Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Flavors of Life ~ Banana Vendor

Banana Vendor by Sree of Sree's Canvas
Flavors of Life ~ Banana Vendor
Painting by Sree (Colored Pencils on Paper)

Many like her were selling bananas in front of the Virupaksha Temple at Hampi. The fruits were not offerings to God, but to the large number of cows in front of the temple! I don’t know whether you would agree; to me the banana is the most humble of all fruits. It’s available through the year and affordable to all. The banana selflessly offers itself to mankind. We eat both raw and ripe fruit, the stem of the plant and the banana flower. We use the banana leaves for religious offerings and cooking. I recently read somewhere that the nutrients lie in the ripe skin of the fruit. Any takers?:)

by - Sree

(Flavors of Life by Sree: Introduction)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Arati Kaaya (Plantain), Bananas, Sree (Saturday January 19, 2008 at 12:26 am- permalink)
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Banana Biscuits (Mangalore Buns)

These habit-forming sweet banana biscuits are easy to like. I surely can say that judging from the speed at which they get gobbled up every time I make them.

The recipe is based on traditional Mangalore buns. Honeyed fragrance and creamy sweetness of banana could be felt and tasted, but it would not over-power the taste buds. A good and fun snack.


Banana Biscuit Dough Rolled and Cut to Squares

Recipe:
(for 20 to 25 small biscuits)

1 cup maida (or all-purpose flour)
1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted ghee
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
Peanut oil to deep-fry

Blend or mash banana and sugar to smooth consistency. Add to flour.
Stir in cardamom and ghee. Mix to prepare tight dough. Rest for an hour.
Divide the dough to lemon sized rounds and roll out each round to a thin circle.
Cut to squares like shown in the image and deep-fry to gold.

Regular chapati style pressing yields soft and chewy biscuits. For crispy and crunchy biscuits, press out the dough to thin.

If you’d like to take it up a notch, dip the fried biscuits in sugar syrup like we do in jilebi or roll them in sugar like beignets.


Banana Biscuits ~ for JFI:Bananas, Hosted by Mandira of Ahaar

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Bananas, Indian Sweets 101, Jihva For Ingredients (Monday October 1, 2007 at 7:52 pm- permalink)
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Beautiful Bananas ~ Small Variety


Small Variety Ripe Bananas ~ for this week’s Indian Kitchen

**************

Weekend Reading:
Blogger to Wordpress ~ The Move
Wordpress 2.3 and Movable Type 4 ~ The Comment Exchange
The Saga of a Lemon Rasam
Mavalli Tiffin Room ~ MTR

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Ingredients, Indian Kitchen, Bananas (Sunday September 30, 2007 at 6:00 pm- permalink)
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Jackfruit~Banana Cake

Finely Chopped Jackfruit Pieces
Jackfruit ~ Finely Chopped

Jackfruit and bananas may seem an unlikely combination, but the soothing sweetness of banana is the perfect antidote to the tingly-ness effect of jackfruit. Also, baking a coffee cake is a good way to use the surfeit of super-yield fresh jackfruit or leftover canned fruit. This is an easy as well as delicious dessert that tastes much naughtier than it really looks.

Recipe:

1. In a bowl, take 2 cups of all-purpose flour, add a cup each - finely chopped jackfruit, cashews and golden raisins. Stir in a teaspoon of baking soda, baking powder and cardamom powder. Also half cup of sugar. Mix.

2. Mash two ripe bananas to smooth paste and add to the flour mixture.

3. Add about quarter cup of melted ghee (or oil) and one to two cups of warm milk or water to the flour mixture.

4. Stir the ingredients to combine them thoroughly. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan. Level evenly.

5. Bake the cake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool to room temperature. Cut and serve.

This cake is like something you see at an organic aisle of bread/cake section in a grocery shop. Dense, full of fruit and nut, moist but not at all crumbly.

