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Bengali Mochar ghonto / Stir fried banana blossoms

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. # John Ruskin 

Like this classic Bengali dish – mochar ghonto. A very old, ethnic and traditional recipe, since time immemorial when Bengal was not invaded with foreign flavours. Stir fried banana blossoms with grated coconut that is so staple in Bengali food once upon a time, scented with cumin seeds and bay leaves. So earthy, so exotic, so graceful and so elegant. Off course potatoes are ubiquitous everywhere, a strong imprint of first European colonists that is so hard to brush off.

mochar ghonto banana blossoms

 

Masterpiece recipes are difficult to recreate, it is that delicate balance of flavor, taste and texture that we all strive to achieve in cooking or in art and also in life. Mochar ghonto is one such classic dish from Bengali cuisine, repertoire of few but loved by many if not all.  Though I am yet to come across a person who does not love this dish. Mochar ghonto or banana blossom stir fry is unanimously the star of any lunch menu, yet it is so elusive.

Banana blossoms mochar ghonto

 Mochar ghonto can be prepared in both veg and non-veg ways. Some like it with shrimps including me, others use simply coconut and desi chickpea or chola (kala chana). I have prepared a vegetarian version of it, though secretly I love the shrimp version more.

Long and tedious process of prep work deters many to prepare this classic dish at home. The process of collecting the blossoms, chopping, cleaning etc takes time and couple of years back I have documented them in my old post of Mochar chop. Please refer back to that post for your easy understanding, if you are not familiar with this.

Like all Bengali vegetarian dishes, Mochar ghonto too is pure veg recipe sans any onions or garlic. Even though it can gleefully accommodate prawns or shrimps, only the small ones but onions and garlic are strict no-no.

Mochar ghonto / Stir fried banana blossoms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mochar ghonto or stir fried banana blossoms is a classic bengali dish whereby the chopped blossoms are stir fried in hot oil with bay leafs , garam masala and handful of shredded coconut and chickpeas.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian (Bengali)
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 : Banana Blossom
  • ½ cup : Shredded coconut
  • ½ cup : Roasted desi chickpeas or peanuts or shrimps (if you are using it)
  • 1 : Potato (medium, peeled and cubed into small bite size)
  • 1 or 2 Bay leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 Green cardamom
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 1 tsp : Cumin powder
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp : Sugar (or less according to taste)
  • 2 tbsp : Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Turmeric water or lemon to remove the bitterness
Instructions
  1. After collecting the blossoms, chop them very finely.
  2. Cut the inner white cone into quarter and chop it very finely.
  3. Heat the water in a deep bottom vessel and add the chopped banana blossoms.
  4. Sprinkle some salt and turmeric water or juice of lemon and stir it.
  5. Let it boil for few minutes until the blossoms are soft enough.
  6. Drain it on a mesh colander and run cold water over it.
  7. Squeeze out the water from the blossoms. It should be dry enough.
  8. Heat ghee in a pan and throw in some cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamom.
  9. Fry the potatoes till they start showing some brown hues.
  10. Add the dried banana blossoms, desi chickpeas or peanuts (whichever you are using).
  11. Stir fry them on high heat for 3 minutes. Add the shredded coconut, cumin powder, red chilli powder (if using) and saute them for a while.
  12. Sprinkle salt and sugar to taste.
  13. Cover, simmer on low heat till potatoes are tender.
  14. Add few drops of ghee, check the seasonings and serve hot with steamed rice.
Notes
Oil your palms well, specially the finger tips and nails, otherwise the sap or juicy extract from the blossoms will blacken the fingers , the black marks will eventually disappear in 2-3 days. Oil the knife too if you are chopping the florets for the same reason stated above. After removing the florets, directly put them in a bowl of water as they are quick to oxidize.

Have a great weekend

Sukanya

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Suman Arthy
    April 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

    im missing my aunt looking at this dish, she used to get banana blossoms and make dishes from it…missing her so much

  • Reply
    Poila baisakh menu Bengali cuisine
    April 14, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    […] Mochar ghonto […]

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