WARNING! All banana juice and sap turn everything they touch black - hands, metal bowls, and implements are best cleaned in the early stages with soap and water and perhaps an old scourer. Do not leave! Stains on clothes are PERMANENT.

1 banana flower
1-2 cups cooking salt
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
peanut oil
2 Tbl vinegar
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
¼-½ cup Sambal Oelek (Chilli paste)*
1 cup canned coconut milk

Caution! The recipe in the RFCA newsletter omitted the unit of measurement here - I'm just guessing that it should be 'cup' (So it could be 'tsp' or 'Tbl' instead) - Editor, 2011

Flower preparation: Have bowl and salt ready. Remove the leathery purple, then dark green bracts and discard until only light green remains except for deep green tips which can be cut away.

QUICKLY (to reduce blackening): Cut flower (remaining blossoms and bracts) in half length-ways. and remove tough stalk sections at base end with a V-cut. Cut cross-ways into 10cm wide slices. Transfer to bowl and pour salt over. Mix thoroughly by hand and leave for at least 20 mins.

Transfer to colander and rinse well in running tap water for several minutes, stirring and squeezing by hand, removing as much of the whitish juice as you can.

Taste a piece of the blossom. If the bitterness is gone, you are ready to cook (if using later, add lemon juice and remove air from bag for freezing).

Saute garlic and onions in peanut oil until onions are transparent. Add tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the blossom and bracts with vinegar, without stirring, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the chilli paste and cook, stirring occasionally until blossoms are tender.

Add coconut milk and re-heat. Serve with rice.

Robert Bond, CRFG 1988 Journal

DATE: January 1995

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