main course / Udupi cuisine / vegetarian

Hambe huli, — the Banana stem curry

hambe (4)When we were young, the first signs of habitat, or a new house being constructed would be the visible banana plantation. Almost like those worker sheds that pop up these days.

Banana fruit in itself appears on the dining table in various forms from desert to main course. The leaf was used to eat from; the flower is one of the best known sources of iron and was a must in post partum recovery.

Finally the stalk of the tree or I do not know if I should say bark, it is called the Hambe. This would be used too.  I have almost forgotten how it looks. I remember my grandmother Singari spooling the sticky extract and she used it for something though I do not clearly recollect for what.

The bark of the Banana tree is an excellent colon cleanser.

Last month my sister Malathi (she is the one who has been pampering me since the day I was born) made this Huli, a curry with tangy sauce and the banana stem chopped.hambe (1)


1 cup finely diced banana bark/stalk/stem; the stringy stuff on top should be spooled out.

1 cup fresh coconut. (can be reduced to taste)

I ½ tbsp. Coriander seeds

2 tsps methi (fenugreek seeds)

4 – 5 red chillies,

¼   tamarind pulp

2 tbsp. Jaggery.

Water for quantity required for desired consistency.

hambe (3)For seasoning

2 tsps. Oil

3 tsp. Mustard seeds

2 tsp. Urad dal

2 red chillies

4-6 curry leaves.

Methodhambe (5)

  • Pour 2tsp of oil to a wok and heat, add the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chilli and roast till the aroma emits.
  • Grind this to a fine paste along with the coconut.
  • Placed the cooked banana on low flame, with minimum water, to this add, salt, tamarind, jaggery and a pinch of turmeric.
  • Now add in the ground paste, and water to bring to desired consistency.
  • As this boils in a separate wok, heat 2tsp of oil, add in mustard seeds, just as the mustard begins to spurt add in the urad daal, redchillis, turn off the flame and add in the curry leaves.
  • Pour this seasoning on to the boiling curry and turn of the flame.

Can be served with Rice or Roti’s.

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