana Flowers? Well for me in my garden or the local market, roadside stalls or even grocery stores…I am so lucky..

If unlike me you don’t live in a tropical paradise with banana trees, you may find banana flowers at Asian food stores or speciality markets, but usually only in the frozen foods section. If you buy them frozen, they work well in cooked preparations, but won’t defrost into anything you’d want to toss in a salad or otherwise serve raw.

Which is pretty much like any other frozen leaves or herbs which have been frozen.

They can be made into soup, salads or just lightly steamed and eaten raw with a lovely spicy Thai dip.

I hope you enjoyed this.Love you all and thank you for reading this… if you liked  it please reblog xxx

    Cynthia Kaufman

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