Cook And Serve Food With Banana Leaves!
Banana leaves, a staple in Asian and Indian cuisine, bring a blast of flavor, beauty, versatility and sustainability to your dining experience! Not only do they elevate food presentation, but they are also eco-friendly, perfect for composting. Cooking with banana leaves ensures a moist, juicy and delicious result every time. These leaves are a secret to guilt-free, zero-oil cooking, especially in dishes that require steaming and they can be used on the grill, in the pan, oven and more! Packed with natural antioxidants called polyphenols, using banana leaves to steam your food imparts an amazing tropical flavor and fragrance and may even help prevent some lifestyle diseases. In North America, these versatile leaves are a unique choice for serving various dishes, like Idli, Dosa, Uttapam, Vada, Sambhar, Papad, Tomato Rice, Coconut Chutney, and more. Beyond their cultural significance, banana leaves offer practicality, reducing the need for extra dishes, making them an attractive but un common addition to North American kitchens!
Banana Leaf Wrapped Chicken with Coconut Rice:
For the Chicken:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Coconut Rice:
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Banana Leaf Wrapping:
- 4 large banana leaves (blanched to soften)
- Kitchen twine or toothpicks for securing the wraps
1. Marinate the Chicken: In a bowl, mix together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken breasts to the marinade and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes.
2. Prepare the Coconut Rice: In a saucepan, combine the rice, coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and set it aside.
3. Wrapping the Chicken: Place a piece of marinated chicken in the center of a banana leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the chicken, then fold up the top and bottom to create a packet. Secure the packet with kitchen twine or toothpicks.
4. Cooking the Chicken: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the banana leaf-wrapped chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through.
5. Serving: Carefully remove the twine or toothpicks from the banana leaf packets. Serve each chicken packet on a plate with a portion of coconut rice. Optionally, you can garnish with fresh herbs or lime wedges for added flavor.
This dish not only looks appealing when served in banana leaves but also has a wonderful aroma and taste, making it a delightful meal at any time!