Banana Blossom Croquettes – Bengali Mochar Chop

Growing up in a Bengali family, I was introduced to this traditional regional delicacy early on. My grandmother used to make it and then my mother and now it’s my turn. Strange as it may seem, practically all parts of the banana plant has found it’s way into our palate. This is a complex and tedious recipe which needs patience and perseverance. I can assure you, at the end it’s worth the effort. The delicious dish is both healthy and tasty. Ideally, the croquette is best had with mustard sauce (Kasundi) although some may find it quite strong and pungent. However, that is the traditional combination. One can also serve this dish with rice and yellow dal or simply with some ghee rice. So, if you are in the mood for something traditional and authentic to impress your better half or your guests, the banana blossom croquette is indeed a good choice. Happy fooding around.

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Banana Blossom Croquettes – Bengali Mochar Chop

  • Author: Reetika Mitra
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x

Description

Going Bananas


Scale

Ingredients

Ingredients For the Filling:

  • 1 Banana Blossom or Flower
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Tsp Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Red Chilly Powder
  • 1/3 cup Tomato Puree
  • 1/2 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 Tsp grated Ginger
  • 2 Tbsp grated Coconut (Optional)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tsp Ghee
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • Handful of Raisins
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients For the Coating:

  • 2 small Eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 4 big sized Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • Oil to fry

Instructions

  1. It is most important to grease your palm with a little oil before peeling and chopping the florets of the banana blossom. Else it can leave a black stains on your hands for several days.
  2. Now take the banana blossom flower and remove and discard each bract or the boat -shaped purple- reddish outer layers or bracts which helps in protecting the delicate florets. Carefully extract each florets and remove the small light pink coloured hard petal-like portion from each of the florets. And then remove the stigma (since my childhood, found the stigma somehow to resemble a matchstick ) from each floret too. Peel the florets and repeat until you get the soft part of the blossom where the florets are too soft to be peeled out.
  3. Chop and cut the florets along with the remaining soft part of the blossom into small pieces. In a pressure cooker, cook the florets in 2 to 3 cups of water along with 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder. Cook until 4 whistles. Wait to cool then open. Strain the water from florets.
  4. In a pan over medium flame, heat the oil. Add the Bay leaf and Cumin seeds. Add the coriander powder, chilly powder, cumin powder, grated ginger. Keep stirring constantly so that the masalas do not get burnt. Reduce flame if needed. After stirring for a minute or two, add the tomato puree. Keep stirring for another few minutes, till the oil comes out from the masala mix.
  5. Add the pressure cooked banana flower and salt. Cover and cook till the florets and the masalas are done. Should take approximately 10 -12 minutes. Remove cover and stir from time to time. Before taking off the flame sprinkle the sugar, garam masala powder and the ghee. Ensure the mix is of a dry consistency. Turn off flame and add the raisins. Set the mixture aside to cool. Your filling for the croquette is ready!
  6. In a bowl mash the boiled potatoes well to form a smooth texture without any lumps. Can add a little pinch of salt for taste.
  7. To make each of the Croquettes or chops, take a ball of mashed potatoes on your palm. Make a round of the mashed potato ball and gently press the middle to slowly make a deep well- like shape. With the help of a spoon, put the banana floret mix in the middle of the well-like insertion. Now pinch the mashed potato coating from the top to close and seal the floret mix inside the potato ball. Gently rub the croquettes with the help of your two palms, to give a slightly elongated shape.
  8. Repeat this process to make the remaining croquettes.
  9. For the final breadcrumb coating, first dust each croquettes or chops with all purpose flour, dip them in to beaten eggs. Make sure the beaten eggs cover all the sides of the croquette well. Next roll them well in the breadcrumbs. Make sure they are generously coated with the crumbs on all sides.
  10. Repeat this process for all the remaining croquettes.
  11. Heat oil in a wok over medium high flame. Deep fry the croquettes till crispy and golden brown. Drain over kitchen tissues. Serve hot accompanied by some Kasundi mustard sauce or any other sauce of your choice.

Notes

Note : For the vegetarians who do not prefer consuming eggs, they can replace the beaten eggs with an all purpose flour (maida) batter.

The Croquettes can be kept chilled in the refrigerator and deep fried later as well. Just remember to give them enough time to thaw first. If one wants to make a meal out of these laborious croquettes, they go very well with rice and moong dal squeezed with a dash of lime juice. Though my personal favourite is a simple ghee- rice, compliments the croquettes perfectly!


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4

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