Daun Pisang / Banana leaf

Monday, July 13, 2009

Banana leaf is the leaf of the Banana plant. It is used as a decorative element for auspicious ceremonies in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. It is also used as a plate to serve food in countries like India. Banana leaves though commonly thrown away contain large amounts of polyphenols, including EGCG, similar to green tea.

Banana leaves are predominantly used by Hindus and Buddhists as a decorative element for auspicious functions, marriages and ceremonies in India and Southeast Asia, it is also used for a taste. The Indians also believe that the banana leaf gives a special taste to the food served on it.

South Indian food is usually served on a banana leaf. Some South Indian and Khmer recipes use banana leaves as a wrapper for frying. The leaves are later removed to retain flavor. In Vietnamese cuisine, banana leaves are used to wrap foods such as cha-lua.
In Malaysia (and Singapore), banana leaves are used to wrap certain kuih. Malay food such as Nasi Lemak are also commonly wrapped with banana leaves before being wrapped with newspaper as banana leaves add fragrance to the rice.
In Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, banana leaves and parchment paper form the wrapper for pasteles (similar to tamales). Ground green bananas stuffed with meat are packed inside and then boiled with the banana leaf imparting extra flavor and aroma.
Mexican, and more specifically Oaxacan tamales and a local variety of lamb meat, or barbacoa tacos are often steamed in banana leaves. Banana leaves are used for wrapping pork in the traditional Yucat√°n dish Cochinita pibil. The Hawaiian imu is often lined with banana leaves.

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