Boashi | Lonumedhu

Boashi

 

We should probably start off by saying that different Maldivian households make boashi or banana flower differently. Some make a crunchy version of it by deep-frying it and combining it with fried onions, chillies and the other usual suspects, while some follow a more sautéing method. In our version we used a bit of lonumirus curry powder and coconut milk.

Also, before we dig in, in case you are a first timer handling boashi, we should tell you that slicing the boashi might feel a bit weird in the beginning. It’s going to be a bit starchy and your hands will feel a bit sticky; but giving your hands a good wash is going to fix that easily.

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 boashi (banana flower or banana blossom)
  • ½ cup dried tuna chips
  • 2 onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 24 curry leaves
  • 6 inch piece of raanbaa (pandan leaf) split into two pieces
  • 4 ¼ tsp. lonumirus curry powder
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 3 tbsp. salt (for soaking the boashi)
  • 4 cups water (for soaking the boashi)
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. salt (for seasoning)
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Instructions:

  1. Add 3 tbsp. salt to 4 cups water and stir to dissolve. Use a large bowl for this.
  2. Clean and wash the boashi. We removed a couple of the outer petals along with the florets growing around it.
  3. Slice the boashi thinly into the salted water.
  4. Let the boashi sit in the water for around 15 minutes. This will get rid of that starchy stickiness.
  5. While the boashi slices are getting soaked, slice the onions thinly, mince the garlic and deseed and chop the dried red chillies.
  6. Drain and wash the boashi well. Keep aside.
  7. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  8. Add the onions, curry leaves and raanbaa. Stir and cook until the onions soften and take on a golden brown colour. When this happens, add the garlic and chillies and cook for an additional 30 seconds or so.
  9. Add the curry powder, stir to combine and cook until you start smelling the spices. It shouldn’t take long, no longer than a minute.
  10. Add the boashi, stir to combine again, and then add the coconut milk along with ½ tsp. salt (you can add more or less depending on your preference).
  11. Give the mixture a good stir, put the lid on, keep the heat low, and let it cook until the boashi is soft and the mixture becomes somewhat dry. How dry the mixture should be is totally up to you. We let it cook for somewhere around 30 to 40 minutes. We added the dry tuna chips during the last 10 minutes of cooking because we didn’t want them to soften too much and lose their crunch.

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