Vazhaithandu Mulakootal (Banana Stem Dal)

Mulakootal is a typical and traditional dish from Palakkad, a district of the Southern state of Kerala. You can use any one of several vegetables to prepare mulakootal – spinach, ash gourd, snake gourd, elephant yam, pumpkin, Chinese potatoes, any greens, raw banana, cabbage… The one I am presenting here today is prepared using vazhaithandu (banana stem). I apologise that I do not have a good image of the banana stem. You will see dark patches on the steam. But if you peel off the outer layers, you will get a pristine white steam. I will update the picture once I buy banana stem again. There are several YouTube videos on how to chop the banana stem. So I will not go into that for the moment.

Vazhaithandu Mulakootal

1 medium sized banana steam, cleaned and chopped fine
1/3 cup split green lentil (moong dal, paasi parupu)
3/4 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp split black lentils (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
1 dried red chili, broken into two
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
Mix 1 tbsp of vegan yogurt is a bowl of water
Chop the banana stem into little pieces and drop them in the bowl of water (otherwise the banana stem will turn dark)
Set aside
Roast the split green lentil till aromatic and set aside to cool
Pressure cook the split green lentil, banana stem, turmeric powder and salt, adding about 1 1/2 cups water for 2 whistles
When the steam has released naturally, open the lid
Set aside
Meanwhile, heat a wok and roast the split black lentils and dried red chili till the lentils turn golden brown
Transfer to a blender and add the grated coconut and the cumin seeds
Add a little water and grind to a fine paste
Add this paste to the cooked split green lentil and banana stem
Add about 1 1/2 cups of water (or more or less depending upon the consistency required)
Bring the mixture to a boil
Remove from heat immediately once it begins to boil
Set aside
Heat the wok again and add mustard seeds (and a dried red chili if you like)
When they begin to splutter, remove from heat and add to the cooked mulakootal
Garnish with curry leaves
Serve hot with red/brown rice or Indian flat breads

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I had no idea about it. Thanks for sharing about this healthy Dal from Kerala.


  2. Padma says:

    First of all thanks for this amazing blog. All dishes cooked in wfpb way. I have been always on a lookout for such recipes. Can’t wait to check out and try all recipes. Btw do you have a YouTube channel also ?


    1. Thank you for the encouragement. No YouTube channel yet. Soon.


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