Vazhapoo Vadai - banana flower fritters

The banana flower is a long burgundy bell or bulb-like protrusion found at the base of a bunch of bananas. Peel back a layer of leaves and you’ll find delicate florets that can be plucked and chopped for these crispy fritter delicacies. They make a delicious snack or starter. Before you make this recipe, we recommend you read up on how to clean the banana flower in this helpful post from Veg Recipes of India.

*Note: Vazhapoo is pronounced “Vallapoo” with a double rolling “l” sound.


Vazhapoo* Vadai – banana flower fritters Recipe



2 cups chana dal
3 dried red chilies (goondu milagai or cascabels)
3 – 4 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped banana flowers
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
2 diced shallots
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
1 Tablespoon chopped ginger
1 Tablespoon ground fenugreek seeds
3 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
3 Tablespoons Chana (Besan) flour – optional as needed to thicken
Sunflower oil for frying


  1. Soak the chana dal, chilies and garlic cloves in just enough water to cover them for about 3 hours.
  2. Drain the dal mixture and place it in a food processor, pulse to a coarse texture adding water as needed.
  3. Scoop the dal mixture in a bowl and add the banana flowers, salt, ginger, onion, chilies, curry leaves and fenugreek and mix well.
    Tip: if the mixture is very wet, use a little Chana flour to bring it together into a dough that will hold together when pressed into a ball.
  4. Make golf ball size rounds, flatten them into discs and set aside until all the batter is used.
  5. Heat the oil in a kadai (wok) on medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles and dissappears.
  6. Flatten the balls slightly between your palms and fry several at a time until crispy and brown.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking tray.
  8. Enjoy hot with coconut chutney.

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