Mochar Ghonto Recipe (Traditional Banana Blossom Curry From West Bengal)

‘Mocha’ in Bengali means Plantain flowers or Banana blossoms. Plantain Flowers have amazing health benefits. They are high source of vitamins and minerals and also helps to prevent infections. They are beneficial for nursing mothers as it is believed to increase breast milk. The magnesium in the banana blossom makes it a ‘happy’ flower as it is believed to reduce anxiety and alleviate your mood. The ‘Mochar Ghonto’ is a traditional Bengali preparation, where the banana flowers are cooked along with potato and aromatic spices.  Banana flower (Vazhaipoo), Potato (Aloo), Turmeric powder (Haldi), Red Chilli powder, Garam masala powder, Sugar, Salt, Fresh coconut, Green Chillies, Mustard oil, Bay leaf (tej patta), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Ginger, Garlic, Ghee   1 Banana flower (Vazhaipoo) , cleaned and chopped 1 Potato (Aloo) , cubed 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi) , divided, for soaking the plantain flower and the curry) 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli powder 1/4 teaspoon Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon Sugar Salt , to taste To be ground (without water) 1/4 cup Fresh coconut , finely chopped 2 Green Chillies , finely chopped For tempering 2 teaspoons Mustard oil 2 Bay leaf (tej patta) 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera) 1/2 inch Ginger , grated 4 Garlic , grated For garnish 1 teaspoon Ghee , (clarified butter)     10   80     To begin making the Mochar Ghonto recipe, we will first clean the banana blossom/plantain flower.Oil your hands and start working with the banana flowers.Firstly, peel the purple layers and remove the florets. In each floret remove the longest string with a round head called the ‘stamen’ and the translucent thin cover.Now chop the florets finely and soak them in diluted buttermilk or plain water.Add turmeric and salt to the buttermilk and allow it to soak overnight (refrigerated) or at least for 30 minutes.To cook the banana blossom/plantain flower, drain the water from the florets.Pressure cook them in a cooker with 1/2 cup water upto 2 whistles. Once cool, gently mash using the back of a ladle.The next step is to make the curry. Heat a heavy bottomed pan with mustard oil over low flame.When the oil starts to smoke, add bay leaves and cumin seeds.Now add the grated ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds.Stir in the cubed potatoes, chilli powder, salt and 1/4 cup water let the potatoes cook for 5 to 7 minutes.Once the potatoes are cooked and dry add the cooked banana blossom, sugar and mix well. Cook covered for 2 minutes.Adjust salt and add the ground coconut-chilli mixture.Immediately add the garam masala powder, stir well over medium flame and switch off. Garnish with a teaspoon of ghee.Mochar Ghonto is a dry curry recipe and is often served along with steaming hot rice and ghee.