Sunday, May 18, 2008

Looks weird but tastes good

Well I did it. I asked the gardener at school to go bush and find me some banana flowers. Ten minutes later he triumphantly appeared with two very exotic phallic-looking things. The staff , after falling about laughing (along the lines of “What is this silly white meri going to do with those??), gave me lots of instructions on how to cook them.

So I came home and my neighbour ,who comes from Malaysia, saw me with them and said, “What are you going to do with those?” She then proceeded to tell me what to do with them aka Malaysia.

Totally confused by all this, I ditched the recipe on my post and went for a combination of Tolai and Malaysian, and came up with this.

In a wok cook mustard seeds and cumin, then add the chopped flowers (Cut open the flowers and discard all the red leaves. Chop up like an onion).

Add a chopped onion and cook for a few minutes.

Add coconut cream, curry leaves (which grow in my garden, but if you can’t get fresh use dried) and chilli. Cook until soft.

When it was finished it was purple

- which worried me a little, so off I went to my neighbour who said, “No worries it will do that.” She soaks it in watered down yoghurt as soon as she cuts it to keep it white. So next time I will do that.

She tasted it, which was very brave of her, because I wasn’t game enough too, and pronounced it was good but it needed more chili – she always says that!!!

I took it to dinner at a friend’s last night and they ate it all up, said it was great.......

.....yeah well we did have quite a few bottles of wine and we were eating by candle light - it does look horrible doesn't it??

But we are all still alive this morning.......

26 comments:

Katie said...

Yay - more bananas! I agree that the final dish does look a bit odd, but it has coconut cream, onion and chiles which make anything taste yummy! Wish I had something exotic like this to have for dinner tonight. At least I do have wine.

Rachel E. Adams said...

This fall when the bananas were blooming I wondered what people did with them, too, since if they're harvesting and selling them, they must be eating them. You don't say if you thought they tasted good or not. Don't tell me you didn't try them? All the recipes I'd investigated sounded a little too complicated, so I didn't try.

USelaine said...

What a beautiful and fun series of photos! Until you mentioned it before, I didn't know the flowers could be eaten. And if you can cook it to the pleasure of the locals, you're doing great! But the first photo is my favorite. Such a pretty plant.

Jules said...

Katie - do you want the banan wine recipe??? I imagine it would taste terrible!!!

Rachel - yes I did eat it and it was nice. the curry leaves and chilli really added to the flavour. it was sooo easy to make. Took minutes.

Uselaine - the colours are just stunning aren't they!!!

Paul said...

Yeah, the food doesn't look too great, but the presentation is spectacular. Well done - glad it came out tasting good!

dive said...

Wow, Jules!
As soon as I get the opportunity I'm going to make banana flower a la Jules.
Wonderful!

Jules said...

Hi Paul & Dive - yes next time I'll work on the colour but hey it sure gets 10 out of 10 for impressing your visitors!!!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Well done for doing this... and I'm so glad your friends got to try it.. and they are still your friends.. ha!
I will stick to the fruit and leave the flowers to flower.. but I do think you are great for going to all this bother for your blogging buddies.. :O)

lv2scpbk said...

Sounds like you have some great neighbors. The food looks good though. I laughed when you wrote about them laughing about you not knowing what to do with that.

Kerry-Anne said...

Now where on earth am I going to find banana flowers in Cape Town? In my book, anything with coconut cream is good; and purple or not, it sounds like your banana flower stirfry was a hit! I'll keep my eyes open for any banana trees in the neighbourhood, so I can give this a try...

Gordon said...

I have seen plenty of interesting recipes on blogs, but this one I will leave to you. I would have trouble getting the ingredients for a start...and my neighbours would not be able to help!

Jilly said...

You described this so fabulously, Jules - and great photos step by step. Yes it does look horrible - I'm glad to hear it wasn't...

It's so good to see local recipes like this. I plan to file it in my 'when I go to Rabaul' file!

GMG said...

Hi Jules! Here I am for the weekly visit… ;)
I wouldn't say that it looks great, but if it tastes great, I'll take it!!
The reflections are awesome; but I'm suspect, as my favourite sport is «sea watching»... ;)
Your place looks great; so, there will be a Club Med soon... ;))
Thanks for your comment on Blogtrotter, which has now landed in the imperial town of Marrakesh, the Red City!
Hope you enjoy and have a great week!

Rachel E. Adams said...

I just looked through your cool, extensive Vietnam blog. Were you living there? I just booked myself a trip to Hanoi for two weeks in June - my first trip alone in 20 years! What shouldn't I miss?

Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow. This one takes the cake. It looked perfect all the way through from the photos to your narrative and then I really looked at the last picture and remembered I had seen that before somwhere. I tried to think but couldn't remember. So I called my wife in to have a look and she looked, scratched her chin whisker and said, "Oh, the last time we baby sat for Mack and he vomited."

Mack is our daughter's dog.

M.Benaut said...

But would you drink banana wine with stir fried Tolai Malaysian banana flowers ?

Maybe the banana wine would be better for pre-dinner drinks on the beach. Just to line the stomach; so to speak !

And, naturally, this recipe should be entered in the "Green and Gold Cookery Book" !!

• Eliane • said...

Dinner is served and we're eating purple food? I love it!!! I'll try this another day: I am out of bananas and curry leves. ;)

Squirrel said...

What a fun post! It doesn't look as bad as you think-- you're very brave to take this on. Bravo.

Donna said...

LOLOL...Silly coming from a woman that lives at the bottom of a volcano!!!! You're the bravest person I know!! Night sweetie!!hughugs

Kelly said...

It does look odd, but the ingredients are so good! I would try a taste...without even having had some wine! This is an excellent series! Thank you for sharing this really interesting post!

Marcel said...

Another great post!

alicesg said...

Wow, interesting. Did not know that banana flowers could be eaten. I love the pisang goreng (fried bananas). I am sure your malaysian friend would know how to fried the bananas in batter. It is so yummy good. :)

Jules said...

Thanks everyone glad you liked it!!!

Donna - your comment made me laugh. Yes I do live at the base of an erupting volcano so I guess purple food should have been a breeze!!!! purple

M B - no not a good idea - yellow wine and purple flowers could make you see more pink elephants than there really are!!!!

Rachael - no I haven't lived there - it might be hard to believe considering the number of photos that I have (2 000) that we were only there for two weeks. But we both had cameras and so did one of our daughters as well!!! Don't miss Hoi An, Hoi, Halong Bay, I adored Saigon but didn't leave enough time for it. Hanoi is so French and so gorgeous too. You will be safe the people are just lovely!!! Shopping in Hoi An is great and the place is full of tailors making clothes so bring pictures or samples. Have Fun!!!

roentarre said...

Wow, these colours just shine and shine. Wonderful photography of cooking!

Marie said...

That's nice of you to give us your recipe but where will we find the produce? :-))

Very exotic!

Are there any French people where you live? Do they sometimes need French teachers? :-)))

Willow said...

Very interesting! I have never heard of eating the banana flowers before! After all those years in Papua- a new food!