Few people know what is banana flower (mocha) and even fewer has eaten one. In todays fast paced life, this is one of the good things that is slowly fading away from our life. I doubt our next generation will even know something so delicious even existed.
Bongs who have eaten mochar ghonto swear by it. My husband clearly calls it as the most tasty vegeteranian dish. Once he saw one at our local desi store, there was no turning back, he had to get it and I had to cook it. Making this is not for the faint hearted. You have been warned
- 1 medium sized Mocha or Banana Flower finely chopped and soaked overnight in buttermilk
- 1 large potato diced
- 3/4 Green Chilies lengthwise slit
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Cumin paste
- 1 tsp whole Cumin seeds
- 2/3 bay leaf or Tejpatta
- Turmeric powder
- Half cup grated coconut frozen or fresh
- 1 tsp garam masala powder (Clove, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom)
- Ghee 1 tsp
- Canola, Sunflower or Mustard oil for cooking.
Getting the right part of the flower out is the hardest part. Petals of this flower is of no use and we actually eat the stamens. Below is a step by step guide of how you open the flower and get the stamens out. In image-3 I have marked in yellow the parts of the stamens that should be discarded.
Once you have the cleaned up stamens, chop them and drop in a bowl of water mixed with two tbsp of plain yogurt (curd). The stamens have is coated with an alkaline substance which is neutralized by the acidic yogurt.
- Strain the chopped banana flower from buttermilk and boil it with little turmeric and salt either in a covered pan or in a pressure cooker. You don't have to add any water as the salt will make the flower release moisture.
- Heat oil in a pan and temper it with whole cumin seeds, bay leaf and green chilies
- When the spices start sputtering add the potato cubes and fry them till they are light brown
- Now add ginger paste, coriander powder, cumin powder and fry them with little water till they are cooked
- Add the boiled banana flower and continue cooking till the banana flower is mixed with all the spices.
- Now add salt and sugar and mix it well. Cook it covered till potatoes and mocha are done and the water is dried up.
- Add ghee, garam masala powder and give it a good mix.
- Garnish with grated coconut.
Your mochar ghonto is ready to be served with steaming white rice