Wrapping food in Banana leaves?

@sherinek (3323)
United States
March 5, 2007 1:00am CST
In my country, using certain type of polythene wrappers has been banned. Now people are moving to using banana and lotus leaves to wrap food. Have you ever tried wrapping food in banana leaves. You have to wash it, and slightly warm it holding it on top of a blue flame (do not burn it) and then you can use. Its very tasty if you wrap rice and curries in a banana leaf for about 3-4 hours and eat. I know Indians do it. How about others?
2 people like this
18 responses
• Malaysia
6 Mar 07
At my country,some of our food was wrapped using banana leaves.Nasi Lemak and some banana cakes were always use to wrap with banana leaves.It tastes yummy and nice too.^-^.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I wonder what banana cake is. Wish you can explain that to me. Thanks for responding.
• Malaysia
6 Mar 07
Its called Steam Banana Cake.It is popular in Malaysia and Thailand.This is how it look.http://myrecipe.org/top/detail/140. ^_^!
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Its a great site. I added it to my favouries. Thank you very much. My kids can taste this during coming weekend. Have a great day.
@perugu (5281)
• India
5 Mar 07
hi,friend,its true,we indians use this for almost every occassion.Some people link it to religious custom also.But that practice is slowly disappearing due to urbanization.Still people love to eat banana leaves wrapped food.For every festival all the people eat on banana leaves using it as plate.The taste will also increase.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
5 Mar 07
You know how much we have to pay a piece of a banana leaf? Its 8/- for the top part and 5/- for the balance! Just imagine. A cousin of my hubby, had to pay this much for their wedding. (they are Indians and meals are given on banana leaves.)
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
5 Mar 07
You know how much we have to pay a piece of a banana leaf? Its 8/- for the top part and 5/- for the balance! Just imagine. A cousin of my hubby, had to pay this much for their wedding. (they are Indians and meals are given on banana leaves.)
@ssh123 (31104)
• India
6 Mar 07
When we visit our in-laws place at Mangalore (coastal area), the food is served in banana leaves. It is a important product for us, for festivals, food is always served on these leaves. It is biodegradable disposal and convenience. Here in Bangalore many restaurants put a piece of banana leaf on plates, so that the oil part in the food does not get into plates.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Hi, nice to have a response from you. I have seen putting a piece of banana leaf on plates even in Sri Lanka in indian food serving places. I never thought that is because they want to stop oil getting on to the plate. I thought its just a modern way of keeping a custom.
@info2go (241)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
hi! nice topic you've got here, I'm from the Philippines too and I've had my own experiences of eating food using banana leaves as plates.. and i think that aside from the good things it can do to add up to the food's aroma and flavor, and being environmentally friendly way to reduce pollution, there's a another reason behind why we use banana leafs as plates.. I think I've read from some book that apart from being an ideal alternative to plates due it's broad figure, banana leaves make foods last longer due to the fact that it contains "natural preservatives". it is said that wrapping food in banana leaves, lengthens it's edible lifetime by exposing the food to particles which slows down decomposition and supposedly gives it more time before it starts to spoil.. another thing is that personally, i think it looks nicer for foods to be wrapped up with banana-leaves because it can look more fresh and delectable than with a foil or a plastic bag.
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Thanks. You have given a fresh point about natural preservatives. I never thought of that or I never knew of such a thing. Thanks a lot.
1 person likes this
• India
6 Mar 07
In my country people are using banana leaves for wrapping food. Especially when we go native place, we wrap rice, Idlis etc in banana leaves. This remain soft and it is very tasty also. One main advantage is that after eating we can throw the banana leaves. Lotus leaves are not used in our country.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Lotus leaf wrapped food is also very tasty and gives a very good aroma. If you can find some, please try.
@secretbear (19472)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
here in the philippines we sometimes use banana leaves as food wrapper. before, the people are accustomed to bring their luch wrapped in banana leaves. but before they use the banana laves, they warm it first under a low fire. the food doesnt taste differently, the banana leaves actually add a nice flavor and smell to the food. until those plastic lunchboxes were discovered. and in rural places, when they hold banquets during feast/fiesta, they use banana leaves as plates. it is still done here actually. it saves money, time and effort. ^__^
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@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
We do exactily same. Slightly burned banana leaf gives a pleasant flavour. Thanks for responding.
@aweins (4203)
• India
6 Mar 07
i donno about others but i m an Indian and here in some of the south indian restaurants the eatables are served on banana leaf only.its a nice tradition as u know that it is cleaned and wipped and because there is no rule of washing the leaf back and serving to the next person, one is satisfied that the item you are eating is served on a good ,fresh and hygenic way. i have tasted the food wraped in banana keaf and it is really very tasty.
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@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
True. I have been to south India and experienced the same. I love eating on banana leaf. But you know there is a move now to re-use the banana leaf (individual use) for the sake of stopping wasting.
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
In Philippines, remote areas like ours use slightly burned banana leaves to wrap food, especially rice. It has a distinct aroma that no other paper or plastic has. Plus, it's good for the environment. It's organic and can be used to fertilize soil for farming. That's one of the many things modern civilization has left unwittingly. Or is it that bananas don't have any place in crowded cities? Way to go, Sri Lanka!
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Oh thank you very much. I think the same. It is mostly because we dont have a place to plant a banana tree. How much I want, even I dont have a banana tree at my place. When we want we have to go to a neighbour or we have to purchase it. Cut to size banana leaves are also very expensive. I think there's another fact to this, that is, using a polythene or a plastic wrapper is convenient. Since now people are very time conscious, they dont think about the nature, just go for convenience. Ultimately, our kids will have to pay the price.
