7 Uses of Banana Leaves
These leaves are obtained from the Banana Plants. The leaves are bright to dark green in color and are really large and wide in shape. The leaf holds major significance in a lot of religious functions and pujas. Moreover they are also used as decoration, or as plates and bowls especially in Southern India.
1. The most common known use of banana leaves is to use it as a serving plate. South Indian food is usually served on a banana leaf due to the many medicinal and flexible qualities.
2. Since banana leaves are edible, many recipes use them as a wrapper for cooking. Food wrapped in banana leaves can be grilled, steamed, deep fried etc. Ranging from curries and rice to paneer and vegetables, all of it can be wrapped in Banana leaves and cooked in varying ways. Paneer Bhapa is a great example of it.
3. Banana leaf is also excellent for steaming, as it allows the steam to penetrate the food inside or on top of it. You can use banana leaf to line a steamer, or to wrap your food and then steam it, for example Damni Dhokla.
4. A famous Gujarati snack called Panki makes use of this ingredient. In this recipe, the panki batter is poured on the banana leaves which are then grilled on a hot tava using little oil. The leaves can be discarded after grilling since grilling absorbs the flavour of the leaves on to the pankis.
5. It is used widely in Vietamese, Malay cuisine where it is used for wrapping rice, meat and other vegetables.
6. Use banana leaves as serving plates or party platters. In many authentic south indian restaurants, circular discs of banana leaves are placed on the serving plates and food like idli, dosa etc is placed on the same.
7. You can also use banana leaf as a "mat" for barbecues. Simply lay a piece of banana leaf on your grill, then cook your food items on top of it. The banana leaf will turn bright green at first, then pale brown as you cook. It will give a nice flavor to your barbecue.