Kelphulachi bhaji also known as bonyechi bhaji is a traditional Goan delicacy. Banana blossom is known as Kelphul in Goan Konkani. This recipe is very simple to cook, but the process of cleaning the banana blossom is tedious. You need to have lot of time and patience to clean the banana blossom. I learnt to cook this recipe from my mother-in-law who had recently visited us.
My dad sent 2 home-grown banana blossoms and requested me to feature it on my website. He insisted that this recipe is his personal favorite and should be shared with all. So I forced my mom-in-law to teach me this step-by-step. My mom-in-law also taught me the process to clean banana blossom. In Goa, we call it “dai ani davlo kadap” – means separating the different parts of the stem.
See the video below to know how to separate the 2 types of stem. Thanks to my mom-in-law for this video. The stems should be compulsorily removed, else it spoils the taste of this dish. I have explained it in the recipe instructions below too. If you have kids around, involve them in the process of separating “dai” and “davlo”. Tell them your childhood stories around it and have a nice time bonding with them.
Banana blossom or kelphul is rich in Vitamins and fiber. It is very good for diabetic people. Lactating mothers should also eat this vegetable to increase the milk content for the new-born. I have added white peas to this recipe. You can even add black chick-peas or dry green peas. But some type of peas should be added.
- 2 banana blossom/kelphul
- 1/2 cup white peas/vatana
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida/hing
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon grated jaggery
- 4 tablespoon freshly grated coconut
- To taste Salt
- Few Coriander Leaves for garnish
Clean the banana blossom by following the steps given below:
- Open the outer leaves one by one. Under each leaf, long cream colored flowers.
- Collect all these type flowers in a bowl till you see a complete white part inside the leaves.
- Keep collecting these cream flowers, until you see the white part inside.
- Now you need to clean the individual cream colored flowers. This process is called separating “dai” and “davlo” in Goa. “Dai” is a ladle that is used while cooking and serving rice. “Davlo” is used while making and serving tonaks.
- When you open the cream flower, you can see 2 different types of stem. One is like a stick and the odd man out. The rest look alike. This is “davlo”, discard it. Next let’s separate and discard “dai”. In the same flower, you will find a small pocket, that is “davlo” discard it.
- This is a tedious process. You have to repeat it for all the cream flowers. The “davlo” does not get cooked and both “dai” and “davlo” spoils the taste after cooking.
- Continue removing the “dai” and “davlo” for all opened flowers. Do not remove it for unopened flowers.
- Check my video below to know how to clean the banana blossom.
- Take a bowl and add water to it. Now finely chop the cream flowers and add to the bowl with water.
- Finely chop the white part and add to the same bowl which has chopped white flowers.
- To the same bowl add, white peas or vatana. Cover the bowl and let these get soaked overnight. Next morning, drain the water.
- Add chopped banana blossom along with soaked white peas to a pressure cooker with ½ cup water and pressure cook it for 3-4 whistles. Wait for pressure to drop.
Let us do the seasoning:
- Take a kadai and add oil. Let it get heated.
- Add mustard seeds and let them flutter.
- Now add a pinch of asafoetida.
- Add the pressure cooked banana blossom and white peas to the kadai and mix well.
- Add red chili powder, jaggery, grated coconut and mix. Simmer for 10 minutes and switch off.
- Add salt to taste, mix and garnish with coriander leaves.