@forjosie (1548)
• Indonesia
6 Mar 07
In my country Indonesia, there're many food that use banana leafe to wrap them. And it very delicious taste. Rice wrapped by it called lontong..:D We used coconut leaves too. Rice wrapped by coconut leaves, called ketupat.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Hay, even in my country, in villages, we wrap food in that thing that covers the coconut sapling. We mostly pack coconut honey and juggery (do you know what it is?)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
here in the philippines its been a long tradition and yes you are right it gives somethins especial to the rice that it makes the rice more delicious. we even use it as plates. actually theres this new store here in the philippines calles "BINALOT" whick literally mean the food they are selling are wrapped in a banana leaves toghetr with the rice and the dish. i have tried it and the feeling is really good it makes me feel the sense of being in the province.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Its very nice to know different words that are being used in other countries. Thank you very much.
@raijin (10380)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
Here in my country, the Philippines. Our ancestors don't have any plate to use during their times, so most of them put their foods on banana leaves. In which foods are enhaced because of the aroma the banana leaf produces, it adds up to their appetite. Nowadays people still do wrap their foods in banana leafs, even I also prefer my food wrapped on it than with a foil. People from our provinces wrap their foods woth it and bring their foods at their workplace, especially for those farmers who toil their fields..
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I think may be ancestors in all countries may have used banana leaves or similar as plates, if not in all, surely in Asian countries cos still we use it as necessary. Its really nice to share this type of thing among nations, cos I feel a real closeness, getting to know that they do something similar.
@ossie16d (11834)
• Australia
5 Mar 07
This is very interesting Sheri and it is one of the good things about myLot in that we can learn about different cultures and customs. Once, many years ago now, we were on holidays in the warmer climate of northern New South Wales where they grow bananas. We were invited to a party and they had a sort of New Zealand hungi meal (probably spelt it wrongly too), where the meal is cooked in the ground, surrounded by coals and covered with soil. Someone had done a smaller pit and put some of the foods in there in banana leaves. It was experimental, so we only got a small taste but it was certainly different and the flavour seemed to go through the meal. We were also told that food can be done on the bar-b-que in the same fashion. One person said they had done meat, fish and chicken in this fashion, so it isn't surprising that people also use it for rice and curries. Now you have me really intrigued and I will be on the lookout for a restaurant or similar place that had food cooked in this traditional style. However there won't be one anywhere near where we live, so it will mean when we go on holidays or to the city for a few days. I am interested to try other foods cooked in this same manner, particularly the rice and curries that you have mentioned here Sheri. Thank you. :)
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Happy you are planning to try our way of cooking and eating. The way we cook curries with a lot of spices and chilli, I am not sure whether you'd be able to eat. But spices and a bit of chilli is good for health you know. We make curries out of almost every vegetable, meat, fish, egg etc. Sometimes, we make a curry with sausages can you imagine? If you are interested, i will drop you a note in your message box on how to make curries. If you want to try the banana leaf, you might have to go to an Indian Restaurant. I am told that in most of the european countries and even in Australia, they have Sri Lankan restaurants as well. So good luck in finding one and having your craving satisfied! Hay, after thought, when you are planning holidays, you can think about Sri Lanka too?
@kleo_23 (104)
• Philippines
5 Mar 07
i tried wrapping rice in banana leaves when i was in grade school. i like it better that way compared to putting it in lunch boxes. even after several hours, my food is much more tastier and even warmer by lunch time than in food placed in my lunch box
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Warm? Really? Thats a new and a plus point. Thanks for your response.
@akopoto (177)
• Philippines
5 Mar 07
We also use banana leaves to wrap different kind of food. It makes the food smell better and it surely is environment friendlier than using plastics. Some restaurants here even use banana leaves as a plate. It is a good way to lessen plastic wastes.
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@sherinek (3323)
• United States
5 Mar 07
I wonder where you are from. Yes it smells better as well. I forgot that point. Thanks for reminding.
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• United Arab Emirates
5 Mar 07
I know that a few cultures use banana leaves, lotus leaves and saffron leaves to cook food. Especially when steaming or barbecuing food and the food gets a really good flavor. I have never tried it personally but I have tasted fish wrapped in banana leaves and found it to be quite tasty.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
5 Mar 07
Yes. Do you eat rice with curries? if so, try to eat it after wrapping it in a banana leaf.
@samson1967 (7423)
• India
5 Mar 07
Wrapping secondary, but eating the food served in plantain leaf is Traditional way of eating.
1 person likes this
@sherinek (3323)
• United States
5 Mar 07
I know. I have attended a few Tamil Weddings. They serve delicious veg food on banana leaf. Its so so very tasty.
@subha12 (18463)
• India
6 Mar 07
I'm indian and i know its sometimes done in india. In my childhood i have seen that butter was packed in banana leaves. Sometimes some snacks are also packed like this road side stalls. I like this . as some indian food really tastes good in these wrappers.
1 person likes this
@jheLaichie (4439)
• Philippines
24 May 09
we Filipinos also do it! and the food and rice smells nice too if you wrap it in a banana leaf for a couple of hours. i like it that way. its environment friendly and a nice way to wrap and eat directly on it at the same time. we are so abundant of banana plants here in the Philippines so it wouldn't be a hard task for us to have it as a wrapper of our foods.