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Bengali Mochar chop / Banana Blossom( Flower) Cutlets

This post was first published in2011, re-published again with fresh content, photographs and slight change in the recipe.

What is Banana Blossom / Flower Cutlets (croquettes)?

Banana Blossom (Flower) Cutlets/ croquettes or Bengali Mochar Chop holds an almost cult status in Bengali cuisine. A relic of gift from colonial past, a delicacy that is meant for all kinds of small and big celebrations. Banana blossom or mocha  itself holds a very special stature in Bengali cuisine, and considered as very adventurous and gastronomically exciting. And not just cutlets, Bengali cuisine has lots of age old traditional recipes that uses the flowers of banana in most exciting ways.

banana flower cutlets

You might also like our Classic Bengali Mochar Ghonto / Stir fried Banana flowers with coconut.

Have you ever tried making the banana stem / bract boats?

As I was gently removing the outer bracts to extract the inner flowers, moments slowly drifted me towards my childhood days.

We used to make boats out of its rich purplish leaves or bracts. And after a heavy downpour, when the small dried streams comes alive with full force, our boats streamed along its way to some unknown destinations.

Sometimes by using its fibers, we would made sail boats apparently for a longer journey or even trade boats. I know that sounds little strange, but such were the fanciful ways of childhood days. Whatever we found in our daily hiking in the woods, be it a rare wild flower, or wild berries, some colored barks of a tree, beautiful  pebbles, pine cones, tamarind and wild gooseberries, all formed a part of that little trade. And growing up in a beautiful hilly town strewn with eucalyptus, pines and teak would meant that our pockets would always be filled with those little treasures.

As I am writing this post, my mind re-lives those blissful moments of childhood days once again.

mochar chop

 

Culinary adventures with banana flowers is both exciting and tedious at times, mainly because of the preparation work it needs.

You might also like our Banana Flowers With Shrimp / Chingri diye mochar ghonto, an eternal Bengali classic recipe.

What to remove from the banana blossoms:
Beneath every bracts of banana blossoms lies the ordered rows of yellow-tipped small florets, which looks highly appealing. You have to remove the pinkish inedible hard fiber like small petals or casing at the stem base. And the hard stigma from each florets as shown in the photo.

banana blossom

What to do with the innermost conical part of banana blossom:

While doing so a stage will be reached when it is no longer possible to peel off the blossoms, chop off the innermost conical part and use it in your recipe.

How to remove the bitterness of banana blossom / flower/ mocha:
Boil the banana blossom in water which has a healthy volume of lemon juice or tamarind extract in it. Most of the chefs boil it in diluted milk to make it more soft (as told to me by one of the budding professional chef)

mocha banana blossom

How to make Bengali mochar chop / banana flower cutlets ?

After the prep work is done, banana flowers are first stir fired with spices and peanuts. You may add grated coconut too. The mixture is then ready for stuffing.

Banana flower cutlets can be made in two ways – first process where stir fired banana flowers are mixed with mashed potatoes and then crumb coated and deep fried. This is by far the easiest way to make and hassle free too.

Second way, which I prefer is to make the cutlets, the French croquette way. That is stuffing the stir fried banana flowers in mashed potato shell, giving them the croquette shape, crumb coated and then deep fried.

This way of making the banana flower croquette or mochar chop taste better as you get to taste and enjoy the full flavour of the banana flowers undiluted. The crispness of the potato and crumb coating delightfully matches with the soft and exotic taste of banana blossoms.

 

mochar chop

What to serve with Bengali mochar chop / banana blossom cutlets?

Arguably the best partner or the unbeatable accompaniment of chops and cutlets in Bengali cuisine is the piquant mustard sauce, also known as Kasundi. Chop and cutlets are usually served with a dollop of kasundi and slices of cucumbers and onion rings. Also sometimes the matchstick cuts of beetroots are the usual suspects to serve in a appetizer platter.

Here is how to make an Instant Mango Mustard Sauce / Bengali Aam Kasundi (non-fermented version).

banana flower chop cutlett

 

Banana Flower Cutlets / Croquettes / Bengali Mochar Chop
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Banna blossom appetizer with coconut and peanuts, it holds a special stature in Bengali cuisine.
Course: Snack
Recipe Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Keyword: Banana flower cutlet, banana flower recipe
Servings: 6
Author: Sukanya Ghosh
Recipe Ingredients
  • 1 Flower of Banana or (Mocha in Bengali)
  • 3 Potatoes, mashed big
  • 3 Green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Cardamoms
  • 1/2 cup Scraped Coconut
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts
  • 2 tbsp Raisins
  • 1 tsp Roasted Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Ginger, chopped:
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Flour slurry (made with flour and water)
  • 1/2 cup A mix of cornflour and breadcrumbs
  • Oil for deep-frying
Recipe Instructions
Prepare the florets
  1. Collect the florets of the flower, tear out the middle stem (stigma) of the florets and finely chopped the florets in batches.
  2. Boil the florets in water with lemon juice or tamarind extract or try it with milk for 10 minutes. Strain the florets in a strainer and discard the water, squeeze extra water out of it by hard pressing, it will become pulpy. Keep it aside.
Prepare the stuffing
  1. Heat some oil in a pan and temper it with cumin seeds. Add the chopped banana florets and saute for sometime. Next add the peanuts or grated coconut along with cumin powder, garam masala, ginger, raisins, salt and sugar to taste. Lightly stir fry for few more minutes and remove from the heat.

