Niramish Mochar Ghonto (Banana Blossom Curry)

‘Niramish Mochar Ghanto’ is one of the famous Bengali traditional recipe. You might ace a little difficulty to prepare the ‘Mocha’ or banana blossom to cook. It is a time consuming process too. It needs more time to prepare the ‘mocha’ rather for cooking. But once you did it it’s really a beneficial healthy and tasty recipe. It’s very exotic in taste and it is a delicacy too. In my version I always keep it like pure vegetarian recipe using ginger and coconut. In another version of this recipe (Chingri Mach dea Mochar Ghonto or Banana Flower Curry with Shrimp) I use onion paste.

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‘Mocha’ or banana flower has very good nutritional value. Banana flower is a good source of iron, copper, potassium and magnesium. It consists of Vitamin C. It is a combination of protein and carbohydrate. It is good for them who are suffering from sugar and obesity. This recipe of ‘Niramish Mochar Ghonto’ comes from my ‘Thakuma’ (grandmother). She was a master of cooking all these traditional Bengali cuisine. We cook this preparation adding whole Bengal gram, grated coconut and ‘vadi’ (lentil dumpling). You can cook adding all of these or any of these ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Banana Flower – (Boiled and chopped)
  • 1 (Medium Sized-Diced) Potato
  • ½ Cumin Seeds – tea spoon
  • 1 Dry Whole Chillie
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • ¾ tsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ tsp Coriander Powder
  • ¼ tsp Red Chillie Powder
  • 3 – 4 Green Chillies
  • ¾ tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • ¼ cup Grated Coconut
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 6 – 8 (Optional) Vadi or Lentil Dumpling
  • A handful (Soaked Overnight) Whole Bengal Gram/Chana
  • 2 tsps Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 4 – 5 Tbsps Oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • to taste Salt – According

Steps:

  1. Boil the banana blossom adding a little salt and turmeric. Drain the excess water and keep aside. Let it cool and chop them finely.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a kadai or wok and fry the Vadies (Lentil Dumplings) and keep them aside.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp of oil and fry the potatoes and keep them aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, dry whole red chillie and bay leaves, and once the cumin seeds start to splutter, add ginger paste and fry for few seconds then add the boiled mocha.
  5. Add turmeric powder and salt cover the pan with a lid, and allow it to cook for 10 minutes on a slow flame.
  6. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and red chili powder and mix them well.
  7. Add the fried potatoes and cook till all the ingredients are soft and the water has dried out. Also add a spoon of sugar and mil.
  8. Now add the soaked whole Bengal Gram (Chana), cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  9. Add the grated coconut now and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  10. Finally, add the garam masala and ghee mix.
  11. Set it on a bowl and garnish with some more grated coconut and crushed Vadies on the top and another spoonful of ghee. This dish goes very well with steamed rice.

Notes:

~ Pull out the outer dark purple petal like leaves layer by layer. The florets are inside each of these purple petals. The flowers are in a row attached to each other. In each floret/flower, you will find a stiff string in the middle with a tiny white head and also a small plastic like white cover around it. These are not edible and need to be removed from all the florets/flowers.

~ When peeling the mocha, apply some cooking oil/mustard oil to your hands to prevent the sticky juices of the mocha from staining your hands or else you can follow the way I do i.e. boiling the florets adding a little turmeric and salt before chopping.

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