A refreshing raitha made using banana stem

Banana stem or vaazhai thandu has a texture similar to celery, but the flavour is subtle and unique.

Banana stem is considered healthy, and is widely used in South India as a remedy for weight loss and kidney stones, as well as an effective diuretic and laxative.

Banana stem is rich in fibre, and makes you feel full faster.

It can be consumed in the form of juice, but eating it provides more benefits. Including it once or twice a week in the diet  helps those looking at ways to cut down the pounds.

Rich in potassium

Like banana, banana stem is also rich in potassium and vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps in production of haemoglobin and insulin. It also improves the ability of body to fight infection.

Potassium helps effective functioning of muscles, including the cardiac muscles, prevents high blood pressure, helps nerve impulses and maintains fluid balance within the body.

Banana stem is a diuretic and helps detoxify the body. However, its ability to prevent and treat kidney stones is under study.  

Now, for a recipe

Banana stem raitha 


Banana Stem - 4" piece

Green Chilies (chopped) - 3

Mustard - 1tsp

Oil – 2 tsp

Salt - to taste  

Thick curd – one cup

Coriander leaves (chopped) - 1tbsp


Slice banana stem, and remove the excess fibre. Chop finely.

Mix with chillies and salt, and set aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze the water from the banana stem and place in a bowl.

Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Then, add the banana stem pieces.

Stir in curd and mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Bholanath Jha

Chef de Partie, Taj Connemara