500 gms of pigeon meat cut into small pieces (make the pieces really small, cut with the bones)
1 fresh whole banana flower (make sure, the banana flower which you pick up is really a fresh one, you would not get the intended taste of the dish if you do not use a fresh banana flower)
1 medium sized potato
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
2 red chilies
1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
Salt to taste
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoonful of the mixture of whole cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seed, ajwain seeds and black cumin seeds in equal quantities
Cooking oil (again if you have mustered oil, its better)
Serves: 4 people
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 - 30 minutes
The most important part of this recipe is how you cut and clean the banana flower. Banana flower has many layers of skin which covers the inner most portion. By looking at the color and freshness of out layers you can determine whether a banana flower is fresh or not.
First you start peeling out the layers of banana flower. When you remove first 2-3 layers, you would find a ring of smaller white colored slender projections. These are the actual flower part of the entire big piece of the banana flower. The outer layers basically designed to protect them. These slender pieces are also edible and you can cut them into small pieces and make another dish out of them. If you touch them, if you find a "powdery" feeling, you would know the banana flower is fresh. Keep peeling of the layers until you find a off-white part of the flower. And here you go, this is it. Cut of the top and bottom portions out of the white part.
Now, wash the entire white part which you have before cutting. Then chop into fine pieces. You can also cut the actual flowers as shown in the accompanying picture, but you have to take care to remove the longest of the thready part in the center. Add some salt into the chopped pieces and using your hand, mash them. Some water will come out from the mashed pieces. The mashed output would turn to a darker shade. Drain out the water and keep the mashed banana flower aside. This step is important so that the basic taste of the banana flower is removed.
Make a paste of ginger and garlic.
Cut the potato into 8 wedges of equal size and fry them till they are half cooked and set aside.
Heat a wok (kadai) and put some cooking oil. Once the oil is hot and vapor starts coming out, reduce the flame a bit and crackle the mixture of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and black cumin seeds. Add the dry red chills and the bay leaves. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry them for 2 minutes in medium low flame. Once the smell of garlic starts coming, add the pigeon meat and the mashed banana flower portions. Mix the entire mixture well. Add turmeric powder and the cumin powder. Keep stirring and fry them on medium high flame for 5-7 minutes. Now reduce the flame to minimum and cover the kadai with a lid. Let it simmer for say 15 minutes. Keep checking periodically to ensure the meat does not stick to the vessel. Generally the banana flowers will release some water and the meat gets cooked in that water. You can add some water if you think the meat might be burnt.
After cooking for fifteen minute, uncover the pan but do not increase the heat. Put the potato wedges and salt to the curry and mix them well. Cook the curry till the water evaporates and the banana flower mash is reduced to very fine size. Check if the meat has become tender. Do not add more water now but make sure the curry does not become too dry.
Coarsely grind the black peppercorns and add them to the curry and keep stirring for say 5 more minutes. If the meat has become tender to your level of satisfaction turn off the heat and your curry is ready. Serve hot with rice or roti.