Vazhaipoo paruppu usili

Indian medicine systems recommend all the ingredients that have an astringent flavor such as banana blossoms (vazhaipoo), pomegranate, red gram (toor dal),  Indian blackberry (naval pazham), etc. for women’s health as they keep our uterus strong & healthy. Consuming cooked banana blossom with curd or yoghurt is believed to be one of the most efficient ways of treating excessive bleeding during menstruation as it increases the level of progesterone. So it a good practice to serve vazhaipoo paruppu usili (lentil crumble) with yoghurt curry (mor-kuzhambu).

img_1310 Vazhaipoo paruppu usili
Mor-kuzhambu & vazhaipoo usili is the perfect pair
in terms of medicinal values.

Health benefits of vazhai poo (banana blossoms):

Banana flowers have the flavor similar to that of artichokes. They are good sources of dietary fiber and are of low glycemic index (low-GI); hence useful for diabetics & weight watchers. Banana flowers are particularly beneficial to women of all ages as it regulates the cycle, controls excessive bleeding, prevents constipation during pregnancy and improves lactation for lactating mothers.

bnfl-ayur Vazhaipoo paruppu usili

Vazhaipoo paruppu usili:

Here I have used banana flowers and moringa leaves (murungai ilai) and prepared paruppu usili. You can also check out my other vazhaipoo recipes here. Now the recipe for vazhaipoo paruppu usili is as below:

img_1302 Vazhaipoo paruppu usili
Banana blossom & moringa leaves usili

Yields: 400 gram (2 cups)


  1. Banana florets – 25-30 Nos.
  2. Moringa leaves (murungai ilai) – a handful (optional)
  3. Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu) – ½ cup
  4. Red chillies – 4 Nos.
  5. Cumin seeds (jeeragam) – ½ tsp
  6. Salt – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  8. Coconut gratings – as required

For tempering:

  1. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds (kadugu) – ¼ tsp
  3. Split black gram (urad dal) – ¼ tsp (optional)
  4. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  5. Shallots (sambar vengayam) – 15 Nos.
bnfl-ing Vazhaipoo paruppu usili

How to prepare vazhaipoo paruppu usili:

  • We use only the florets of banana flower, and we need to separate and discard the pistil from each floret before chopping. Some may discard the calyx also but we don’t. (Please refer to the gif below and also Tips & Tweaks section).
bananafl Vazhaipoo paruppu usili
How to prepare banana flower
  • Soak chopped florets in buttermilk and squeeze the water out after 10 min.
  • Steam the florets along with moringa leaves for about 10 minutes and keep aside.
  • Wash & soak Bengal gram for 2 hours.
  • Rinse well & drain the water completely.
  • Grind the soaked lentil along with red chillies & cumin seeds into a coarse dough without adding water.
  • Transfer to a greased bowl and pressure cook the dough (simmer for 10 min. after bringing to high pressure).
  • Then blitz the cooked lentil into a coarse powder at room temperature and keep aside.
paruppu-for-usili Vazhaipoo paruppu usili
How to prepare paruppu for usili
  • Heat a cooking pan with oil in medium flame.
  • Add mustard seeds, when they begin to crackle add curry leaves & chopped shallots.
  • Sauté until shallots turn translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder & sauté for 5 sec.
  • Then add lentil crumble & salt (½ tsp) and mix well.
  • Add steamed banana florets & moringa leaves and remaining salt.
  • Stir well to combine together.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Garnish with grated coconut before serving.
bnfl-usili Vazhaipoo paruppu usili
Vazhaipoo & murungai ilai paruppu usili recipe

Tips & Tweaks:

  • We normally soak & rinse the chopped florets in acidic water before cooking them. So we can add yoghurt, lemon juice or vinegar into the water and soak the chopped florets for few minutes. This is required not only to prevent them blackening but also to reduce the bitterness.
  • You may replace Bengal gram with any lentil (one or more) of your choice.
  • We need to blitz the cooked lentil only at room temperature for the crumbly texture, else it will look moist & soggy.
  • Turmeric powder gives a beautiful color, so I recommend to add it without fail.
  • Here I have not used asafoetida powder or ginger, as banana flowers themselves are anti-flatulents. But we can add them for the usili using other vegetables.
  • You may replace banana flower with other vegetables that don’t turn mushy when steamed like carrot, beans, cluster beans, etc.

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  1. Good to know the benefits of banana blossoms, but can you share a tip on how to pick the right on e, as the last time I picked one, it turned out to be bitter. The Usili seems to be a wholesome meal. It is a simple recipe too!

    1. All banana flowers taste bitter when cooked, you just need to soak in acidic water (as shown in the recipe) before cooking them to remove the bitterness. Now you will like its taste for sure ! 🙂

  2. Nice presentation & pics?. I have never tried banana flowers in cooking but this post inspired me to try this one.

  3. Lovely recipe Megala…never knew that banana flowers have so much nutritional value..thank you so much for sharing such a lovely information with us☺

  4. You are not only teaching how to cook good foods ma’am, you are also doing a great service by sharing its health benefits and creating awareness about our traditional food through your posts. Happy New year

  5. So interesting Megala….:) Love it!!! I would like to wish you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year Megala!!! Keep going with your beautiful blog and lovely stories that go with it…..huge hugs Sophie

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