Friday, November 14, 2008

Mochar Ghonto (Banana Blossom Stir/Fry)

We have made our life so busy that sometimes we don’t even stop and ponder for few mintutes, and think about the things which used to make us happy.
One happy moment for me was to visit my grandmother’s home or our ancestral home.
There were big papaya tree, neem tree, drumstick tree and some flower plants like shiuli,joba ,togore pholer gach ( shrub)etc.
One thing which used to give me immense pleasure was to see long queues of banana Plants and banana blossom. These remained as somewhat GolpoKotha (Bookish Tale),for me now. The hustle- bustle of urban life has made us, somewhat robotic living in Pigeon hole.

As I was passing the vegetable vender’s shop in an auto , across the road side (Yes that’s how vegetables are sold here every morning and evening) I saw fresh Banana Blossoms or Mocha being sold out there .Just wished it could be so wonderful if I try making them again.
And the next day, FIL came back after a session of morning walk with mocha (banana blossom)Mind you there are specific days when Mocha should be purchased, never on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Never ever occurred to me to post about it, as I was thinking Mochar Ghonto being so traditional dish; nobody would have that much of patience and even desire to cook it.
But there are few at my little one’s Preschool, who constantly asks me for this recipe.
Here Girls this is for you.

But before the recipe.
Something about banana blossom or Mocha.
Mocha pronounced as Mo Cha, Cha as in Chair in Bengali.

Flowers of banana also known as banana blossom grows at the end of stem holding many bananas.
The male flowers are enclosed in the layers called as bracts which are generally discarded while cooking the mochar Ghonto.
These Bracts can be used for serving any salads, or some decorating food articles.
Each Flower has a somewhat hard stigma which is enclosed in the flower, has a grayish to blackish round tip and it resembles quite like thin match sticks. This needs to be plucked out while cleaning and chopping the flowers. These flowers are in clusters of 10 enclosed in the each Bract.
While penetrating or taking out the layers of bracts, we will go towards the heart of banana blossom which would be little off-white or pale yellow in color. These are very dense as far as their outer flowers are concerned. This is chopped finely and there is no need to take out the stigma.
Please remember while Chopping Mocha
While chopping Mocha, its better to place near
1 large saucepan with water
1 news paper over which you can place the cutting board
1 bowl with few tsp of mustard oil,to grease the knife and hands.While cleaning and Chopping Mocha,sometimes hands gets black color which does fade within 1-2 days.But when greased with mustard oil, this can be prevented up to a great extent.
Sharmila says " rubbing with lemon juice also helps in "

Mochar Ghonto

(Banana blossom stir/fry)
Serves for 5-6 people
1 banana blossom
1 medium size potato cut into cubes
For Flavoring
4 cloves
2-3 pods cardamom
Half inch stick cinnamon
1-2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of red pepper powder
1tsp of salt
2 tsp of sugar

For tempering
2-3 bay leaf or Tej Patta crushed
1 tsp of cumin seeds
3-4 tbs of mustard oil
2 tbs of ghee
Its better to oil the hands, knife before chopping banana blossom.
Place a news paper, then place the cutting board, also you need a small bowl approx take 2-3tsp of mustard oil.Grease your hands and fingers with it.
Open the outer layer of banana blossom,take out the flowers and take out from it "the hard somewhat blackish at the top stalk" , and chop them finely.Follow the same pattern for the other layer of blossom, until you reach the central heart , which would be slightly pale yellow or off white in color .Chop it finely , you will see the sticky gum ,coming out while chopping the banana blossom, slightly oil the hands and knife again and cut carefully .

