Hardly looking anything like a flower, the banana flower is also called its heart as it is bulb like and dark purple. But within the dark thick petals is a yummy delicacy.
An important step is preparing the banana flower the right way (or it will be bitter) - Remove the first outer layer of dark purple petal. Also remove the white or yellow stamen (or is it the stigma, gosh biology was never my strong point!) you will come across after peeling out the outer layer. Now, cut about an inch off from the stem (the image above shows all the parts you throw off). Gripping the flower tight so it doesn't open up, slice the flower finely. Then chop it up into smaller squares. If my directions weren't too clear, google - there are some helpful picture guides online.
Banana Flower Varai
1 Banana Flower
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
3 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tsp Indian spices - a mix of mustard seeds, cumin etc
4-5 Curry leaves
1 onion chopped
Salt to taste
In a bowl, mix grated coconut, chilli powder and turmeric powder well. In a dry pan, roast the coconut till dry. In frying pan, heat some oil. Throw in Indian spices and curry leaves until they crackle. Add onion and saute. Once onions are golden brown, add in the banana flower and leave it to cook for a while. Next, add in the roasted coconut and toss well.
p/s: This goes well with white rice or mom's fave - as a spicy sandwich filling.