Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kacha KeLa ANi KeLphul

I have never cooked or tasted Oriya food, don't know how different it is from the Maharashtrian but this curry is inspired from here.

In Mumbai, in meat eating homes it is a tradition to bring home fresh Ladi-pav and Brun from the nearby bakery to celebrate a sunday with chicken / mutton curry. When we were still not a completely vegetarian family, 1/4 century ago, when Mom made the rare chicken curry in the afternoons it would be accompanied with rice roti and rice but in the evening, she would check with everyone naram pao or kadak pao? Then she'd total up and order me and my brother out sending us to the Irani Bakery. We would carry a big cloth bag for it and remind the guys at the bakery counter not to wrap the paos in paper. This kept them soft and sweat free.

Today's curry reminded me of those days. Now you will ask I should have gone down and bought some pao. The paos here are not authetic as in Mumbai but rather sweetish soft buns just shaped like pao. Next time I make this curry I am going to bake my own.

This curry is a worth the place of a sunday special. The tender vegetables are flavored robustly with the garlic, ginger and garam masala. The splash of lime make it finger licking fresh.

Here is the recipe.


1 cup segments of KeLphul / banana flower

1-2 cups Raw Banana, peeled and cubed
2 tomatoes chopped fine
2 small onions chopped fine
1 green chili
1/2 teaspoon garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoon oil
salt to taste.
2 teaspoon lime juice

First clean the KeLphul. Open the calyx and separate the flowers. Remove the stigma as seen in the above picture. Wash and pat dry.

Heat oil. Fry the cumin seeds till fragrant. Add the bay leaf. Now add the fine chopped onions. Fry till reddish. Add the tomatoes and green chili. Follow in with all the spices, turmeric, Kanda lasun chatni, crushed ginger and garam masala. Fry on high heat till oil is released. Now add the raw banana cubes. Mash the banana flowers in the mortar and pestle so as to tenderize it but do not make a paste. It should be coarse. Add the mashed flowers to the gravy and stir well on high. Now add about a glass and a little more of water. Cover and cook till raw banana is cooked and soft. The gravy would have thickened a bit. Salt it and stir. Let it cook for another 5 mins and put off the heat. Cover and let it cool for 10-15 mins. Lastly add the lime juice and give it a stir. 

We enjoyed this curry with rotli but next time it will be pao! The vegetarians will like it for the heartiness. Just warning you meat eaters that this is not a Vashat curry at all, yet delicious all the way!

P.S: Thank God I did not make a Thoran with it!


  1. something differnt with vazhaipoo- thx for sharing !

  2. I absolutely LOVE Kelphul! I'd make it oftener if not for the laborious peeling and segmenting. But you've tempted me to make the effort, now.

  3. Saee don't forget the pao to go along with it.

  4. what a meal Anjali. love this curry.
    between have tagged you. please check my space.

  5. Hi!
    I know you posted this recipe quite a while ago, but I just now found banana blossoms at a local Asian grocery store here in the US (this is a really, really unusual ingredient here!). I wanted to understand what part of the blossom is edible, because some web sites I have found have indicated you should throw away the small little banana-like things under the leaves, and others say you should eat only those and throw away the outer petals. I looked at your picture here, but I still can't tell what I am supposed to keep, and what I should discard. Please help! Thanks! :)

  6. Hi Frenchie! Good you asked here. The red leafy covering are the bracts which you are referring to as leaves I guess, are discarded. The female flowers are the white ones, small little banana-like things you are referring to. Those are the edible ones. In each of the tiny flower you will find a stigma in the center that is discarded. This is what we do in India. Not sure how it is eaten elsewhere. Trust this helps.


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