Banana leaves are mainly used to serve south Indian food such as dosa, idli, and even steaming, frying, or cooking. Banana leaves are a tradition in South Indian culture, especially in marriages, family gatherings, or festivals. The banana leaf meal is called Vaazhai Elai Sappadu in Tamil Nadu, Baale Ele Oota in Karnataka and Sadhya in Kerala. The proprietary dishes served on a banana leaf are similar in all four states: white rice, sambar, poriyal, payasam, pickle and dal podi and ghee.

How To Cook With Banana Leaf?

The banana leaves have a significant role in south-Indian kitchens. It helps in almost every culinary process, including wrapping, grilling, steaming, baking, roasting, or packaging. This allows the food to cook in their juices, spices, ingredients and lends a classic aromatic touch to the delicacies. What’s more? Banana leaves are high in antioxidants known as catechins, which are added to the health of the dishes as the nutrients amalgamate with the food. That’s why cooking the food with banana leaf is a pivotal part of several traditional cuisines.

Steaming

The banana leaf can hold the liquids of the food and helps you cook whatever you want, such as vegetables (potatoes, broccoli, mixed veg), rice, fish, prawns, and chicken. In addition, the antioxidants present in banana leaf absorb the food flavours with the aroma of the leaf.

Wrapper for food fermentation

For some food items, banana leaves are an excellent element for aerobic fermentation. It allows air exchange while protecting the food and lets the fermentation occur naturally.

Non-stick layer for grilling

The banana leaf prevents the food from sticking to the griller. This adds a nice sweet and smoky flavour that the aluminium foil cannot provide (if you’re using a foil).

Bowl shape banana leaf for baking

In South India, it is a mixture of batter (sweet or spicy). Many dishes are used for cooking on a banana leaf bowl, such as omelette, fish custard, coconut curry, etc.