Banana Flower Fry

bananaFlower Fry

Banana flower is a delicacy in Sri Lanka.  But most people do not cook them because of the laborious work.  It takes some practice to cut these bracts into fine pieces.  In Tamil this dish is called “Valaipoo varai”

banana flower


  • 1 large banana flower (which yields 4½ cups finely chopped banana flower)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 cups red onion finely chopped
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • 2 – 3 dried red chilies broken into 2 – 3 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt to taste


Cut banana flower

  • chop the banana flower into very fine pieces
  • in a shallow covered saucepan or covered skillet add the chopped banana flower, chili powder, salt and water and cook over medium – low flame for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed
  • add shredded coconut and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes
  • in a different skillet add oil and add the chopped onion and fry for about 5 – 8 minutes or until golden brown
  • now add the dried red chilies and curry leaves and fry for another 2 – 3 minutes
  • pour this onion mixture over the cooked banana flower and stir well
  • serve with warm rice.  This goes well with pittu also

Yields about 4 – 5 side dishes

Note: Banana flower contain tannin. When you leave chopped banana flower for a while due to the tannin it contains, chopped banana flower pieces turn black. This also makes your palms black.  To avoid this normally it’s good to add some oil to the hands before chopping banana flower.

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