Banana leaves have been an important part of Indian cooking for centuries; Know why
Have you ever wondered why Indians cook their meals on banana leaves? Scientific studies have revealed fascinating facts regarding its numerous health benefits.
Bhetki Macher Paturi, a bengali dish, was a nice surprise for someone who doesn’t like fish. We can’t be sure if it’s mustard or banana leaf, or the exquisite combination of the two, but it makes foodies salivate every time they think of it.
The steaming of fish encased in banana leaves is an intriguing aspect that people outside of West Bengal never discover. What is more intriguing is that the banana leaf connects this Bengali dish to a variety of other regional cuisines.
The humble banana leaf has found its way into many cuisines, whether it’s steaming idli, Gujarati snack panky; Parsi patra ni machchi, the bhapot diya maach from Assam or the exquisite Onam Sandhya from Kerala.
Foods can be steamed, grilled or fried, making them extremely adaptable. It can be used as a serving plate as well as a packaging material.
Although banana leaves have long been a staple of Indian cuisine and rituals, did you know that they also have health benefits?
Benefits of Banana Leaves
banana leaves are rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent or delay cell damage. They contain a lot of polyphenols, which food absorbs. They help neutralize potentially harmful free radicals in our body. They can also fight cancer, aging, and other lifestyle-related diseases.
The leaves also have antibacterial qualities, making them effective against microorganisms found in food. Plus, leaves are a much more environmentally friendly solution than plastic cutlery. Dust and dirt are kept at bay by the waxy coating on the leaves.
“Dining on a banana leaf is both nutritious and cost effective. It is rich in antioxidants and therefore beneficial to your health. Polyphenols found in banana leaves help prevent diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and hypertension. Take, for example, the patra ni machi. Because the fish is cooked in banana leaves, it retains its calcium and protein. Banana leaf is also beneficial for dandruff and dry scalp. “You can minimize both by putting the dried leaves in hair oil,” says Kamal Palia, chief nutritionist at Ruby Hall Clinic.
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