Banana stem or vazhai thandu cutlet is a tasty and healthy snack. I learnt this recipe from my maternal grandmother.

What you need

Banana stem, chopped - 1 cup

Bengal gram - 3/4 cup

Small onion, chopped - 1

Green chillies - 3

Garlic pods, sliced - 4

Ginger, chopped - 1tsp

Cinnamon - 2

Cloves - 7

Fennel seeds – 1tsp

Poppy seeds - 2 tsp

Cashewnuts - 15

Curry leaves, chopped – a little

Coriander leaves, chopped – a little

Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Salt - to taste

Oil - for deep frying

Ghee - 1tsp

Cooking instructions

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai. Add the spices, onion, chillies, ginger, garlic and banana stem along with turmeric and salt. Sauté well and allow the banana stem to cook till soft.

Soak the Bengal gram in water for about ten minutes and add to the mixture in the kadai along with a little water. Allow the dal to cook till it turns a little soft and all the water has evaporated.

Turn off the flame when the mixture turns dry. Sprinkle cashewnuts and poppy seeds. Discard the cinnamon and cloves.

When the mixture cools, grind to a coarse paste without adding water. Add curry leaves, coriander leaves and ghee and mix well. Make into desired shapes and deep fry till golden brown. Serve hot.

(Durga Gurudev is a homemaker who is passionate about cooking and baking. )

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