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Banana Tubers: Healthy and Cost-Effective Way to Replace potatoes

Consumption of tubers doesn’t just help the individual in making a healthy choice but also helps the nation go through a rough pandemic like the one which has hit our nation to the core.

Prity Barman
Bananas on the branch of tree

Tubers are swollen structures used as storing organs for nutrients in certain plant species. They are used for the annual life of the plant (winter or dry months survival), for the reproduction of energy and nutrients during the next growing season, and as a form of asexual reproduction.

Thickened rhizomes (underground stems) or stolons from stem tubers (horizontal connections between organisms). These are found in sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, and dahlias.

As we talk about tubers, there are very few people who consume them as they are very less popular among the urban population. However, consumption of tubers doesn’t just help the individual in making a healthy choice but also helps the nation go through a rough pandemic like the one which has hit our nation to the core.

Yes, we all heard it correctly. Let’s see why and how exactly a tuber can help us as well as our nation.

In India to be specific banana is one plant that has multiple uses from leaves to its stems. Now as we are talking about its use, there is one must known fact which every Indian must know i.e. in the dense forest of Manipur where our soldiers are fulfilling their duties, there is a huge shortage of drinking water. Hence, our soldiers cut up the banana stems and drink the water which the plant has in its store.

The interesting right only a few might have known about this fact.

Another fact is that the Banana plant is one of those perennial plants whose parts can be used as food, starting from its fruits-the bananas to its roots tubers.

Banana tubers have been used as food mostly in states like Uganda, Indonesia, and also India.

In India parts of North Bengal is where first the Banana tubers were seen to be consumed by the locals as a regular dish. To be more specific, the various tribes like the Rajbangshi community have various dishes which include the tubers.

People generally eat the tubers as a substitute for potatoes. Here, in Bengal especially during the winters, the price of potatoes reaches a different height. Therefore, the locals here use up the banana tubers in food preparations which require potatoes.

These tubers taste almost the same as potatoes but are much less in calories as well as carbohydrate contents. These tubers are rather bigger in size than that of potatoes.

It is also sold by the locals in North Bengal at a very low cost which makes it much cheaper than potatoes.

However, there is a much bigger cause that lies behind the consumption of banana tubers. We all know that food wastage is most in our nation as well as food scarcity is also as higher in percentage. To bring a change, to bring value for food people should try this new food source. It is high time that we start using up all of the food and not waste a single part of our food source.

In places like Uganda, there are researches going on in order to provide the nation with a way to slow down food scarcity. The crop that they are using for this particular process is the Banana plant.

Getting back, now one might think how are we supposed to cook these tubers and how is it going to taste? There is one dish from North Bengal which is an all-time favorite of all from children to old people.

The dish which we are talking about is a curry of the tubers made in mustard oil with added spices and green chilies. People eat it with any kind of bread, hot rice, and also puffed rice. Here’s the entire recipe:

  • At first, peel the outer skin of the tubers and wash them.

  • Cut the tubers into small pieces and place them in a cooker so that they get properly boiled.

  • After 3 to 4 whistles remove the banana tubers and let it cool for a bit.

  • Next in a pan add some mustard oil

  • After the oil is heated properly, add some Indian five spices blend (panchphoron).

  • Add some onion paste and some green chilies.

  • Next when the onions turn golden completely add some tomato puree.

  • Add the salt, turmeric, and any other spices which one needs.

  • Lastly, add all the boiled banana tubers and mix well.

  • Finally, after 8 mins of pan-frying serve it hot with rice or any kind of bread.

It tastes the same as the potato curry served in Indian restaurants along with puri.

Banana tubers are also known mysteriously for their medicinal values too mostly the skin of the tubers. There have been several mentions by the locals for the same.

However, it is still unclear how much is the above statement true. There’s a huge scope of research in this particular field also. Let’s keep discussing the various properties of the banana tubers and hope to find many such food sources that can be of huge help for sustainable living.

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