The banana tree is one of those few species where each part is used in some way, be it the leaves which are used for eating food or wrapping food, the fruit which is eaten in the form of raw or ripe, the flower or stem which is also consumed. The stem is cooked in various ways in South Indian Cuisine and in West Bengal. It is rich in fiber and helps in weight loss. It also helps prevent high blood pressure and maintain fluid balance within the body. It is used prevent and treat kidney stones. 'Thor' is tender inner part of 'Banana Plant'. Plantain stem or banana pith or thor is a very popular ingredient in Bengali vegetarian cuisine. In my childhood days, oftenly seen this recipe was made by my Grand Ma. This is an extremely delicious dish. Chopping 'thor' is treaky and really time consuming task. My Ma used to make 'Thor Chenchki' or 'Thor Ghonto', I relished those recipes, but this one is a very special and toothsome dish which I love the most.
INGREDIENTS:1 ft Long Banana Pith / Stem (Thor)
1/2 Cup Gobindo Bhog Rice / Kalo Jeera Rice / Basmati Rice
1 Cup Warm Water
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Whole Dried Red Chilli
Whole Garam Masala (1" Cinnamon, 2 Cloves)
1 Bay Leaf
3/4 tsp Ginger Paste
1/2 tsp Cumin Paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder (as per taste)
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds (paste)
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
Few Cashew Nuts
2 tbsp Clarified Butter (ghee)
1 tbsp Oil
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste
Wash and clean banana stem nicely. Chop it finely or in very tiny cubes and soak it in water. Mix turmeric powder and little salt with it (otherwise they will turn black like chopped potatoes) and set it aside for 30 minutes.
Wash rice nicely. Heat 1 tsp clarified butter in a pan. Add rice, fry slowly for 2-3 minutes and keep it aside.
Add oil and remaining clarified butter in the same pan / wok. Slowly fry cashew nuts and raisins, remove from oil and set it aside.
On the same pan / wok, add cumin seeds, bay leaves, whole dried red chili and garam masala. Saute for few seconds. Add ginger and cumin paste, lower the heat now and keep stirring for a minute or two.
Drain water completely from banana stem by squeezing it nicely and add it to the pan/wok. Cook it in low heat till the water completely evaporates.
Now add fried rice, cashew nuts, raisins and 1 cup warm water in it. Fold well and cook till rice is tender. (Finally, rice and banana pith need to look seperate from each other)
Serve warm with plain steamed rice. Enjoy this toothsome Bengali delicacy.
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