Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Thor Ghonto" with mother's recipe (plantain/banana stem curry)

Banana plant is one of the most useful plants.
No part of this plant is a waste. Not only the fruit, but it's flower or leaf and even the stem!
Plantain stem (banana pith) is commonly known as "Thor" (থোর) in Bengali. Like banana flower ("mocha"/ মোচা), banana stem also makes really great curry or stir fry and they are really popular in Eastern part of India. Though banana stem stir fry is also popular in Southern parts of India, but cooking method is different. My ma used to make "thor cheNchki" or "thor ghonto". And I love them. 
Plantain stem is a vegetable with many health benefits. It's really high in fiber and rich with potassium and vitamin B6. It is good for high blood pressure, kidney stones or even for weight loss program and many others. 
The problem is all the good things in the world comes with a level of difficulty! Here the challenge is to prepare the vegetable for cooking! Cutting "thor" is a real task! And really time consuming. I prefer to keep it prepared previously.

Cream white fresh and tender stems are good for cooking. Go for thinner ones. The stems are coated with few round covers. What we use is the core part.

Cut it in thin rounds and you will see loads of thread-like fiber. Clean fibers with your index finger from both end of each round slices.

Now chop them finely. Keep a bowl of water ready with little salt and turmeric powder. Soak chopped stem into the water. It will prevent them getting blackish.
"Thor" is ready to use now.
I made "thor ghonto" with my mothers recipe and it was really great in taste. Mother's recipes always work!

Ingredients for "Thor Ghonto":
  1. Boiled "thor" (plantain stem) 2 cups (add salt and turmeric powder while boiling and reserve the stock)
  2. Potato 1 medium (finely chopped and washed)
  3. Whole bengal gram /chola/ kala chana a fistful (soaked over night and boiled)
  4. Ginger paste 2 tea spoon 
  5. Chilli paste 1/2 tea spoon
  6. Cumin powder 1/2 tea spoon
  7. Coriander powder 1/2 tea spoon
  8. Turmeric powder few pinch
  9. Salt and sugar according to taste
  10. Fennel seed 1 tea spoon 
  11. Whole dry red chilli 1
  12. Bay leaf 1
  13. Oil 2 table spoon
  14. Ghee 1 table spoon

How to prepare "Thor Ghonto":
  • Heat up a wok with 2 table spoon oil. Sprinkle fennel seeds and let them become fragrant. Add bay leaf and dry chilli (tear and crush them slightly before adding). Give it few seconds.
  • Add chopped potato now. Sprinkle pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Fry/cook covered over medium flame until nicely golden.
  • Take a small bowl and mix ginger paste, chilli paste, cumin & coriander powder, pinch of turmeric powder, little salt and sugar with 2-3 table spoon water.
  • Add this spice-mix to potato. Fry and cook over medium heat until oil starts separating at the edges.
  • Mix with boiled chana and boiled "thor". Cook for 2-3 minutes over high heat and add half cup stock. Bring it to shimmer and cook covered until done. 
  • Check seasoning and adjust gravy. It is not much a gravy dish, so don't leave much water. 
  • Finally mix with ghee and turn off the heat. 
  • I served it with steaming hot rice and thin daal.

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  1. Thanks for the snaps showing the cutting methodology..otherwise it would have been very difficult!! :)

  2. thanks for the simple but good recipe

  3. Thanks for this post for the first time i m making this ...n its really helpful


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