Cake Batter Ready for Baking
Cake Batter Ready for Baking


Hot Cake Fresh Out of Oven

Cake Reversed onto a Plate and a Piece sliced
A Piece of Jackfruit~Banana Cake for JFI:Jackfruit at Jugalbandi


Recipe Source: My Own Creation
You can find jackfruit - fresh, frozen and canned at Asian grocery shops.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Cashews, Bananas, Sugar, Jihva For Ingredients, Jackfruit (Panasa) (Thursday May 31, 2007 at 9:37 pm- permalink)
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Banana Halwa (Nenthra Pazham Haluva)

For Independence Day Food Parade, following recipe is contributed by the regular comment poster at “Mahanandi”, always entertaining ‘Kerala Girl (KG)’:

Banana Painting  - From My Home
Oil Painting of Bananas

I have chosen a dish from my hometown - Calicut/Kozhikode (land of Banana chips and Halwas) from Kerala for IDFP. Kerala - the God’s own country is also land of Kera (coconut). To a malayalee, banana or the plantains probably come next to coconut but still it’s importance is written all over the malayalee’s life. Banana is one plant whose every part is useful in one or the other form. In addition to the banana fruit we also eat it’s flowers and the softer inner trunk. The leaves of the banana plant are the less sophisticated version of today’s disposable plates. Traditional Kerala cuisine is incomplete without the pleasant taste of bananas.

Another reason why I have chosen banana as ingredient for this event is I hail from Calicut - the land famous for Calicut Halwa and one of the best halwa’s I have tasted there is banana halwa (a hard jelly like sweet). Calicut is very famous for its sweets and one the famous places in Calicut is Sweet Meat Street (SM Street). It is the busiest street in Calicut and derives its name from the times when the street was lined with sweetmeat stalls. So I thought of celebrating our independence with my favorite sweet - Banana Halwa (Nenthra Pazham Haluva). The recipe source is one of the old recipe books by the great cookbook author Mrs.K.M.Mathew. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Ripe Bananas - 1 and 1/2 Bananas
Sugar - 2 and 1/2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Lemon juice - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashews roasted or plain - handful for decoration
All purpose flour - 3 tsp

Method:

Pressure-cook the bananas until soft. Remove the outer skin and deseed (remove the black layer inside). Mash the bananas to a paste in a food processor or blender.

Make syrup of sugar by dissolving in 1/2 cup of water. It should be of string consistency. When this consistency is reached add the lemon juice and again allow it to reach the same thick consistency. To this add the mashed bananas.

To thicken the halwa, at this stage add flour dissolved in 1/4 cup water. Keep on stirring the mix to attain a thick mass. Add ghee little by little. When this becomes a thick mass add the cardamom powder. Mix well and pour into a pan greased with ghee. Decorate with cashews.
When cool cut and enjoy. This can be stored in refrigerator for a week minimum.

A Toast to our independence with this sweet dish!

Banana Halwa
Banana Halwa for IDFP

~ Guest Post by Kerala Girl (KG)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mitai, Zen (Personal), Fruits, Cashews, Bananas, Sugar (Monday August 14, 2006 at 2:21 pm- permalink)
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Pancake Ponganalu with Mango Sauce (Ebleskivers, Danish Pancakes)

Ponganala Pancakes (Ebleskivers)

Pancake ponganalu or Ebleskivers is one of the recipes that I prepared last weekend for JFI-Mango event. By the way, event hosting is a very time consuming thing one can do, I can tell you that. I have more respect for the bloggers who host this type of events month after month. They must really love doing this.

How did you do it Indira? Enquired few future hosts of JFI. The way I did it was gathering all entries in one place, arranging them in neat piles and then did the write-up. Adobe photoshop/picasa(free) helped a lot with image resizing. Instead of following the traditional roundup style filled with adjectives and superlatives, I chose a different, practical approach for my recap. Also in a proper Indian way, I returned the courtesy by thanking all my participants individually. If you ever plan to host or have already committed to host this kind of event, expect to dedicate one full day to do the roundup. Of course, it all depends on the number of responses the event generates; still it takes minimum one day. So, plan ahead my peeps. :)

Few weeks ago, when I posted ponganalu- a unique south Indian breakfast preparation, the post generated interesting comments with links to almost similar type of Danish breakfast preparation called danish pancakes or Ebleskivers. In Danish version, they mix the pancake flour with eggs and milk and prepare the rounds and serve them with fruit jam or sauce. I am a big fan of fluffy pancakes so thought to try this version; also I already have the well-seasoned special type of iron skillet that’s needed to prepare them.

