Cooking with Banana Leaf

I have always loved the subtle flavor that banana leaf lends to the dish when wrapped and cooked in it. In Kerala, banana leaf, a common part of its culinary world, is used as wrapper for many dishes especially for fish and rice cakes (Ada). Traditionally, for functions and festivities meals are served on banana leaves, the eco-friendly natural disposable plates!

Earlier days, banana leaves often served as lunch box for school kids, with the platter of steamed rice, coconut chutney and an omlette or a fish fry neatly wrapped in the flamed and softened banana leaves.

The size and shape along with its waterproof quality makes banana leaf a multipurpose bounty. It is used as an umbrella on a rainy day or a hot summer day! As a child, during our visit to villages in Kerala, I have watched with wonder, kids and farmers shielding themselves with banana leaves from heavy downpour.

Banana leaf is not always available in Bangalore super markets. The moment, I saw it on sale one of these days, I grabbed it to shape up one of our favorite delicacies Vazhaila Ada; here Vazha-ila means banana leaf and Ada refers to rice cake.

Click the pics for detailed recipe.

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16 thoughts on “Cooking with Banana Leaf

  1. I am a big fan of the banana flavour and ada. I have been postponing the preparation of ada for a long time. Now this post has motivated me to do it at the earliest. Why, thank you!

    • I agree.. Kerala’s magical magnetic attractions are many..whichever part of the world we go, we crave to get back.. Thanks for dropping and sharing your thoughts

  2. It’s long since I got to taste some ada. My mother used to make it and as you have said the banana leaves add a special flavour. Another fav dish is kumbil appam – vazhana leaf is used. You might be familiar with that too. Your post has made me nostalgic once again – adding ada to my ‘to eat’ list during our next trip to Kerala.

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