How to get rid of the Bitterness of Mocha

Wash them in water thoroughly 2-3 times , fill in a large pan with water, add the banana blossom(Mocha) to it , add 1tsp of turmeric powder , ½ tsp of salt and bring to boil .Cook for 5-7mints .
Cover and stop the flame, let it cool off well, now discard the remaining water and take out the Chopped banana Blossom, squeeze in the remaining water with hands (yes that’s how our aunts and Mothers have been doing it)Or better use the sieve.
Making of Mochar Ghonto
Heat up a Kadhai,add oil, temper it with cumin seeds ,tej patta
Add potatoes; fry them at high for sometimes.
Add turmeric powder,red pepper powder,coriander,cumin powder
Add salt and sugar.
Fry all the ingredients for 4-5 mints at high.
Add chopped banana blossom and fry them also.
Add all cloves,cardamom,cinnamon.
Slightly sprinkle some water with hands.
Cover and cook for 10 mints at low, or till the potatoes are cooked.
With the help of spatula, gently mash the entire gravy and mix in well
Add ghee over the top.
Serve with warm cooked rice.
Please add ghee and garam masala generously for the great flavor of Mochar Ghonto .
Sometimes to the above recipe, small shrimp or choto chingri mach or Bengal gram legumes (Kala Chana) is also added.

Please also read -
Paruppu Usili and Morkuzhambu at Suganya's Tasty Palettes
Banana Blossom Palya at Sia's Monsoon Spice
Banana Blossom Indonesian Style Tumis at Cynthia's Taste like Home
I would Like to mention,in recent days I have been forwarded many awards.Its Just that I haven't mentioned,doesn't mean I am being Rude to all of you.You all are special to me beacuse in this busy life with daily obligations you people come here and leave such nice responses.
Please remind me If I have forgotten to write your name in any case.
Thank You all for thinking about me,I am deeply touched.

Happy Cooking Friends
this recipe is going to Suganya's Place at Tasty palettes visit here for more details Vegan Ventures Round-2.


  1. I like this a lot! But isn't prepping the banana flowers time consuming? I have done it before back home, but it is a lot of work. Is there an easier way Jaya?

  2. Wow phenomenal job... I wouldnt think of doing so much in the first hand and thanks for the other foodie recipes too shall check them...

  3. Jaya, why the restriction against those days of the week?

  4. Hats off to you for making mocha!I wouldn't even dare to hold it(well ... I don't like it too) .. but these days I do crave for traditional Bengali food sometimes .. I can have it when made as a chop. :-)
    The info was great. BTW rubbing lemon on the hands do get rid of the blackishness. :-)

  5. Anu,
    yes, it is little bit time consuming job but then there is no other way to make it also as far as iknow..

    thanks you for liking the info and recipes...

    I was asking myself same question when My Mil and mother told me,But I guess its something to do with superstition LOL...

    thanks dear !
    Mochar Chop WOW! would love to have it any time...
    Thanks for the info I will add that to the TIP section...
    Hugs and smiles

  6. I think I will call in P to read this! It is something that will make him cook it:) I am lazy one and will never make this but P made a lovely banana blossom curry which he complains I never share!!

  7. hi Jayashree,got something for u in my blog @ http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/2008/11/shower-of-awards.html

  8. Hi jaya
    Enjoyed reading ur post. Thanks for visiting my blog! the dish looks so yummmy! looks spicy n has got the perfect colour.


  9. I remember myu mom making this dish, not tha say way but different.
    I love this dishe, it looks so yumm.

  10. koto bochor mocha khayi ni jaano? amar i monay nei. & this used to be my one of my fav. ekhane pawa jaye kintu nije kete korte himmat hoyna. Waaaaaa I miss it.

  11. Harini,PJ,Vij,Sagari,Happy,Mandira and Soma

    Thank you all for your visit here and liking the recipe...

    hugs and smiles

  12. Hi !

    I came accross your lovely blog today ... And this mocha recipe had my mouth watering as well as brought in soo many memories :) I absolutely love it but had no idea of how to make it. I live in Sydney so it might be somewhat difficult to get hold of a mocha .. But when i do, I will surely try ur recipe.. looks very very yummy.

    -- Rupa S.

  13. Admiring the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you present.
    It's nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the
    same old rehashed material. Wonderful read! I've saved your site
    and I'm adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    1. Thanks for appreciating Anon! ...wish you should have written your name as well...
      anyways thanks once again ...


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