Banana Flower (Vazhaipoo) Poriyal/Stir-fry

Banana flower poriyal is a well known South Indian side dish for rice. In our hometown, banana trees grow so abundantly, so we can find banana flowers everywhere! When we moved to Chennai, we actually had to buy the flower; it was so odd to see the flowers being sold in the market, while in my hometown, it is so common and often used to feed cows. Because it was freely available, we always peeled away the harder, pink outside layers and used the white inner part only for cooking. One day while I was cleaning the flower in Chennai, our housemaid asked me, why I was throwing away all the flower blossoms inside each petal. She then taught me how to properly clean the flower blossoms, so that the hard parts that do not cook well, can be removed and more of the flower can be used. Now I never throw away the flower blossoms! Here is the detailed version of the banana flower poriyal recipe.


  • Banana flower —————- 1
  • Onion —————————— 1 medium size (diced)
  • Grated coconut ————— 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind juice —————- 1 tbsp
  • Chili powder ——————– 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder ———— 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Things for Tempering
    • Mustard seeds ———– 1/2 tsp
    • Cumin seeds ————– 1/2 tsp
    • Urad dal ——————— 1 tsp
    • Curry leaf ——————- 1 spring
    • Cooking oil —————– 1 tbsp

How to Clean

  • Remove the flower blossoms from each layer; keep the blossoms and toss the pink petals
  • Keep peeling off each layer until you reach the tender white part
  • Then from each flower blossom, take out the parts shown in the pictures below

How to Cut

  • Chop the usable flower parts into small pieces using a chopper or knife
  • If you use a chopper, it will be faster than hand chopping, but both methods work
  • Once chopped, immediately drop the pieces into a bowl of water (otherwise the flowers will become a dark brown color)
  • Make sure to strain the water just before using

How to make

  • Place a pan on the stove in medium heat and do tempering using the things listed for tempering
  • Add the minced onions and saute for 3 minutes
  • Now add the chopped flower (after straining the water) and cook for around 7 minutes
  • Add the turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and mix them well
  • Then add the tamarind juice and cook for a minute
  • Now add the grated coconut, mix well and saute for 2 more minutes
  • Switch off the stove
  • The tasty banana flower poriyal should be ready to serve


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