banana leaves

What are Banana Leaves? Glossary | Benefits, Uses + Recipes with Banana Leaves Viewed 35688 times

Also Known as

Vaazhya Elai

What is Banana Leaves?

As the name states, Banana leaves originate from the banana plant. They are wide, light, dark green in colour and are widely used in Asia. In India, it holds auspicious significance. It is used in various ceremonies as a plate to serve food or to perform rituals. Do note that serving on a banana leaf holds prominence. There is a particular list followed where in what will be served from and in which area of the banana leaf. Food served on banana leaves has a very unique flavour.

How to select banana leaves

Ensure that the leaves are free from blemishes and tears. You will find them mostly packed in bunches.

7 Uses of Banana Leaves

These leaves are obtained from the Banana Plants. The leaves are bright to dark green in color and are really large and wide in shape. The leaf holds major significance in a lot of religious functions and pujas. Moreover they are also used as decoration, or as plates and bowls especially in Southern India.

1. The most common known use of banana leaves is to use it as a serving plate. South Indian food is usually served on a banana leaf due to the many medicinal and flexible qualities.

2. Since banana leaves are edible, many recipes use them as a wrapper for cooking. Food wrapped in banana leaves can be grilled, steamed, deep fried etc. Ranging from curries and rice to paneer and vegetables, all of it can be wrapped in Banana leaves and cooked in varying ways. Paneer Bhapa is a great example of it.

See here for more details on uses of banana leaf.

How to store banana leaves

Banana leaves are best used fresh. However, if there is any surplus, wrap in newspaper and store in a cool dry place. You may also pack the leaves in a zip lock bag and store in the refrigerator.

Health Benefits of banana leaves

Banana leaves contain vitamins and thus when hot food is placed on the banana leaves, the food absorbs the vitamins from the leaves which then become a part of our intake.