Gravy, Kootu, Sides

Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu | Banana Stem in yogurt Curry

Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu

Vazhai Thandu in Tamil refers to Tender Banana Stem, Mor means buttermilk and Kootu refers to spiced veg-lentil curry. This is usually served with steamed rice as part of the main course. In all, this refers to stewed banana steam yogurt curry . One of the advantages of Indian Cooking is most of the ingredients have medicinal / curative properties too ! In Kannada, this Banana Stem is called “BaaLe Dhindu” (ಬಾಳೆ ದಿಂಡು)

One such ingredient is the banana stem – loaded with fibre and easy on the tummy too ! Banana is a versatile plant whose use is enormous –cooking, storing and eating on..  Having an ubiquitous presence in most South Indian homes, the humble banana comes in many varieties – nendhra pazham, elakki, rasathaali (or rasa baaLe in Karnataka), chukke (means slightly dotted). It is eaten in both raw and cooked forms. Banana Chips is a favourite snack across travellers ex-Kerala ! The raw Banana is versatile too – do you like these Airfryer Banana Crisps ?

Presenting here is a healthy and light “Vazhai thandu Mor Kootu” made from tender Banana Stem. For the linguistically challenged, this simply means “Banana stem in spicy curd gravy”. Similar Satvik curries include Iyengar style Kadag Puli. Another interesting recipe using Banana STem is this Konkani special Gabbya Upkari (banana stem stir fry – Konkani style)

Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.Pin

Banana Stem comes with a powerhouse of vitamins and health benefits, including

It aids weight loss

Excellent source of fibre

Helps regulate blood sugars

Heals inflammation

This Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu (Banana Stem Yogurt gravy) is usually served with steamed rice and Rasam / Sambhar. Other recipes made with this Banana Steam including Vazhai THandu Usli (Banana Stem dry Curry) served with Rasam / Sambhar and Steamed rice.

Vazhai Thandu Usli
Vazhai Thandu Usli or Banana Stem dry Curry is a healthy vegan, GF dish made with Chopped Banana pith and lentils. Served as an accompaniment to Rasam or Sambhar.
Check out this recipe
Vazhai Thandu Usli or Banana Stem dry Curry is a healthy vegan, GF dish made with Chopped Banana pith and lentils. Served as a accompaniment to Rasam or Sambhar.
Gabbya Upkari (Konkani style Banana stem stir fry)
Gabbye Upkari or Gabbe Upkari is a Konkani style stir fry made with Banana Stem.Served with steamed rice + curry, it is a vegan + Gluten Free Curry and contains no onion or garlic too!  
Check out this recipe
Gabbya Upkari or Gabbe Upkari is a Konkani style stir fry made with Banana Stem. Served with steamed rice + curry
Iyengar style Kadag Puli / Kadugu Puli- a Traditional Curry
Kadag Puli is a traditional Iyengar dish which is satvik (No Onion No garlic) curry. Best served with steamed rice /chapatis. It is a medley of native veggies in an umami-tangy sauce
Check out this recipe
Kadag Puli is a traditional Iyengar dish which is satvik (No Onion No garlic) curry. Best served with steamed rice /chapatis. It is a medley of native veggies in an umami-tangy sauce

Other Kootu (GF, Vegan) varieties on the blog include:

Podalangai Poricha Kootu
Podlangai Poricha Kootu is a GF, Vegan stew made with snakegourd, lentils and a freshly ground spice paste. Served with Steamed rice or chapati
Check out this recipe
Podalangai Poricha Kootu
Kathrikkai Karamani Kootu
Katrikkai Karamani Kootu is a delicious South Indian dish made with Aubergines and Cow peas with a spiced masala paste. Served with Rice or flatbreads.
Check out this recipe
Katrikkai Karamani Kootu is a delicious South Indian dish made with Aubergines and Cow peas with a spiced masala paste. Served with Rice or flatbreads.

Main ingredients to make Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu:

  • Vazhai Thandu / Banana Stem – tender ones with less fibre works here
  • Slightly sour buttermilk – to make the curry
  • Coriander seeds – a game changer for this kootu
  • Cumin seeds – ditto as for coriander
  • Freshly grated coconut – to give it richness and body

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Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.Pin

What you need to make Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu

Prep time – 20 mins ; Cook time – 20 mins : Serves – 4

Cuisine – South Indian

Course – Side Dish / Curry

  • 2 cups Banana Stem (peeled from outer layer & chopped finely removing the fibers in between (yes, yes I know this is painstaking, but like they say, no pain no gain!)
  • 1 cup Yoghurt (use cashew / rice yoghurt for vegan version)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (skip for vegan)
  • 1 tsp salt