Recipe is simple to follow. Mix pancake flour with milk and I went with mashed ripe banana instead of eggs. Prepare the Danish pancakes, ponganalu style and serve them with homemade or storebought type of mango sauce. Delicious! They were like fluffy round pillows; delicate crust outside and insides are like biting into a warm cloud. You want to float forever in these clouds. I loved and had them dunked in Nirav mango pulp/sauce whereas Vijay went with the classic, the maple syrup. Anyway you prefer they are worth a try.

Pancake Ponganalu (Danish Pancakes) With Mango Sauce
Pancake Ponganalu (Ebleskivers, Danish Pancakes) With Mango Sauce

Recipe:
1 cup of pancake flour (I used Aunt Jemima brand mix)
Peeled and smoothly mashed, half banana
1 to 1½ cups of milk
Ponganala Skillet and
Mango Sauce
Take the flour, milk and mashed banana in a vessel, whisk them thoroughly without any lumps. Consistency of batter must be like condensed milk (store bought), little bit tighter than the batter for regular pancakes. Heat a ‘ponganala‘ skillet and follow the photo-steps outlined here in my previous post about “ponganalu. Serve them hot with mango sauce.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Bananas, Mango, Milk (Thursday May 4, 2006 at 12:23 pm- permalink)
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Ragi Dosa & Orange-Banana Smoothie

After 3 days of heavy meals because of Deepavali, I wanted to try something new, easy to make and somewhat light on stomach kind of meal. Two of VKN’s, My Dhaba recipes - Ragi Dosa and Orange-banana yogurt&honey drink (HOBIY) have caught my eye.

I have all the ingredients including fresh coconut (puja offering) and oranges. So I tried out these two recipes today for lunch and they turned out spectacular tastewise.

I Loved the chewy taste of ragi dosa and the smell is incredible; it’s like the smell of earth when it is raining. I had the fresh ragi flour, perhaps that may be the reason for the incredible aroma.
(You can find ragi flour in almost all Indian grocery shops here in US. Ragi (finger millet) is one of the ancient grains and very healthy source of Calcium. )

Ragi Flour, Onion, Green Chilli, Fresh Coconut and Cilantro - Ingredients for Ragi Dosa or Utappam

Recipe:

3 cups a href=”http://www.patelbrothersusa.com/show_item_details.asp?item_id=163″>ragi flour
1 cup coconut- fresh and finely grated
Onions, green chillies and cilantro - finely chopped, to taste
Salt to taste

I mixed all of the above ingredients with water in a bowl, thoroughly (like dosa/pancake batter consistency) and poured ladleful of batter onto a hot griddle. Adding few drops of oil, cooked the dosa on both sides till brown and crispy. I made four of these dosas (utappams). We had them with coconut chutney.

I also made the HOBIY. When I first read about this drink, I was little bit skeptical. First of all it’s orange and banana, then it’s yogurt. I wondered about the combination. Vijay often makes himself a drink with soya milk, banana and honey. Thinking, he may like this new drink, I prepared the VKN’s signatory HOBIY drink, by blending half cup of home made yogurt, freshly squeezed juice of one naval orange, one small banana and two tablespoons of honey and few ice cubes. Again, turned out to be one refreshing drink. There was no overpowering smell of banana. Orange juice and yogurt completely masked the smell and taste of banana. I, who normally don’t like the taste of banana in drink form, also enjoyed it.

Ragi Dosa, Coconut Chutney and Banana-Orange Yogurt Drink
Our meal today ~ Ragi Dosa with Coconut Chutney and Banana-Orange Yogurt Smoothie.

Thanks VKN for sharing these two wonderful, traditional, tasty family recipes with us.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Ragi, Green Chillies, Flour(Pindi), Ragi Flour, Bananas (Thursday November 3, 2005 at 5:20 pm- permalink)
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Carrot Cake

Carrots and bananas - what happens when you put the two together, you get a deliciously rich and different dessert that’s the best of both. The recipe is my own - out with the pineapple, cloves, all-spice and eggs - in goes the bananas and cardamom. They give the cake a wonderful, fruity, honeyed fragrance. The recipe is somewhat different but tastes as good, I might say, even better than the traditional carrot cake.

