Cauliflower and banana skins are wonderfully combined is this aromatic and flavourful curry. Serve with basmati rice and naan bread for a delicious and easy meal.
I recently read about cooking with banana peels which had become a bit of a viral trend. I decided to give them a try once I found this yummy sounding curry recipe from the New York Times. It turned out really well and I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious and flavourful banana peels actually are.
The peels add an unique sweet/sour flavour to this dish and have a interesting texture not unlike eggplant. They are also a zero waste ingredient and that’s a direction I’m trying to take more in my life and in my cooking so this recipe is doubly great.
This recipe is based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson from her new cookbook “Cook, Eat, Repeat”. It’s a tradtional style curry which I have never made before so it was an entirely new culinary experience for me. I love curry but never made it before as I thought it was too time consuming. It is, but it is completely worth it.
Making cauliflower banana skin curry
To make curry you need to be organized. It really helps to create a mis en place, to collect all your ingredients before do you don’t forget any. The recipe itself is pretty simple and its fun to make as the flavours are very aromatic and heavenly.
Start by washing and peeling the organic bananas. The peels are then soaked for 30 minutes or so as you prepare the rest of the recipe. Once the banana peels have soaked and softened they are cut into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Next, you combine the curry sauce ingredients in a blender. It works better if you have a hand held blender, but I don’t do a regular blender works fine too. Blend ingredients until smooth.
The sauce is added to a large, deep saucepan or wok. Let it heat and cook to deepen the flavours. You then add the banana peels and then the prepared vegetables, stirring to combine. Let it all simmer and cook until done.
It helps to let the curry sit over low heat stirring until served. This brings out the flavours and colours. I like to garnish it with fresh cilantro leaves and serve the curry in a tradition way, with basmati rice and homemade naan bread. They are a good complement to the heat and deep flavours of the curry. This curry also tastes great as a leftover and it can also be frozen. It is hot but not too spicy and the flavours blend very well together.
This curry proved to me banana peels are a good ingredient to cook with as they are definitely edible, and have a unique flavour and texture of their own. The texture is not unlike eggplant and if you want, you can use it instead of the peels. I would recommend being brave and giving banana peels a try. It’s definitely a cooking and taste experience worth trying. Enjoy!
Cauliflower and Banana Skin Curry
- 3 large organic banana peels, stems and bottom ends removed
- 1 small cauliflower and tender leaves trimmed into bite-size florets, about 5 cups
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/4 medium sized red onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thick coins peeled and sliced into thick slices
- 1 fresh red chile such as bird’s-eye or Fresno quartered
- 4 large garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch cilantro stems separated and reserved, leaves chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 13 ounce can can full-fat coconut milk
- 21/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons stevia seasoning plus more to taste or any salt free seasoning
- Cooked rice or flatbread (such as naan or roti) for serving (optional)
- Bring a large pot of water to a full boil.
- Place the banana peels in a medium-large mixing bowl. cover with the boiling water. Reserve the rest for cooking the cauliflower.
- Boil the cauliflower and leaves for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
- Gently stir 1/2 teaspoon turmeric into the bowl with the banana peels . Let them sit until softened and cool enough to handle, around 30 minutes.
- Drain the cauliflower and set aside.
- Prepare the curry paste: Place the red onion, ginger, garlic and chile into a blender. Add the cilantro stems, cinnamon and remaining 3/4 teaspoons turmeric. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk or just enough to blend ingredients into a paste. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Drain the banana skins and squeeze out any excess liquid. Cut them into bite sized pieces. and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a wok or medium sized skillet over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the curry paste and stir fry for 7 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the rest of the coconut milk, the lemon juice, and sugar. Stir gently until well mixed. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, to allow the sauce to deepen and thicken a bit.
- Add the banana skins and stir in. Reduce heat and let curry simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the banana skins are soft. Add the cauliflower florets and leaves and cook until well heated.
- Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed. Garnish with the reserved chopped cilantro leaves and serve with rice and naan bread, if desired.
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