Photo Courtesy: Srinivasan, Padmini (my parents)
Anything that is healthy, never tastes good! Another acquired taste.. You can possibly just pick a handful of them who really like this vegetable. Here is the recipe of vazhai thandu curry
3 cups chopped banana stem
1/4 cup moong dal (payatham paruppu)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
salt to taste
3 dried red chillies
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
How to cut vazhai thandu:
The most important step in cooking vazhaithandu is cutting the veggie.
First peel (cut) off the thick skin. Next cut it into thick horizontal slices. In each slice, pull off the fibre in a circular motion and discard. Remove the excess fibre, as much as you can :)
Chop each slice into tiny cubes. Soak the chopped veggies in buttermilk water (mor thannai) i.e, mix 1/4 cup buttermilk in 3 cups water.
Let it rest in buttermilk water for a few minutes. This is to prevent the veggie from changing colour.
Drain off the excess water.
Add the drained veggie in a kadai or open pan. Soak in sufficient water and bring to boil. Add the moong dal at this point.
Allow it to boil till almost cooked.
Next add salt (if you add salt at the beginning itself, moong dal will not get cooked)
When completely soft, drain the excess water
In another kadai, add oil, splutter mustard seeds. Add urad dal, red chillies, roast till golden.
Transfer to the veggie and mix well.
Garnish with shredded coconut. (optional)
Serve with a good South Indian meal.