100 Vegetables (and Fruits): #18 Bananas

Bananas are another fruit that can be used for sweet and savoury uses. Caramelised bananas, oh yum. Bananas on toast with peanut butter 😋.  Or in toasties. Baked bananas. Banana curry. And we must not forget that banana leaves are also used as a wrapper for food to be cooked.

Today we are looking only at the ripe, yellow banana – that self-packaged fruit that is often in lunch boxes. Later in this series we will look at the raw/green plantain banana.

We don’t have many recipes for banana as none of us have much of a sweet tooth, and also because we love to just peel and eat them. But I hope that you are inspired by these somewhat unusual recipes.

You can also browse these (and any new recipes) here. And check out our 100 Vegetable Series.

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Banana Porridge with Glazed Apples, Golden Syrup and Passionfruit

Glazed apples are delicious and endlessly versatile. We have made them before, and used them to top porridge. They can also be used to top any pudding, syrupy cakes or endless desserts. Sit atop some junket, for example. Or over icecream, with grilled banana, on top of a fruit salad, topping a bowl of yoghurt. Any way you like.

Bill Grainger in his book Sydney Food has glazed apples with Banana Porridge. We hinted at it in our last recipe.  Today we get more specific about how to make that porridge, with our own twist, of course. It really is delicious, and so Australian!

One of the major changes is that we have added passionfruit. It is a very Australian thing, but also the sour notes of the passionfruit cut through the sweetness of the apples and porridge.

Try these as well – Rice and Raisin Porridge, Baked Apples with Star Anise, Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon, and Apples Baked in Marsala.

Browse our Apple recipes here, our Breakfast dishes and our Desserts too, or find some inspiration in our Late Winter recipes.

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Banana and Berry Lassi | Yoghurt Smoothie

This time, a yoghurt drink that borrows from the smoothie culture of current times. I call it a Lassi, but perhaps it is not a traditional lassi. It combines the best of the sub Continent and the West.

I have always wondered why Banana Lassi is not popular in India, as bananas are so readily available in the South of India. Perhaps it is that the ancient science of Ayurveda does not recommend the combination of dairy and banana. Today, we break that rule for a delicious Lassi smoothie. We have also used honey, but feel free to replace that with jaggery if you prefer to avoid honey with milk.

Yoghurt is so cooling in the heat.

Are you looking for other Lassi recipes? Try Rose Lassi, Strawberry and Peach Lassi, Sweet and Tangy Lassi, Mango Lassi and Chilli and Coriander Lassi.

Similar recipes include Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin,  Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Banana Halwa, and Flattened Rice with Bananas and Honey.

You might like to browse all of our Lassi drinks, all of our Yoghurt Drinks, or all of our Drink recipes. Explore our Mid Summer recipes. Or perhaps you are looking for our Banana, Blueberry or Strawberry recipes.

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Sweet Bananas and Coconut | Pazham Varattiyathu | Banana Halwa from Kerala

A 6-minute dessert with Indian flavours. Banana and coconut – a winning combination.

Here it is, Sweet Bananas and Coconut, a tempting decadent siren of a dessert. 6 minutes only to make — easy to whip up after a hot curry or when unexpected guests arrive. It is sweet and buttery, so a small amount is enough.

The recipe came from my pile of hundreds of hand written recipes collected over the years. The scribbled notes came from a cooking session with a Chef at the Leela in Kovalam, Kerala on the West Coast of India. It is a Keralite dish, also common in Tamil Nadu.

Are you after more Banana recipes? You might also like to try Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Banana and Berry Lassi, or Flattened Rice with Bananas and Honey.

Have a look at all of our recipes from Kerala or all of our Indian recipes. Explore some more information about Halwa. Our Banana recipes are all here. You can also browse our Dessert recipes. Or simply explore our Early Spring dishes.

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Pancha Kajjaya | Sweet and Crunchy Poha | Flattened Rice with Coconut, Banana and Honey

Sweet food is always a blessing, satisfying to the soul, spirit and body.

