Deepfried comfort food with banana flower


20 min


20 min

It’s the time of the year to wrap the heater and enjoy the warm Californian sunshine with a BBQ or a volleyball game or swimming. But, interestingly we use the heater on some days and cover ourself from face to feet even for a casual walk.The weather in California is not what it is supposed to-be. Thanks to climate change and global warming. The weather pattern is so confusing now. We are being drenched with raindrops every now and then and on one such windy, rainy day, we relished these vazhappu kola with spicy masala chai.

The vegetable market in Bay area is full of surprises. Everytime I enter the store, I will be so thrilled to find banana flower, drumstick leaves, drumsticks or raw banana. These veggies are unavailable in other parts of US, so that leaves me with even more excitement.

Having found these fresh banana flower, nothing could stop me from making my favorite kolas. I have to agree that cleaning them is an ordeal and one has to be very careful to remove a black stalk found inside those thin flesh. I shall write a post on how to clean them in the coming week. (Update: Click for that post here)

The post for today is Vazhappu kola. These crispy wonders are the vegetarian version of the mutton kola. These tiny balls taste absolutely yummy and they can be a perfect appetizer or an evening snack or a side for the rice/rasam. These delectable balls fill the room with lovely aroma of the masala while being cooked. The crunchiness from the coarsely ground spices,onions, coriander and curry leaves, makes every bite irresistible.We just love them!

1 cup cleaned banana flower – chopped
1/2 cup channa dhal
1/2 cup roasted split-chick peas /pottu kadalai – Available in India grocery store
1 onion – chopped
3 garlic cloves – paste
1″ ginger – paste
1 tbs cilantro – chopped
1 tbs curry leaves – chopped
2-3 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Whole masala
3 cloves
1/2 tsp fenel seeds
1/2″ cinnamon stick
2 cardamon

Boil the chopped banana flower in water with salt until cooked. Drain and set them aside.

Dry fry the channa dal and roasted split chick peas for 5-8 minutes. Once cooled, grind them to a fine powder.

Grind the remaining ingredients (except the lentils and banana flower) to a coarse paste. Don’t add water.

Then,grind the boiled banana flower to a thick paste (without water).

Add salt to taste and finally mix all the ingredients together. They should have a thick consistency (falafel like consistency) and you should be able to roll them into bite-sized balls. Cover a baking tray with cooking foil and place the rolled kolas on top.

Heat the oil to 350’F and fry them till cooked.


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  1. What a wonderful treat. I look forward to reading your how to clean banana flowers post. 🙂

    California weather is getting really unpredictable. It's raining and in the high 60s today, but apparently it's supposed to be 90 degrees on Sunday. I keep wishing I hadn't packed the heated blanket.

  2. wow i don't have any words .superb liked the color and the presentation.banana flower is one of our favor veggie.its so healthier and delicious..The fritters looks sooo yummmmm..i liked the combination with dal and gg..good one

  3. Lucky you vijitha,you get to buy lots of commonly found veggies (BACK HOME) Even we have been experiencing rain showers every now n then.Well the fritters looks phenomenal n crunchy as well.Works perfect on a rainy day with a cup of chai.

  4. Hey vij query :

    Step 3 says grind all ingredients does it mean all main ingredients (onion,garlic etc) along with masala items (cardamon,cinnamon).

  5. Though I never liked it much during my childhood days now I crave for it. Hope I get to eat them during my India visit

  6. Wonderful Blog, really liked your work.
    Awesome photos and recipes.
    Many thanks for your visit.
    Wishing you a great weekend ♥

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