Vazhaipoo ven pongal / Banana flower dal kichadi

Written by: 7aumsuvai
Ven pongal is a popular breakfast recipe in every households of Tamilnadu. It is usually prepared with rice and dal, it is a kind of dal kichadi served with sambar,coconut chutney and medhu vada. But, this recipe is slightly different compared to our regular ven pongal. We have added banana flower / vazhaipoo to the twist and made it slightly healthy.

Serves 4 to 5
  • 1 cup – Raw rice
  • 3/4 cup – Split green gram/ Moong dal/Paasi paruppu
  • 1 cup – Banana flower/vazhaipoo (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp – Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp – Ginger chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves – Garlic
  • 2 tsp – Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp – Peppercorns
  • 5 to 6 no’s – Curry leaves
  • 10 no’s – Cashew nuts
  • Pinches of asafoetida/hing
  • 2 tbsp – Oil +2 tbsp – Butter (for tempering)
  • 2 tbsp - Ghee
  • Salt to taste

Preparation method:
How to clean banana flower:
  1. Apply oil on both hands to avoid sticking.Take off the purple outer cover and remove the bunch of florets inside. Repeat the process until you reach the center.
  2. The tricky part is to remove the stamen with bulged head and a pink color petal which is nothing but a hard pink layer found in each florets.
  3. Separate each flower from the bunch and remove the stamen from each flower. You may use the banana flower as it is in any curry or chop the florets and soak them in buttermilk with a pinch of salt to avoid discoloration.

Making of ven pongal:
  1. Wash and soak rice and dal together for 30 mins to an hour. Set it aside.
  2. Heat oil +butter in a pressure cooker, add chopped ginger, garlic, curry leaves, cashew nuts, Crushed cumin and peppercorns together and finally asafoetida/hing,let the cashews turn brown.
  3. Followed by chopped banana flower, saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are 1/2 done. Add turmeric powder and give a good mix.
  4. Now add 5 cups of water (1 cup rice +3/4 cup dal),enough salt and bring it to rolling boil. Add soaked rice and dal, close the lid and pressure cook for 4 to 5 mins or until it is well cooked.
  5. Once cooled, open the lid and add 1 or 2 tbsp of ghee, mix well and serve with sambar, coconut chutney and special medhu vadai/uluntha vadai.


  • I have used raw rice for this recipe but you may replace it with basmati rice or seeraga samba rice.
  • Always apply oil in your hands before you clean banana flowers.
  • You may add as much as ghee you want. Ven pongal always comes with loads of ghee. Just relish.

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