Steamed Banana Blossom Falafel/ Vazhaipoo Kondai Kadalai Urundai (Vada)

Mediterranean and Indian fusion falafel is a protein rich healthy savory snack. This snack comprises 2 different healthy versions - steamed and baked without compromising flavor. The traditional South Indian Vada with a twist is sure gonna knock your sock off. 
The dried garbanzo beans/ chickpeas/ konda kadalai/ kabuli chana is a nutty tasting legume. Its is an excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, copper, folate and manganese. Also helps lower LDL cholesterol (the 'bad cholesterol") levels and consequently reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Banana Blossom is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It wards of infections, manages diabetics and anemia, helps nursing mothers and also boost moods and reduces anxiety. 


The steamed version with soft inside is slightly roasted in a kadai/pan for a thin crip outer layer for just the perfect crunch to savor this savory. 

The next variant is slightly easier  as it is baked in the oven and then broiled for added crispiness. This version is crispier  and similar to the traditional deep fried vada texture. 


How to clean the banana blossom:
Cleaning the blossoms can be time consuming, but its definitely worth it given the nutritious benefits it offers. 
Remove the outer petal to find the bunch of florets inside. Remove the stamen from each of these florets and discard it. Chop the florets and immerse them in diluted buttermilk to prevent discoloration. 

Cuisine: Indian - Mediterranean fusion
Category: Snack
Preparation time: 30 - 45 mins
Servings: Approximately 20 nos
Level- Easy


Nutrition Facts
Servings 20.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 104
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g2 %
Saturated Fat 0 g0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 129 mg5 %
Potassium 200mg6 %
Total Carbohydrate 22g7 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g22 %
Sugars 5 g
Protein 3 g7 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C10 %
Calcium3 %
Iron3 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Ingredients:

Garbanzo beans/ Chickpeas/ kondai Kadalai/ Kabuli Chana - 2 cups (washed and soaked for 6-8 hours)
Banana Blossom - 1.5 cup (cleaned and chopped )
Green chilly - 3-4 nos 
Cumin powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a dash
Salt as required
Onion- 1 medium (finely chopped)
Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves -  1 tablespoon (chopped)
Curry leaves - 1 tablespoon (chopped)
Butter milk - 1/4 cup with 1 cup water (diluted)
Cooking oil spray 

Method:

1. Drain and squeeze out the diluted buttermilk from the banana blossom and transfer it to a blender/mixer jar. Add the soaked garbanzo beans and green chillies to grind it coarsely using the pulse mode.
2. Transfer to a bowl along with all the remaining ingredients.
3. Make small balls about the size of Amla /gooseberry.

4.  Steaming version: 
  • Arrange these falafels in oiled idly steamer plate or in any slightly greased pan. Make sure the steamer container contains enough water making sure the water level is slightly lower than the arranged falafel plates. Steam for 10-12 minutes.  
  • When done, remove the steamed falafels and in small batches roast them in a kadai with 3 teaspoons of oil. Use a wooden spatula to gently turn them to roast evenly all around. This final step  might take 3-5 minutes for each batch which accentuates the flavor of these healthy banana blossom falafels. This version was a huge hit, the kids relished it as much as adults did.


5. Baked version:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit or 175 degree celsius. Flatten the balls to a disc shape like vada's and arrange on the greased baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning once half way. 
  • Once done, switch the oven to the broiler mode. Spray the cooking oil on the flattened falafels and broil for 3-5 mins or until it turns crip. Flip and repeat the same on the other side as well.

Notes and Tips:

1. Drain and squeeze out all the buttermilk water from the banana blossom before grinding it, else the balls will be too soggy.
2. If your balls or the disc shape doesn't form easily, you may add 1 tablespoon of channa dal flour / pottukadalai mavu to the mixture, as it will absorb the excess moisture if any. 
3. The banana blossom are usually steamed before mixing with other ingredients, but I eliminated this step and it tasted scrumptious. 

Comments

  1. Wow...Awesome...you know what i have decided to take up job of taster for you!!! Just kidding....Enjoying each and every post of yours...you have really come a long way Amudha. Professionalism has developed to great heights...Keep it up my friend....I am happy to see it....Keep posting all innovative ideas....i will try this one...soon and let you know how it turned out...

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  2. You are always welcome my friend :) Thank you, i still have a long way to go... each post is a learning for me. I will be looking forward to your feedback.

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