Jan18 - Pan fried Banana stem Fritters.
The Banana plant (Can I really call it a 'plant' when its botanically defined as a grass? ) is referred to in Sanskrit literature as a 'Kalpavriksh', i.e every part of the plant is useful to man -- probably excluding the corm -- but that generates a new plant right? The outer layers of the stem provide fibers for making ropes, the leaves and the bracts are used as disposable plates, and the fruits find themselves both in the category of fruits and vegetables (and in spite of this, the banana is technically a berry. - Go figure!)
The central core of the stem is used as a vegetable all over India. Its not trivial to prep the vegetable - If you read my blog post on the banana stem stir fry, you'll get an idea of what I mean. The textural complexity of the end product make it worth the effort, crunchy and light with a texture resembling a cross between Jicama & radish.
I made these fritters last year simply by tossing the diced produce in a light, seasoned chickpea batter. As the stems do not have much of a flavor (beyond the grassy vegetal notes, similar to a freshly peeled green plantain), your imagination is the limit to what seasonings you want to add to the batter. I think I used Harissa seasoning with this batch.