Thursday, July 2, 2009

Posola (Cooked Banana Tree Stem/Pith):Authentic Assamese Food

This morning Buragohain khura(khura is an assamese term for uncle) gave us this Banana  tree pith.....it is an authentic ,traditional food-item in assamese homes. A young Bheem -kol( i.e. a highly seeded variety of banana) tree was cut to get this stem/pith....as we are leaving for Sikkim in a day or two ,it was decided to cook it today........the dish made is known as POSOLA..cooking posola is a serious job..trust me.Posola is a health food ...good for digestive system and a very good source of iron and another point Chandan(my husband) just added is that it is highly fibrous.
First outer layer of the pith is removed and it is cut into small pieces as shown.....we prefer to crush it in an UROL(iron manual grinder) ,as it gives it a finer consistency and makes it juicier
This is an UROL...an essential kitchen aid in a traditional assamese household.
Very little amount of oil is used (pref. mustard oil) to splutter few mustard seeds,and the stem is added ,after mixing it well with oil -little salt and KHAR(an alkaline natural extract again made out of banana peels....if interested check my older post on KHAR) is added......now it is covered and cooked in medium heat for 20-25 minutes.......because of its high iron content it takes a dark color....now it is ready to eat ....one or two chillies add flavour to it.........I like its taste a lot.We serve it with rice...assamese food is an elaborate affair as we use many side dishes....but i will cover it some other day.
RIPE JACK FRUIT....in Assam jack fruit(KOTHOL) is eaten in its ripe form as a fruit.
i still can't eat Jack fruit in this form .....i have always liked its curry and pickle but like this .....naah.....its a very popular fruit out here....it smells very good ..like a ripe banana and mango mixed kind......its smell is very over powering ,if you keep it in refrigerator ...all other things kept start smelling like it......its smell made me try this fruit many times but the problem is i just cant swallow it.
This is the way Jack fruit is eaten.....seeds are discarded.

24 comments:

  1. When I was a kid, my father usually grew some banana trees in the side yard. We always ate the bananas when they got ripe. But, I have never eaten the stem of the tree.

    Last year, I dined at Bombay Restaurant in Waikiki. I didn't see Posola on the menu. Next time I go, I will ask the waiter about it.

    Jack fruit -- I saw this fruit when I lived in Thailand in 1969. (I was an English teacher there.) I don't think I tasted it, because doesn't this fruit irritate the mouth and surrounding area? I might be wrong...

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  2. @ GIGI.....POSOLA is a traditional assamese food.....you will not find this in a regular indian restaurant even in India or as a matter of fact in Assam too....just now my friend emailed me that few pieces of jack fruit costs 3-4 pounds abroad.

    I am sure that many of my Indian friends have not heard of POSOLA before.....i got introduced to it only after i got married 14 yrs back.Banana tree is utilized in many ways out here....my ma-in-law suggested me today to write a post on it....may be soon ,after i am back from my trip to Sikkim.

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  3. @ GIGI... about jack fruit...a similar fruit named DURIAN is found i south east asia....i think you are refering to that...may be.
    Jack fruit is very sticky ..so we apply oil on our hands before touching it....its not at all irritable to skin or area around the mouth.....the little hands holding the fruit is my son's ...he got very excited ,as he was witnessing it for the first time..he is 2.5 yrs old.

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  4. I recognised the baby hands and thought they must be your baby's!

    We, in South India, use banana stem in our food. We cut them into rings, remove the threads, keep them in water with a little buttermilk added to it (it will not become dark coloured). Take them out of the water 3-4 pieces, cut them into small pieces and add curd and salt. Garnish with a tbs. of oil, mustard and curry leaves. We can add a little bit of grated coconut also. This is very good for diabetics and for people who have bladder stones. Yes, it is full of iron and fibre.

    Your recipe also seems to be good. I will look in for the 'khara' word!

    We, in Karnataka, Kerala make a number of dishes with jack fruit. Eat them raw too. My family loves it! We make curry and add them in saambaar - the raw jackfruit!

    Interesting post, as usual. Your ma-in-law gives you good tips for your blog!

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  5. @Sandhya...we were just discussing this that may be in South part of our country banana stem is eaten too..your recp.sounds very tempting ,we are going to try it...we get coconuts in abundance here....i love cooked jackfruit(raw one)too.

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  6. i love jack fruit..ooff..why do u remind when u cant pass it..

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  7. Hi
    Kavita
    This is Jadav. Your presentation is nice. Makes my mouth water. It seems ages since I last had that typical Assamese dish. Hope to see more such dishes from ur 'kichen'
    Regards
    Jadav
    Delhi

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  8. banana stem is familiar and in kerala we have something quite the same. Its very tasty, i love it....Its very fibrous and good for health and digestion...

    jack fruit in any form is one of my favorite fruit. I love it ripe and sweet and also cooked when raw with Fish curry..YummyyyyyyL, thanks for sharing, makes me nostalgic:))))))

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  9. This is an authentic meal and I think this mix of flavors is very tasty.
    I know an indian restaurant here and I'm going there this week-end.

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  10. both the meal and the fruit look pretty interesting. the jack fruit, what is the taste similar to? what is the texture like, the fruit itself, and when you eat it?

    i love trying new foods, especially when i travel to different places. sometimes, the essence of a destination is best told via the food.

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  11. That Jack Fruit looks huge. I have never tried anything like that in my whole life.

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  12. Lovely post as usual.I love jackfruit but I have to wait till I visit India then only I can have it.Till then I will see your post.

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  13. i'm in awe, never heard of any of this food but it sounds interesting but very labor intensive...

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  14. wow! this is so good but i have never tried.

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  15. The Bengalis also eat the banana stem, we call it 'thore'. We cut it in rings and removed the thread and then cook it.

    I never liked jackfruits because they seem so sticky. And the smell overwhelms me.Though the raw jackfruit vegetable can be delicious.

    I like the way you introduce the flavours of Assam in all your post.

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  16. Gosh! I never thought you could eat the stem of the banana tree. I would have imagined it would be bitter. This is so interesting. My husband says they had a lot of jackfruit on the Big Island and they used to eat it. He said they didn't discard the seeds but ate them, too. Not me. Never had it but I'm curious now. I've seen it on Oahu, too... just never thought to eat it.

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  17. @KAY...we too dont throw the seeds away if they are removed before hand...a very delicious dish is made out of it which goes very well with rice.

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  18. yea i agree kavita...btw if you ever get a chance to try jack fruit chips pliz do so....its better then the fruit i feel.how is bro now ???

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  19. just like aparna said, bengalis also eat the bana stem as well as the banana flower. I love both the dishes, but just like her I also cannot stand the smell of jackfruit, so dont get it home ever.

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  20. Thanks for sharing traditional Assamese dishes. Your blog has so much about Assam, really nice to read :)

    I've noticed little hands on the jack fruit snap, glad to know that your son was excited, hope he enjoyed the fruit.

    Convey my "Hi" to your sweet little son and give me back his cute smiles :)

    Cheers, Sai.

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  21. I love ripped jackfruit and somehow i dislike jackfruit curry.

    Thanx for sharing so much info about assam traditional dishes and utensils

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  22. munh nmein paani aa gaya.......

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  23. I love Kothal very much! I can eat one whole kothal! Also, try Baked Kothal Seeds! It is delicious!

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  24. I LOVE POSOLA VERY MUCH. BECAUSE IT IS OUR ASSAMESE TRADITIONAL FOOD. HOWEVER, THE TASTE OF POSOLA DEPENDS UPON THE METHOD ADOPTED FOR COOKING.

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