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Also Known as
Vazhai Thandu, Plantain Stem
Banana fruit grows in hanging clusters and these clusters are known as Banana Stem or a Bunch. It is mostly chopped and soaked in buttermilk before being cooked. Sizes vary but it is usually around 10 inches in most markets. You will find it in various colours like off white, light pink and purple.
How to select
Ensure that the banana stem is firm and fresh. It usually ranges from pale pinkish white to off white colour and is around 8 to 10 inches in size when sold in the market.
· It is widely used by South Indians to make a kootu, in which the chopped stem is combined with dal and some buttermilk and then tempered with traditional spices.
· Banana stem juice is beneficial to health according to the science of Ayurveda. To make this juice, combine chopped banana stem, some water and grind in a mixer till smooth. Add some buttermilk and salt, mix well and have it immediately. It will be a little astringent and bitter in taste.
· Combine chopped stem soaked in buttermilk with basic spices and garam masala to make delicious subzis and curries.
· Many use this stem raw in salads too.
How to store
Place in zip lock bag and store under refrigerated conditions.
· It is a good source of dietary fiber. Since it is high in fibre, it acts as a laxative and can ease constipation.
· Banana stems juice when combined with buttermilk and had on a empty stomach helps in weight reduction. The juice has various other benefits. It is a relief for ulcers, burning sensation and acidity. Its astringent quality helps in blood coagulation.
· Banana stem is rich in potassium and thus if regularly taken, it can cure stomach pains.
· The outer parts of the stem can be used to treat heat burns. To apply on burns, apply the banana stem juice which wile se the burn.