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Homemakers in Karnataka Ignite Culinary Change by Popularizing Banana Flour

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
Green Banana Flour

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in “Mann ki Baat” mentioned about Karnataka homemakers experimenting with banana/plantain flour for preparing rotis or chapattis and even sweets like gulab jamuns and barfi. The homemakers are replacing maida and wheat flour with banana flour.

What is plantain flour?

Plantain flour is made from raw bananas or green bananas. This flour is not new to the state. People of this state have been using the flour to make baby food and nutritional supplements for the elderly.

However, the new thing is the way homemakers of Karnataka are using the banana flour now to make rotis and sweet dishes and even noodles.

How this “banana revolution” started in Karnataka?

We can give some credit to Shree Padre, who is a jackfruit activist. Padre had posted a few lines on a homemaker residing in Thrissur on WhatsApp group of farmers. The homemaker had bought various bunches of bananas when she saw that there was a low demand for this fruit. She powdered the raw bananas and sold them.

Jeesy George from Alleppy Krishi Vignan Kendra had guided her in preparing the banana powder.

When Padre posted this in the WhatsApp group, another homemaker in Tumakuru, Karnataka, got inspired. She, too, took the plantains growing in her backyard and powdered them. She then tried to make different dishes from the banana flour, to be precise, plantain flour.

Again, Padre posted the second homemaker’s experience on social media and it went viral. This inspired more homemakers in the state and this brewed a “banana revolution.” Till this news was published, over 100 homemakers had used banana flour in just a month’s time, proving the huge potential of this produce.

Why is banana flour relevant to Karnataka?

In several belts of Karnataka, farmers have glut of bananas. They are unable to sell this huge amount of produce in the market. At times, quality issues of the fruit hinder in their sale. In such a case, a perishable produce like banana can be transformed into a product with a longer shelf life.

How to prepare banana flour?

First, dilute rice starch solution by adding two spoons of salt to it. Now, peel green bananas and soak them in this solution for 10 minutes. Thereafter, slice the bananas and sun dry them. Now, using a regular mixer grinder, powder the slices to make the flour.

A potential micro enterprise

Making plantain flour has a huge potential to become a micro enterprise for farmers in this area. One of the farmers in Belagavi district also already begun to produce flour from his plantain crop and is marketing it in the local market.

There is also a potential to establish micro flour mills that can benefit both farmers and entrepreneurs. It can provide employment to local people. The basic things require to start this micro business is a slicer, a drier, and a mixer grinder or pulveriser.

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