Vazhathandu (Banana Stem) eriseri

Yesterday was the first time I subject my mom to the torture of putting her through the routine of ‘documenting a dish’. She’s such a sport I tell ya. She has a kid residing in her at all times. She has this feverish energy and enthu that puts me to shame most times. So, when I told her I wanna document her ‘Eriseri’, she was sheepishly joking asking if she needs to dress nicely before starting the cooking process :). She gave a chirpy prelude (maybe I have taken that quality from her as I have made it mandatory to talk about something before moving on to a recipe) introducing herself and introducing the dish and how she learnt it blah blah. Now that I think about it, I really wish I had taken a video of that. Would have been such a treasure :). Anywho, ‘Eriseri’ is a traditional palakkad (Kerala) dish where in the main spices are pepper & cumin seeds ground with some shredded coconut. That coconut paste is the flavour bomb of the dish. I don’t think I liked this dish much growing up. Now I absolutely love it. And my mom, she has a way to notch up the taste levels of this dish. I don’t know if it’s the way she mashes the dal or the amount of coconut she uses or what, but I am documenting her way of doing this dish only and only cos I really want to replicate it sometime in the future. It is truly awesome this dish. My mom made this dish using Vazhathandu (Banana stem) but she usually does this using podalangai or murungakkai. I am going to try this dish with either of those veggies soonly!!

Vazhathandu (Banana Stem) Eriseri
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
  • 3 cups vazhathandu/ banana stem (cleaned & chopped to small pieces)
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric powder
  • 2 cups cooked toor dal
To grind
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1.5 tsp pepper corns
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
To Temper
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp broken/ whole urad dal
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp refined oil
  1. In a broad vessel, throw in the vazhathandu, some salt, tumeric powder & 2 cups of water. Let it cook in simmer option. Close the vessel with a lid. 

  2. In a mixer, add the shredded coconut, cumin seeds, pepper corn & grind to a smooth paste adding water bit by bit. Set it aside.

  3. Check on the vazhathandu in between and stir it once in a while. Roughly by 15 minutes, the vazhathandu must be cooked. The color changes & when you taste a small bite, you'll not get a raw taste. 

  4. Take a ladle and nicely mash the toor dal & pour that into the vessel. 

  5. Also add the coconut paste to the dish & a cup of water. Mix well. Check and adjust for salt. 

  6. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes so that everything gets incorporated well. Turn off the heat. 

  7. In a small pan, heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. 

  8. Once they start to splutter, add the urad dal & saute till they brown.

  9. Add the curry leaves at this stage and turn off the heat. 

  10. Pour this tempering on the vazhathandu eriseri and give it a good mix. 

  11. Vazhathandu eriseri is ready to be served alongside rice/ dosa. 

Recipe Notes

Mom's notes

  1. Do not add any water initially when grinding the coconut. Give it an initial pulse/ grind and then start adding the water bit by bit. 
  2. It's a little tricky to cut & clean the vazhathandu. You will need to chop up a few pieces and put it water mixed with some butter milk (so that it doesn't brown/ oxidise). Right after, take a long stirrer and stir into the mixture. You will get the unwanted fibre from the vazhathandu onto the stirrer. Discard the unwanted fibre. Repeat this for every few pieces of vazhathandu that gets chopped. I will try and post a video of this next time. 

Stepwise pictures

In a broad vessel, throw in the vazhathandu, tumeric powder, some salt & water. let it cook in low flame with a lid covering the vessel.

Meanwhile, take a mixer and add shredded coconut, cumin seeds & pepper corns.

Grind to a fairly smooth paste adding water bit by bit.

Keep checking on the vazhathandu and stir it once in a while. Once the vazhathandu is cooked (roughly about 15 minutes), you will notice the colour change and if you taste a small bite, there won’t be any raw taste.

Using a ladle, mash the toor dal well & pour that in. Also, add the coconut paste.

Mix well. Add extra water at this stage. Check & adjust for salt. After 5 minutes (the mixture will be boiling by now), turn off the heat.

In a small pan, heat some oil & add mustard seeds.

Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add the urad dal. Let it brown. Add the curry leaves in the end and turn off the heat.

Pour this tempering on top of the vazhathandu eriseri. Mix well.

Serve hot with some rice or dosa. Yummy! It serves 4 but the gluttony D & I finished it between ourselves :).

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