Bengali Cuisine,

Mochar Chop or Banana Blossom Croquette

October 31, 2018 Motions and Emotions 4 Comments

Mochar chop or Banana Blossom Croquette is a delicacy from the land of Bengal. It is also known as Banana flower croquette which is an authentic recipe of Bengal. Banana flower is known as mocha in Bengali which is very unique in nature. Even when we talk about mocha, we (Bengalis) become sentimental as this vegetable is being cooked from ages in various forms and somewhere indicates the Bengali culture and tradition. In many Bengali novels and poems, we found the mention of mocha, even in the writings of Rabindranath Tagore. Hence, whenever there is an authentic meal, we often see mocha makes it to our menu. 



Mocha is a kind of vegetable which always reminds olden days because due to the lack of time today's generation avoid cooking this vegetable at home irrespective of its health benefits. So slowly the recipes using mocha is becoming extinct as cleaning and cutting of mocha takes time and patience. 

I have also noticed that these days most of the vegetables are getting makeovers or people create lot of new recipes however, no such things happened with banana flower aka mocha. I think people still prefer those olden authentic recipes of mocha including mochar ghonto, mochar chop, mochar kofta, etc. 

I have learnt cutting and cleaning of banana flower or mocha from my father in childhood, as he used to do it (even now he does it) and I used to help him. All banana flowers are not good in taste hence, taste a floret before you purchase it. Otherwise, all your hard work will go in vein (Yes! I have experienced it two -three times😐)  if it turns out bitter in taste. If it is slightly bitter, still we can manage by soaking it in tamarind water overnight. 

I have seen my grandmother using chopped coconuts in mochar ghonto and I can say both pair really well. If you wish you can add chopped coconuts (fry them) into mochar chop, it really gives a good flavour to the chop. I have used bhaja mashla in the recipe. Here I am sharing how you can prepare the bhaja mashla I have used here. Take coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder and black pepper powder  in the ratio of 2:2:1:1 and dry roast together. Cool it and store it and use wherever you want. Many people use whole garam masalas to prepare bhaja masala but I have shared my way of making bhaja masala (easy & quick). 




The preparation time of the recipe is long as it includes the resting time of 3 hours. Resting time is important which helps to retain the shape of the chop, otherwise once you start frying it may loose the binding and shape. Once you clean and cut mocha, the recipe is not that difficult and when you taste it I am sure you want to repeat it once again. Mochar chop is a truly vegetarian recipe which does not have any onion or garlic and I have never heard someone cooking mocha with onion and garlic. Mochar chop is a good party snack or starter item which you can keep ready previous day and next day fry them and serve hot. 

Preparation time: 5 hrs
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Yields: 8 to 9 


Mochar Chop or Banana Blossom Croquette 


Ingredients
Banana flower/mocha - chopped, 2 cups
Potato - 2 large,  boiled and mashed
Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Ginger Paste - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
Bhaja Masala/Moshla - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Bread Crumbs - 1 cup
Black Salt - 1/4 teaspoon, for sprinkle
Mustard Oil - 2 tablespoon + 3 cups (or as required) for deep frying


Batter
Besan/Bengal Gram Flour - 1/2 cup
Rice Flour - 2 tablespoons
Baking Soda - a pinch
Red chili powder 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Procedure



How to clean and cut the banana flower?



1. First remove the outer cover (reddish brown colour) of the banana blossom and collect the florets or inside flowers.
2. Take each floret and take out or tear the middle hard stem (stigma) and white smear present in front of the floret.


Making of Chop

3. Next take few cleaned florets together and finely chop them and keep them in a bowl of turmeric water ( 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder + 3 cups water). Cut all the florets.
4. Now drain the turmeric water and pressure cook them up to 4 whistles with little salt.
5. Allow to release the pressure, drain the water and collect the boiled and chopped florets. 
6. After cooling down take boiled and mashed potato in a plate and add bhaja mashla and salt to it and mix well using your palm. 
7. Heat 2 tablespoon of mustard oil in a pan and fry the peanuts till they change the colour, however do not burn them.
8. Take out the fried peanuts and add them to the potato-banana flower mixture. 
9. The pan will have little bit of oil (if not add little oil), add ginger paste in that and sauté it for 1-2 minutes.
10. Next add the mixture (potato-banana flower-peanuts) and give a good stir until the mixture is dried.
11. Allow to cool the mixture before you give them shape. 
12. Apply little bit of oil in your palm and take some mixture and give them cylindrical or round (or any shape you want to give). 
13. Let's prepare the batter now. Take all the ingredients mentioned above (under Batter heading)  in a bowl and add water very carefully (do not add excess water instead add little at a time and mix) and make a smooth flowing batter. 
14. Take the breadcrumbs in a plate and add little salt in to it and mix and spread on the plate.
15. Now take each chop, dip in batter and roll in breadcrumbs to coat it.  Follow the same process for all the chops.
16. Store these breadcrumb coated chops in an air tight container for minimum 3 hours (or overnight) in refrigerator.
17. Take out those chops from refrigerators before frying. 
18. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry those chops under medium flame until they are nice golden and brown. 
19. Take those out from oil in a kitchen towel or tissue paper to soak the extra oil and sprinkle black salt on top and serve hot with ketchup or kasundi (Bengali style Mustard sauce).




4 comments:

  1. Yum! Wish I could get mocha here... I remember one pilgrimage I went on 8n Sridhar Mayapura, West Bengal. We got permission from the banana field owner, picked the flowers and took them to the temple where they were cooked for lunch. I will never forget that lunch! 🙂

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the recipe. I am going to try these with the canned banana flower.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love this.. Easy and yummy croquette!!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting my blog and giving your valuable comments which inspire and motivate me. If you like my blog and want to get regular updates, please follow my blog through, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or subscribe through mail.

Cheers,
Amrita

Lemon Rice