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Banana Flower Cutlet (Mochar Chop)

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Contributed by:
Anupriya Sinha
Anupriya Sinha, Housewife
Chennai

Banana Flower Cutlet (Mochar Chop)

Ingredients

Banana flower - 1 large
Water - 3 cup (for soaking) + 3 cup (for boiling)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp (for soaking banana flower) + 1 tsp (for cutlet dough)
Salt - 1 tsp (for boiling) + as required (for the final cutlet dough)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Ginger (grated) - 1 and 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 2-3 or as per taste (finely chopped)
Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
Raw banana - 1/2 large or 1 small (boiled and mashed; without any lumps)
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 1/2 cup
Bread crumbs or rice flour - as required
Refined oil - as required (for brushing the cutlets while roasting them)

Method of Preparation

1. Remove the outer purple covers one by one and take out the real flowers, till you reach
    the center light yellow portion. Discard the outer covers and centre portion.
2. Take the flowers one by one. Remove the central hard stick-like part (female part) and
    the transparent sepal, and discard them. Leave the stamens (male part) intact.
3. Chop the flowers in small pieces and keep in a deep vessel.
4. Add 3 cups of water and lemon juice.
5. Soak the chopped banana flower for 2-3 hours.
6. Drain, wash and put it in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of fresh water.
7. Add salt and turmeric powder, and cook till done i.e. for at least 15 minutes, after the
    first whistle, on low heat.
8. Drain the banana flower on a sieve and sqeeze out water, by pressing with a large spoon.
9. Heat mustard oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds and fry till it reddens.
10. Add bay leaf and fry for another 10 seconds.
11. Add the boiled banana flower and stir. Keep stirring on medium heat till all the excess
     moisture is absorbed.
12. Add garam masala and ginger and mix well.
13. Remove from heat and cool this mixture.
14. Mix in boiled and mashed raw banana, green chilli, coriander leaves, roasted cumin
     powder and lemon juice.
15. Adjust salt as necessary and mix thoroughly to make the cutlet dough. You can mix
     a little rice flour or bread cumbs if you feel that the dough is too moist.
16. Divide the dough in 10 to 12 parts. Make cutlet like shapes (and roll in breadcrumbs
     if desired).
17. Grease a baking tray or Aluminium foil and arrange the cutlets on it. Brush a little oil
     on each cutlet and keep aside.
18. Preheat oven or tandoor for 6-7 minutes and push in the cutlet tray.
19. Roast/ grill at the highest possible temperature, till browned on both sides, as desired.
     You can also brush more oil if you so desire.
20. Serve hot with mustard sauce and/or green chutney.

Notes & Tips

1. This is a Bengali delicacy, loved by each and every Bengali in this world. Its called "Mochar chop" in Bengali.

2. The dough is traditionally made using boiled potato instead of raw banana, but I like the latter more, in this preparation. Also, traditionally it is shallow fried instead of grilling. You can also make it in a non-stick pan, using very little oil, as in grilling.