A very old, traditional cooking method, cooking with banana leaves imparts a natural, healthy essence to your dishes. Banana leaves have been known to be a great source of natural moisture and oil and therefore cooking your food in this magical leaf helps you prepare a perfect meal full of rich flavors and aroma. Let’s find out how to nail different cooking techniques with a banana leaf and serve your guests a meal they won’t forget!
Roasted food tastes delicious, and when the little magic of banana leaf is added to it, the taste becomes outright divine. In fact, many well-renowned chefs use this technique to make their signature dishes. For instance, Chef Jonathan Zaragoza from Chicago wraps his Mexican-style barbacoa in a banana leaf and then leaves it in the oven to bake. Another chef, Vijay Kumar from the Semma restaurant, likes to pan-roast his fish fillet by sealing it in a banana leaf to give the traditional recipe of Kerala Meen Pollichathu a twist.
Bake a Cake
If you love a good cake then you must try and bake one in banana leaf, just like the founder of Woldy Kusina, Woldy Reyes does. His catering company is best known all over Brooklyn for its Bibingka Banana Bread and the secret ingredient to his recipe is none other than our star – banana leaf! This not only makes the cake moist but also adds a special banana aroma to it.
Steaming food in banana leaves is one of the most liked approaches by people in Southeast Asia. In fact, you will find banana leaves in almost every household in Thailand, Vietnam, and even Mexico. They use the leaves with anything and everything, be it vegetables, curry, or any meat. Vietnamese people use the leaf to make Vietnamese bánh tét. People in Mexico like to steam their tamales in a banana leaf. This enhances the whole dining experience when they unwrap the dish and are hit with beautiful aromas.
A Serving Dish
If you have ever been to the South of India, then you must have been served at least one meal on a banana leaf. Onam, a festival celebrating the end of monsoon and welcoming the new harvest in this area, calls for a huge celebration, complete with food served on a large banana leaf. Similarly, in Filipino culture, food is served on a huge leaf spread all over the table and is enjoyed by hand.