Indonesian Banana Blossom Curry

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Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Indonesian banana blossom curry or gulai jantung pisang is commonly found in Javanese warungs (small local eateries). However, it is very rarely offered overseas, perhaps because people find it a bit plebian. Or maybe foreigners find it scary looking. I don’t know, really. But I am going to show you how to make this, because we are all peasants here and it tastes damn good.

When I made it the first time, we were surprised at how “Indonesian” this spicy and creamy curry tastes. It brings all the feels of a warung, just missing the condiments table and teh botel. The banana blossom is an interesting texture and is quite nice to chew.

The real work in this Indonesian banana blossom curry is in the preparation of the blossom. After that, it takes hardly any skill and only minutes to cook. It may look intimidating, but it is much easier than it looks.

If you are new to fresh banana blossoms, Vegan Miam has a very thorough guide on preparation.

Enjoying banana blossom? Check out this Thai-Inspired Banana Blossom Salad!

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Ingredients

0/13 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • For spice paste

Instructions

0/8 Instructions
  • Prepare your banana blossom, preserving one nice bract (the hard petal) for a serving plate later. Slice the banana blossom heart and peel as many baby banana florets as you can before descending into the madness. All prepared banana blossom parts should be immediately immersed in a basin of cool water with vinegar or lemon juice to prevent them from going black and bitter.
  • Prepare all your spices. If you don't have tamarind juice, you can dissolve 1 tsp of tamarind paste in warm water and remove the seeds.
  • Blend the ingredients for the spice paste.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium-low heat in a non-stick pan and fry the spice paste. Fry the spice paste until it shrinks and darkens, about 8 minutes, taking care not to let it burn.
  • When the spice paste is done, taste it and decide if you want to use all of it. If it is too spicy, remove some before the next step.
  • Add 400ml of coconut milk, turn the heat up to medium. Add the kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, and galangal slices.
  • When the curry is close to bubbling, add the sliced banana blossom. Let the curry boil gently until the banana blossom softens and the curry reduces, about 8 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with rice.

2 Comments

  1. Hi. I followed your recipe for the Indonesian banana blossom curry yesterday as I had the hearts leftover from a salad I had made earlier. I also happened to have remnant “rempah” from another dish and I tweaked it to include the bay leaf, galangal and kefir lime leaf. It turned out very nice. As I have fried tofu cubes in my fridge, I added them into the curry. It turned out to be a wholesome and delicious red curry.

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