Mochar Ghonto, also known as Kolar Mocha and Banana Flower Sabzi is a healthy, rich in iron and traditional Bengali food item. This dish brings you the taste of our land; a subtle yet fiery cuisine, rich and traditional in its cores; the Bangali cuisine.

The banana flower is a large, dark purple-red blossom that grows from the end of a bunch of bananas. Bengalis call it the 'Mocha'; ‘ch’ is not 'k' like chord.

The crop of the land; Mocha or banana, is a very close part of Bengali culture. They not only cook it but also eat in its leaves, every part of it is important to them.



  1. When cooking the banana blossom, one must know how to peel it.
  2. The banana blossoms cannot be used directly for cooking. The thick, purplish-maroon petals or bracts have to be removed first. Inside each petal, there are neatly arranged banana florets that are used for cooking. 
  3. Even in each of these florets there are two parts which need to be discarded: one is the stigma and the other is the plastic-like petal.
  4. The banana blossom is arranged in layers. Discard the red-purple covers. As you will remove a cover you will find bunch of finger shaped flower hanging. Those are the edible part.
  5. As you will keep peeling you will reach to the white soft core, this part can be chopped and used with the flowers to make the curry.
  6. Each of those fingers like flower needed to be sorted. Discard the hard stick and the scale like part from the flower and keep the rest.
  7. After removing the unwanted parts from each flower, these flowers are chopped finely and soaked immediately (to prevent blackening) for 5-6 hours in a dish of water with salt and turmeric powder. 
  8. Soaking helps in getting rid of bitterness and somewhat metallic flavour, if any.
  9. Drain and boil in a pressure cooker. I cooked till 2 whistles. Let the pressure release. Drain out all the water and mash the boiled mocha (to be used in STEP 5).
  10. Now the banana blossom is ready to be cooked, different dishes can be made with this, like paturi(banana leaf wrapped fry) or mochar chop(fritters). 



  • Banana blossom or Mocha big-sized: 1
  • Medium-sized potatoes peeled and cubed: 2
  • Raisins washed: handful
  • Deskinned coconut pieces pea-sized, but cut into tiny cubes: handful
  • Cinnamon stick: 1 inch
  • Green cardamoms split: 4
  • Cloves: 6
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Dried red chillies broken into a few pieces: 2
  • Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
  • Ginger paste: ¾ tsp
  • Homemade Cumin paste or powder: 1.5 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ¾ tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Brown chickpeas boiled with salt: ½ a small bowl or a handful
  • About ¼ th of a freshly scraped coconut; reserve around 1.5 tbsp for the garnish
  • Mustard oil: around 10 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1.5 tbsp
  • Green chillies: 4
  • Salt: 1.5 tsp / taste
  • Sugar: 1.25 tsp
  • Bengali Garam Masala powder (made from Dry roasting & grinding Cinnamon, green cardamoms and cloves): 1.5 tsp




  1. Take oil in a kadai or pan. When the oil is hot, add the small cubed potatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of turmeric and salt. Fry them in high heat for 3-4 min. Take out the fried potatoes and keep them aside.
  2. In the same pan, fry the coconut pieces until slightly golden. Remove into another bowl. In the same oil but in a low flame, quickly fry the raisins for a few seconds until these puffs up, taking care that the raisins don’t get burnt. Remove into the same bowl in which the fried coconut pieces are kept.
  3. Heat mustard oil in a Kadhai. When the oil is really hot, reduce the flame and add the bay leaf, dried red chillies and the whole Garam masala (cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms).
  4. Add the cumin seeds and wait until the colour changes to light brown. Using 3 tsp water, make a paste of the cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and ginger paste. Add it to the Kadhai on a low flame, stirring continuously.
  5. When the aroma of the spices emanates from the Kadhai (i.e., after around 2 min of cooking), add the cooked and semi-mashed banana flowers or mocha.
  6. On a high flame, cook it for around 15 min, stirring continuously, until most of the water dries out.
  7. Add the boiled brown chickpeas, fried potatoes and freshly grated coconut. Also add the green chillies. Cook for 10 min, covered on a medium flame, sautéing twice in between.
  8. Open the lid. Sautee continuously, adding fried coconut pieces, raisins, sugar and the ghee. Also add the Bengali Gorom Moshla. Cook until little oil/ghee leaves the sides of the Kadhai. Check for the salt. In case more salt is needed, add at this stage and cook for 2 min, until well-mixed.

Garnish with around 1.5 tbsp of freshly grated coconut. Serve the Mochar Ghonto hot with steamed rice.

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