Thor Chenchki-Banana Stem Sabji (Bengali-vegetarian)
Weekend Recipes

Summary: A very dry recipe using Banana Stem, a very authentic recipe from interiors of Bengal in India. This is served with Daal and Rice
 
Thor Chenchki
 
Introduction:
Banana plant pith, is the core or the Banana Plant. Banana is abundant in the back yard of the kitchen in rural East India (Bangladesh and some part of Eastern India). So people of this region literally didn’t leave any part of the plant using in different cuisine. Banana Flower, Pith and the fruit is used as ingredients of cooking, while the Banana leaf is used for making parcels of fish and steam it. Banana pith is rich in Iron and contains lot of good fibre, and this recipe from the interior Bengal unveils the beauty of traditional Bengali cuisine.
Recipe:
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 4
Difficulty level Difficult
Ingredients:
2 pieces of thor, each about 1 and half feet length, diced into small cubes (See step by step instruction to cut Thor)
1 tablespoon Mustard Oil
1 whole Red Chilli
1 teaspoon Whole Black Mustard
½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
2 tablespoon Black Mustard Paste
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon Sugar
Instructions:
Preparing Thor (Banana Plant pith):
>Take the Thor and cut lengthwise the outer shell of it as shown in the picture bellow 

>Remove the shell by pulling apart. Keep on removing the shell, there may be more than one. This is shown in picture bellow

 >Once you reach the core, peel it very carefully from the surface as shown in the picture bellow

>Now Cut the Thor into round slices, while doing so, lots of thread like fibres will come out, remove that by spindling it on your finger tip. This is shown in the pictures bellow

>Now Cut the Circles into long strips as shown in the picture bellow
 

>Further cut it into small dice as shown in the bellow picture
 
>Now put diced Thor in a pan, add some salt to it and leave for 10 minutes
>Salt will help to release lot of water, squeeze out a handful of Thor, discard the water
>By this method remove all excess water from the diced Thor, now it will look like roughly meshed stuff
>This is ready for cooking
Cooking the recipe:
>Heat oil in a Wok or Kadai till it smokes and changes the colour to peach
>Add whole Black Mustard and the whole Red Chilli. Allow mustards to splatter
>Add the Thor and cook for sometime
>Add Turmeric Powder Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Mustard Paste
>Cook for sometime over medium heat, if it becomes dry and start burning at the bottom, add about a cup of water, else leave it to cook from its own juice
>After 5 minutes of cooking, add sugar and fold well with a spoon
>Adjust salt and increase the heat and cook till oil separates
>Transfer to a platter and serve hot with Rice and Daal