JFW Recipes

Four Easy Recipes of Chettinadu Cuisine

Vazhapoo Kuzhambu (Banana Flower Sambar)

This signature Chettinadu dish is simple to make and great to taste. The adaptable gravy absorbs any variety of vegetables you may want to mix in it but it tastes best when made with banana flowers.




  1. Banana flower – handful
  2. Bengal gram flour – ½ cup
  3. Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  4. Chilli powder – 2 ½ tsp
  5. Soda bicarbonate – 1 pinch
  6. Salt – to taste
  7. Oil – for frying
  8. Onion – 2
  9. Garlic – 2
  10. Tomato – 3
  11. Tamarind – 1 small ball
  12. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  13. Cashew – 10
  14. Coconut – 1 tbsp
  15. Mustard – ½ tsp
  16. Aniseed – ¼ tbsp.
  17. Cumin Seeds – ¼ tbsp.
  18. Fenugreek – ¼ tsp
  19. Curry leaves – few
  20. Coriander – few


  1. Clean, wash and steam the banana flower.
  2. Mix the Bengal gram flour, rice flour, soda bicarbonate, ½ tbsp of chilli powder and salt.
  3. Add water to the mix to make it into a thick batter.
  4. Heat oil in a small pan, dip the steamed banana flower into the batter and then deep fry in the oil. Drain excess oil and keep the fritters aside.
  5. Chop the onions, garlic and the tomatoes.
  6. Extract the pulp of the tamarind by using 2 ½ glasses of water.
  7. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in the pan and add mustard, aniseed, cumin seeds and fenugreek.
  8. Fry the onions and garlic then add the tomatoes and the salt.
  9. Fry the mix till it is cooked properly.
  10. Add 2 tsp of chilli powder and coriander powder and fry till the raw smell disappears.
  11. Pour the tamarind water in and let it boil for 10 minutes.
  12. Grind the coconut and the cashew together and add to the gravy. Allow it to boil for three minutes.
  13. Add the banana flower fritters to the gravy before serving and after switching off the stove.

Tip: always fry the garlic and the onions together.


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