Sweet food is always a blessing, satisfying to the soul, spirit and body. It balances our more savoury foods, especially hot and/or sour foods. In moderation, and in a good mindful balance with other foods, sweet dishes are not the toxic enemy that many proclaim.

In our household we are not great sweet eaters, preferring unadorned fruits, nuts and cheeses. It is the occasional pastry with coffee, a piece of cake or biscuit when visiting friends, sometimes dessert if eating out. It is rare to make anything sweet at home (sometimes icecream in summer).

That attests to the wonderful nature of this dish. Made with a form of rolled rice, poha, it is light yet satisfying. Poha is easily obtainable from your Indian shop. There are several different thicknesses – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There are also poha types made from red rice and brown rice. For this dish, it is important that you use a paper or thin poha.

This is a variation of the traditional Tuppaddabalehannu (banana, coconut, jaggery, honey, ghee), with poha added.

Are you looking for other Poha dishes? Try Sweet Surnoli Dosa, Poha Chaat, Poha with Onions (Kanda Poha), and Kolache Poha..

You might also like to try some of our rare sweet dishes – Besan Payasam, Blueberry Shrikhand, and Payasam Kheer.

Are you after more Banana recipes? You might also like to try Pomegranate and Banana Salad, Banana and Berry Lassi, or Banana Halwa from Kerala.

Browse all of our Poha recipes here, and our Banana recipes here. Explore all of our Dessert recipes. Our Indian recipes are here. Or be inspired by our Early Spring recipes. Continue reading “Pancha Kajjaya | Sweet and Crunchy Poha | Flattened Rice with Coconut, Banana and Honey”

Bananas, Banana Blossoms, Banana Skins and Banana Leaves

Bananas are not fruits at all, but a giant broad-leaved herb! They are also reported to be one of the first plants to be cultivated and gathered by humans. Joseph Banks reported the banana growing wild in Queensland as a “kind of wild plantain whose fruit was so full of stones that it was scarcely eatable”. These days, bananas have had their seeds (stones) bred out so that the plants are now sterile and only reproducible through human help.

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BBQ’d Carrots with Pomegranate, BBQ Melty Cheese Toast and BBQ’d Baked Bananas

BBQs are great, even in Winter.

Beautiful wintery days continue, clear skies, sunshine, happy moods. And it is perfect for weekend cooking on the BBQ in a no-fuss, not too much washing up, sort of a way.

Use baby carrots or normal carrots for this dish. Best cooked in a foil tray to minimise dishes and washing up, you could also cook it directly on a BBQ hot plate.

If you haven’t see it already, take a look at Part 1 of this BBQ series to see Grilled Fennel with Lemon and Parmesan and Grilled Broccoli with Preserved Lemon. You can also browse the complete BBQ Series of recipes. Find inspiration in our Winter recipes here.
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Pomegranate and Banana Salad

Celebrating the Pomegranate.

On one trip to Kerala in India, the hotel had the sweetest and most succulent pomegranates at each meal. They were so unlike anything that we could get at home that I ate more that I care to mention.

In Kerala, the pomegranates were beautiful. The salads and side serves featuring the bright red globules were wonderful. For many years our local pomegranates were tough and bitter. Fortunately times have change and good pomegranates are more widely available.

Are you after more Banana recipes? You might also like to try Banana and Berry Lassi, Banana Halwa, or Flattened Rice with Bananas and Honey. Explore some more information about Halwa.

Are you after more Pomegranate Recipes? Try making Pomegranate Honey or your own Pomegranate Molasses. Also try Pomegranate Salad with Green Coriander and Lime, Crabapple and Pomegranate Jelly with Rosebuds, Green Olive, Walnut and Pomegranate Salad and Tomato and Pomegranate Salad.

Have a look at all of our recipes from Kerala or all of our Indian recipes.  Our Banana recipes are all here and our Pomegranate ones here. You can also browse our Dessert recipes. Or simply explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Pomegranate and Banana Salad”