What a lot of fuss about bananas?

20th February 2023 Kala and Beena


Hello everyone. Today, I wish to write about bananas, yes, bananasπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰ when I saw this painting by Kala of the banana vendor. In India, especially in Kerala, bananas are essential for daily consumption. We have a wide variety of bananas in Kerala for different purposes. We eat the unripe type as chips and other savoury dishes. We eat the ripened version as a fruit, made into sweet dishes like payasam and many more varied versions that only a Keralite can fathomπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Do you know we have a breakfast dish called banana stew, it’s so yummy and comforting.


Here, there is a variety called Keling bananas. The direct translation means Indian banana. It has become a bit sensitive as Keling/ Kling is used to describe Indians in a derogatory wayπŸ˜’πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. However, with the “woke” culture since 2017, people have become more sensitive to the use of such words. Historically, the term originated from the Kalinga Kingdom that had ruled over this region.


I looked at this from a different perspective. It is a word used to describe one of the best-tasting bananas here. Now how can that be so badπŸ€”πŸ€”? The bottom line is the way one would use that word. So I will tell the vendor I want that “keling” bananas as they are the best and would watch his face break into a smile. He would agree, and we will have a short conversation, and I will go home with a bunch of delicious bananas and share them with my gals, who are very picky about bananasπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹. They, too, want the best😊😊.


Well, that was my banana story. I would like to know if you can find this type of banana elsewhere and how it is named. Do let me know in your commentsπŸ™πŸ˜†.

To see more of Kala’s art, visit: www.instagram.com/kalapohlstudio

5 thoughts on “What a lot of fuss about bananas?

  1. Yes, Bananas are an essential part of the Keralite’s life and often grown in ones own back-yard.
    Almost all parts of this small tree is used right from the leaves which are used as meal plates & food covers with great popularity these day’s to display tradition, to the large flowers that make a great lunchtime dish to its fruits and then its watery and intricate trunk too which has multiple used in decoration . Its a part of the daily meals right from breakfast where its consumed with “puttu” or steaming rice cakes. In Kerala we have numerous varieties of this delicious fruit and both babes and adults consume it with relish.

  2. Banana..or as the Minions say..
    BA- NA- NA😁

    Keling sounds like “kela”..which is hindi for banana.

    Well..thats one fruit which has more than a 1000 varieties.

    Every part of the banana tree is used ..the leaves are used for eating on or as covers for food containers, or to pack food in. The leaf is made warm over the stove to make it pliable and then food is packed in it..which gives a special aroma and flavor to the food.

    In Kerala certain fish dishes are steamed or roasted wrapped in banana leaves. There is also a yummy “ela appam” which flattened rice paste on a banana leaf, which is filled with coconut and jaggery folded and steamed.

    Now the tender inside part of the stem and raw banana are cooked in different ways as a vegetable..being full of fibre its very good for health.

    Banana chips made with raw bananas and those fried with ginger and jaggery are favorites.

    The ripe banana is eaten in many forms..like a jam, halwa, payasam, dried and preserved and eaten with sugar candy, honey and dried coconut pieces etc.

    The stem of the banana having many air pockets is used as floaters in the villages when children learn to swim.

    The fibre from the stem is used like a string to make flower garlands. Banana stem fibre is woven to create textiles..plaited, coiled and stitched to make coasters, bags etc.

    The tender banana flowers are also used to make vegetarian dishes.

    No auspicious function is complete in South India without the banana stem with flower, fruit and leaves adorning the entrance or next to a puja site.

    The stem with flower , fruit and leaves signifies fertility.

    Baby banana plants grow from the root or rhizome of the mother plant.. once a bunch of bananas are harvested the mother plant is cut down and new plants grow from the rhizome.

    1. Dear Suchi

      Thats an extensive appraisal of the banana. Thank you so much, I love all the food that comes from.that fruit. Simply marvellous.


  3. Interesting story. In Brasil we also have many varieties of bananas. I tried to find out what Keling Bananas are called in Brasil. It was hard to find a definitive equivalence, but I did find 2 varieties of banana in Brasil that look similar to keling bananas. One is called banana Ouro (gold banana) and the other banana maΓ§a (Apple banana). Both are delicious πŸ˜‹

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