Recipe: Cardamom, Coconut, Golden raisins, Walnuts, Carrots and banana
2 cups of Betty Crocker pancake flour
2 cups of grated carrots
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dry unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp of baking soda
Mix all of the above in a big bowl.

5 cardamom pods- peel and powder the seeds inside
2 big ripe bananas- peel, mash and beat until fluffy
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup to 1 cup of brown sugar- (your wish)
In another big bowl, mix them well.

I used the pancake flour only because I want to finish off the BIG packet, purchased at Costco last winter. You can always substitute that with all-purpose flour. You can purchase dry unsweetened coconut, golden raisins and cardamom at low prices in an Indian grocery shop.

Now back to cake making - Preheat the oven to 350 F. Meanwhile fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly but not hard. Add some milk and combine again if the batter is too tight. Pour this mixture into a big round buttered cake pan. Bake the cake at 350 F, for about 30 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool it before applying frosting or decorating. The topping on the carrot cake is walnut-coconut caramel (see the post below for the recipe)

Carrot Cake with Walnut-Coconut Caramel Topping

Comparable to an Indian version of carrot sweet called carrot halwa, this carrot cake is simply moist, rich and delicious.

Slice of Carrot Cake

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Walnuts, Carrots, Bananas, Golden Raisins (Tuesday June 14, 2005 at 10:23 am- permalink)
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Banana - Walnut Cake

We had a three day holiday for Memorial Day, and this is how we spent the weekend:

Saturday- shopping, cleaning the house, preparing dinner with my husband Vijay’s help. Our Nandyala family friend and his college friends came all the way from Milwaukee. They made a pit stop at our house before reaching their final destination - SV temple, Pittsburgh.

For dinner, we prepared puri, rice, chana masala, chicken kurma, Boiled eggs sautéed in red chilli-garlic powder, peanut chutney, sambhar, papads, raita with yogurt, and for dessert banana-walnut cake and fruit (cantaloupe). It was so hectic; I couldn’t find time to take pictures of preparation and finished items.

Sunday- helped our friends who came here from India just one month back, move to Detroit. Packing, cleaning etc. Baked again another banana-walnut cake for them. Managed to take some pictures of cake.

Monday- We have planned to go to Pittsburgh for diva darshanam at the SV temple. But it was raining so hard, and I didn’t want to travel on the PA Turnpike, which is notorious for accidents. So instead we hit some local shops nearby, and dined out.

First long weekend of summer was over just like that.

Banana-Walnut cake

As much as possible, I try to avoid using eggs in my baking for cakes etc. Because I don’t like the strong chemical smell of egg yolks. It wasn’t like that back in India, but after coming here, the yolk smell and taste has started to make me very ill. I don’t know what they feed the hens here in US, the fertilizer smell of egg yolks is unbearable, and the taste, oy…awful to say the least.

I found out that very ripe bananas are good substitute for eggs, so I use them often in my cake and bread making.

1 cup Bisquick pancake flour. All-purpose flour works fine too. (The only reason I made the cake with Bisquick is because I wanted to finish off the big packet of Bisquick pancake flour that I purchased at Costco last year.)
1/2 cup - walnuts, chopped
1 banana, skin peeled, and ripe fruit mashed smoothly
1/4 cup - sugar
4 tablespoons - oil or ghee
1 tsp each, - baking powder and vanilla extract
Milk if needed

Banana-walnut cake Ingredients

You must be familiar with the baking drill. Wet first, dry next, and then combine the two together.

IN a big bowl, mix the wet ingredients - banana, oil and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine well.
Then add the flour, sugar, walnuts and baking powder. Combine thoroughly. If the batter looks tight, then add about quarter cup of water or milk.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Prepare the cake pan, by applying ghee or oil on the bottom and to the sides. Pour the cake batter. Spread evenly. Bake at 350° F for about 30 to 45 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the baked cake, it should come out clean. Cool and then cut pieces. Enjoy.

Banana-Walnut cake

Light and Fluffy, Almost Egg-less, Good Tasting Banana-Walnut Cake

Slice of cake

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Walnuts, Bananas, Sugar (Tuesday May 31, 2005 at 8:38 am- permalink)
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