Hubby dear is a great fan of bananas. He has to eat at least 2 bananas daily. Hence, at home, there are always a number of bananas in various stages of ripeness to be eaten. Whenever unexpected guests arrived and I was at loss thinking what to serve them, my mother in law used to say, “serve them coffee and banana (kaapiyum pazhavum)”. So this was something widely accepted in their part of the country. Bananas are the best and easiest comfort food one can have and they are loaded with natural vitamins and minerals.
During our growing up years in rural Kerala, almost every house had a few banana trees in their backyard. They are easy to grow and yield fruit in less than a year. Moreover , one has to just plant one tree and before long one can have any number of offshoots sprouting around it.
During the time we spent in Hyderabad where we had a big kitchen garden, our gardener planted 4 trees in the garden and by the time we left after 2 years, we had close to 50 trees in the garden. They are easy to grow and maintain.
In the olden days, our dishes used to get washed under the trees (dishes washed with firewood ash and not detergent) and that ash was the fertiliser for the trees. Also we threw all our vegetable peels and the used banana leaves (our disposable dinner plates) under the trees which got decomposed naturally and became compost. So the trees gave fruits which were used in all stages of ripening and even the flower and stem of the plant were used as vegetable, after the fruits were harvested.
There were always one or more banana bunches hanging in our hall from which anyone could eat anytime of the day. No junk food. The first semi solid food given to infants was made of powdered dried bananas. All nutritive and healthy and organically grown. This practice is what still remains with many people who grew up in rural areas and many still continue with the practice.
So many times, we have overripe bananas which are so squishy they are difficult to eat. In our village days, they went straight into the cattle feed tub. Now, no cattle to feed, we have to feed ourselves. I started trying out dosas, chapatis and cakes, etc with these overripe bananas.
Following is the cake recipe, I have tested and succeeded. Over to the recipe.
Ripe banana – mashed : 3/4 cup
Wheat flour or maida. : 3/4 cup
Fresh curds. : 1/2 cup
Powdered jaggery : 3 tbsp.
Melted butter. : 3 tbs.
Cooking. Soda. : 1/2 tsp
Baking powder. : 1/2 tsp
Sieve all the dry powders twice. Beat together the melted butter and curds until blended. Add the jaggery powder and beat in until fully incorporated.Beat in the mashed banana until blended. Fold in the flour mixture alternating with the dry fruits. Line a 3 x 10 loaf tin with butter paper. Grease and dust. Pour the prepared cake mix.
Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Cake is done when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely. Turn on to a wire rack. Enjoy with your tea.