Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eating Art: Beans in Banana Leaves

When I was a child, one of the joys of visiting my family in India was eating off banana leaves. The smell and the slick feel against one’s fingers. Even now, those leaves give me a sense of youthful joy. So, when I saw some frozen leaves at the Asian market I couldn’t exist.

For my Eating Art dinner, I needed something that was hot and wet, and I planned to do beans en papillote so this would be sort of an asian take on that. But, frankly, this was one of the least successful dishes I made at that dinner. Frozen banana leaves are a pale, well nasty, replacement for the original. I purchased them out of nostalgia but instead they simply reminded me that there is no place like home (or in my case your grandmother’s home.)

This would be nice either with fresh banana leaves or en papillote (in parchment)

Beans in Banana Leaves
Sautee for 30 sec:
½ cup grated coconut (only brown very slightly)

1 tsp tamarind paste soaked in hot water
1-2 green chilis
2 smashed lemongrass stems, cleaned and pulsed in a food processor
¼ cup coconut milk

Mix coconut mixed with cleaned green beans. Place on parchment and make into a sealed package. Bake for 8 minutes. Serve in package and let guests/ diners open it themselves.


1 comment:

Y said...

Banana leaves make me feel a bit nostalgic too. My dad used to take us to an Indian restaurant where everyone ate off banana leaves. There was even a way of folding the leaf to signify that you had finished your meal.