Kolar mocha ranna! What is that? Did you ever taste this? Kola means banana and mocha is flowers of banana. Yes, it is a popular vegetable in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Banana flower curry is one of the most favorite Bengali dishes of me like many others too. Though it is not just one flower. It is a mass of flowers. So we can call it as banana blossom curry. It Bengali it is called as mochar ghonto. This kolar mocha recipe (banana blossom curry recipe) is very simple except the process of cutting & cleaning banana flowers.
Homegrown banana tree
Though we need to hardly buy a kolar mocha (banana blossom) because we always had a few banana trees for last 25 years. So atleast 4-5 kolar mocha we usually harvest from our homegrown banana trees. 4-5 kolar mocha are sufficient for a year, after that we hardly need to buy any banana blossom from the market. Not only that when we cut a banana tree we also get kolar thor ( inner part of the banana stem) which is another healthy vegetable. So after distributing it to neighbours you can still have a good size of kolar thor for a week for the whole family.
Having banana plants in your garden is really fun. It helps to beautify your premise. But after cutting a banana tree when you harvest kolar thor (banana stem) then it becomes a hectic job to dispose all unwanted parts of a banana tree, particularly when you are living in an urban area.
Harvesting of banana blossom & its stem
We harvested this banana blossom (kolar mocha) yesterday from our garden. So today we had mochar ghonto in your lunch menu. We also have cut the whole banana tree because that tree does not produce sweet fruit. We do not like its taste. Actually, we have two varieties. One variety is good in taste when fruit ripens but another variety is not as good. So we harvest green banana from that plant and then within 2-3 day, we cut the whole tree to get the thor (banana stem) which is also another delicious vegetable.
Banana flower curry (mochar ghonto) preparation
But cooking of Bengali banana flower curry (kolar mocha ranna) is not that easy. It is because of cutting & processing those flowers from that blossom (mocha). You have to pick each flower one by one and remove the tallest string with a round head from it. Then you should remove the semi-transparent layers of the flower and then cut those flowers into small pieces. I use to see my mother to take more than 20 minutes. Then the next part is very simple.
I love this mochar ghonto sime my childhood. My mother uses to cook mochar ghonto by following 2-3 traditional banana flower curry recipes Bengali style. But I like this mochar ghonto recipe with grated coconut. Grating of fresh coconut is also difficult if you do not have practice. That is why many people do not try to make this at home.
Okay, now how do you eat mochar ghonto (banana flower curry)? I love to have this food with plain rice as well as paratha too. You can ever try this with roti too. But the combination of plain rice mochar ghonto is the best.
This banana flower curry (kolar mochar ghonto) is not only delicious but also it is very healthy dish too. If you study on the nutritional value of banana flowers then you will know that it is magical food with full of minerals as well as fiber. It contains significant amount of iron, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, copper etc. Banana blossom also contains very small amount of protein too. So you should not keep this awesome food away from your diet. Is this not true?
Mochar ghonto recipe Bengali style
- 1 whole banana blossom, kolar mocha, Clean, wash, cut into small pieces
- 1 big size potato cut into small cubes
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 1.5 teaspoons grated ginger
- Handful chickpeas, soaked in water for overnight
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin, jeera
- 2 bay leaves/tej patta
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1.5 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 2 whole sun dried red chilies
- 1.5 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1.5 tablespoon mustard oil
- Water as needed
- Salt as needed
- Clean banana flowers, wash and then cut into small pieces
- Now pressure cook chopped banana flowers with sufficient water till 2 or 3 whistles
- Now heat oil in a cooking pan and add cumin, bay leaves and allow it to start cracking and nice aroma comes out
- Then add grated ginger & red chillies and saute till raw aroma goes away
- Then add potato cubes and turmeric powder, red chilli powder and cook till next 2-3 minutes
- Now add boiled banana flowers (drain residual water), salt, chickpeas and fresh grated coconut, mix all and cook till next 5-6 minutes
- Then pour 1 cup water and cook till curry dried up
- Now spread garama masala and sugar and stir, cook another 1 minute if needed