For the masala:

  • 3 TBSP Coconut (grated)
  • 1 TBSP Coriander seeds (dhaniya)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin (jeera)
  • 1 TBSP Split black gram (Urad dal)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (Milagu)
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds (opt.)
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida (Hing, skip for GF)

For the Tempering / Tadka:

  • 1 TBSP Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.Pin

How to make Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu

  1. Wash and clean the chopped banana stems. Add the chopped stems in the buttermilk till you cook them to avoid discolouration
  2. Drain the chopped banana stems in a colander and boil them in slightly salted water till al dente/ slightly soft. This would take about 10-12 mins. Alternately pressure cook them for 2 whistles in a colander . Cool completely.
  3. In a skillet, add half the oil. When slightly hot, add methi, cumin ,dal, coriander seeds, dry chillies, hing one after another and roast till the dal slightly browns. Do not burn. Cool.
  4. Dry grind the masala with coconut. Once completely dry, add a little water to make a thick paste (consistency of milk shake). 
  5. Add this mixture to the curd. Whisk well. Add salt as required. Add 2 – 3 tbsp of water if you feel it is too thick.
  6. In a large bowl, add the cooked banana stem. Add the curd mixture to this
  7. In another pan, add oil, make the tempering. When the mustard stops spluttering, add this to the banana stem+ curd mixture from above.
  8. Adjust salt if required. 
  9. Serve hot with steamed rice and Sambhar / curry
Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.Pin

Pro Tips

You may preserve the uncooked banana stems in buttermilk in an airtight box for 1 day in the refrigerator. Also, before cooking ,soak them in buttermilk to avoid discolouration.

Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.Pin

Vazhai Thandu Mor kootu | Banana Stem in Spiced Yoghurt Gravy

Kalyani
Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Curry, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Knife
  • Wet Blender

Ingredients
  

Base:

  • 2 cups Banana Stem
  • 1 cup Yoghurt use cashew / rice yoghurt for vegan version
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk skip for vegan
  • 1 tsp salt

For the masala:

  • 3 TBSP Grated coconut
  • 1 TBSP Coriander seeds dhaniya
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds jeera
  • 1 TBSP split black gram Urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp Whole Black Pepper Milagu
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds opt.
  • 3 Dry Red Chillies
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida Hing, skip for GF

For the Tempering / Tadka:

  • 1 TBSP Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves

Instructions
 

  • Wash and clean the chopped banana stems. Boil them in slightly salted water till al dente/ slightly soft. Alternately pressure cook them for 2 whistles in a colander . Cool completely.
  • In a skillet, add ¼ tsp of oil. When slightly hot, add methi, cumin , channa dal, coriander seeds, dry chillies, red chillies, hing, turmeric one after another and roast till the dal slightly browns. Do not burn. Cool.
  • Dry grind the masala with coconut. Once completely dry, add a little water to make a thick paste (consistency of milk shake).
  • Add this mixture to the curd. Whisk well. Add salt as required. Add 2 – 3 tbsp of water if you feel it is too thick.
  • In a large bowl, add the cooked banana stem. Add the curd mixture to this
  • In another pan, add oil, make the tempering. When the mustard stops spluttering, add this to the banana stem+ curd mixture from above.
  • Adjust salt if required.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice and Sambhar / curry
Keyword Banana Stem, Can be Vegan, Curry, Gluten Free, Gravy, Side Dish, Tamilnadu Special
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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The good effects of vazhathathandu are numerous. With a soothing yogurt curry and steamed rice, vazhathandu will be a perfect for home lunch.

  2. 5 stars
    Amma used to make this vazhathandu mor kootu whenever she could lay hands on thandu . It’s ages since I made it . Awesome post and the mor kootu pics are now making me crave 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Your post is tempting me to go and cut the banana plant in the backyard. I had no idea you can make vazhai thandu moor kottu. I absolutely love the idea of making it. I hope to try it soon. Thanks.

  4. Jayashree T.Rao

    5 stars
    Vazhai thandu mor kootu is quite new to me. It sounds like a tasty meal with hot steamed rice.

  5. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    an interesting curry dish for me. I’ve yet to try cooking with banana stem. Your vazhai thandu mor kootu seems like a good recipe to try out. Love yogurt based curries. Just wanted to know, the buttermilk you use for soaking the chopped banana stem cannot be used?

    • Thanks Mayuri.The buttermilk in which the peeled n chopped stem turns slightly bitter. Also, it’s actually very thin, so the curry tastes better in the thickish yoghurt sauce (like a raita)

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