Prepare the potato shells
  1. Mashed thoroughly the potatoes and mix it with salt and finely chopped green chillies. Divide it into six portions, flatten them like patties and give a bowl like shape.
  2. Filled the bowl of mashed potatoes with stir fried banana blossom in the center and wrap it along so that the banana flowers is well secured inside it .

  3. Give them your desired shapes like cutlets or croquettes and keep aside for 5 minute.

    Prepare a slurry of flour and water. Dip each of the croquette in flour slurry, then roll them over in a mixture of cornflour and breadcrumbs. Keep aside.

    Repeat this steps with each of the croquette.

    Refrigerate the croquette for 20 minute. It will help to bind the crumb coating well.

  4. I preferably do double coating. For this take out the refrigerated croquettes and once again dip them in flour slurry and then crum coated with bread crumbs. Keep aside for 15 minute.

    Deep fry each of the mochar chop / banana flower cutlets till golden brown on all sides.

  5. Serve the hot mochar chop / banana blossom appetizer with kasundi (Bengali mustard sauce) or any sauce of your choice.
Recipe 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.

Mochar chop banana flower cutlets

saffronstreaks

30 Comments

  • Reply
    Deboshree
    March 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Wow! This reminds me of my childhood. Mom used to be crazy about these and would pester granny to make some. I would crib. (I was averse to chops and fries and all such food items back then)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe! 😀

  • Reply
    Sweet Artichoke
    March 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    What a delicious recipe! I really like the detailed explanations on how to prepare the mochas and the result look yummy!

  • Reply
    torviewtoronto
    March 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    thank you for linking this looks delicious and wonderful flavours in it i like banana blossoms

  • Reply
    savitha
    March 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Wow,this looks super spicy snack.Kids wll surely loive it.

  • Reply
    Priya Mahadevan
    March 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    This is interesting! I tried the vazhappo and made somewhat of a masala curry out of it – I must say it was very bitter and needed a lot of seasoning to get past that!
    I might try this next time – thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Krithi
    March 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Wow.. your banana blossom stuffed potato is awesome… I made vada with banana blossom… This one is very inviting.. Love the golden color…

    http://krithiskitchen.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Priya
    March 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Thats a definitely a healthy appetizier, thanks for sharing..

  • Reply
    aipi
    March 16, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Great recipe n so neatly done..a must try for me 🙂
    I love when food evokes memories n childhood one’s are always the BEST!! Well written..

    Thanks a lot for linking this to bookmark event 🙂
    US Masala

  • Reply
    Umm Mymoonah
    March 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    That looks very appetizing, perfect starter. Looks so yumm.

  • Reply
    Raks
    March 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    That sounds very new to me and also delicious recipe! Looks really appetizing!

  • Reply
    Sushma Mallya
    March 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Lovely recipe, thts looks amazing:)

  • Reply
    Vaishali
    March 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you for taking the mystery out of cleaning banana blossoms. I’m bookmarking this recipe — it looks delicious.

  • Reply
    Malar Gandhi
    March 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Wow, haven’t seen anything so gorgeous…can’t believe this is with plantain flower, superb dish.

  • Reply
    Sadhana
    March 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    This looks so delicious, lovely recipe.

  • Reply
    Panchpakwan
    March 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Banana blossom is new to e…looks so delicious and inviting.

  • Reply
    Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal
    March 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Wow, that is such a superb recipe, very new and delish and interesting 🙂

  • Reply
    Priyanka
    March 17, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Thanks for your comments. Also I have made some changes in the code after reading your comment.
    Could you please check it ones again and let me know if you face the same trouble…..thanks is advance 🙂

  • Reply
    Lubna Karim
    March 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Very new to me…love the idea of wrapping up in potato…sounds and looks yum….

  • Reply
    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
    March 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    This is wild…I always walk righ past the banana blossoms as intimidated as ever…this is not a dish dear – it is an inspiration and sure to please my bangla hubby 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  • Reply
    Dimah
    March 18, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Hi,
    first time here…
    Wow, that looks wonderful!

  • Reply
    Debjani
    March 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Lovely recipe,.I like it&its different test …looks nice .

    • Reply
      saffronstreaks
      March 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

      Thanks everyone for your kind appreciation and lovely words,

      Welcome Dimah,
      @Devaki this is really a wonderful appetizer, try it you will love it
      @Lubna potatoes wrapping makes it more tasty and yummy
      @Vaishali cleaning banana blossom is a tedious task no doubt but it taste so good that you will do it again and again.
      @Priya you need to get rid off its bitterness by soaking it in lemon or tamarind
      Welcome sweetartichoke I am glad that you like the detailed explanations, it really makes easy to understand and follow.

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