Sunday, 28 September 2014

Bananas - Pisang Tanduk

It took me quite some time to find baby plants of the pisang tanduk.  This plant is getting to be rare and the bananas are difficult to find at the markets.  It turns out that my uncle had some and he gave me 10 baby plants.  And so my study of the pisang tanduk begins.

The plant grow to about 6m tall, shorter to many of the other smaller size banana plants.  We planted it in a high organic content soil area.  The banana has a unique shape and is easily the largest banana amongst the many varieties of this plant.  The uniqueness of this banana plant is that it doesn't have an inflorescence or jantung  like the other banana plants.  It is a big size banana and at the farm, one fruit can weigh 500gm.  It took slightly more than 1 year before we had our first harvest.

This banana has lots of vitamins and minerals so it is an added bonus to the great taste.  Naturally ripened, it has a very sweet with a touch of sourness taste hence is a favorite for banana fritters and a sweet coconut based dessert: pengat pisang amongst banana connoisseurs.  If the fruit was not left to properly mature and ripen, it will not have the sweetness but more of a sour creamy taste and you may be disappointed.

It can also be steamed and eaten with or without a sweet syrup.  However, not many people know of this banana nowadays due to its scarcity.  Mature but unripened bananas are also a favourite for making banana chips or kerepek pisang.  It can also be peeled and sliced and used in savoury dishes like curry. In short, it can be fried, grilled, steamed or boiled - so many options.

I am happy that we have this banana plant species at the farm as it is getting harder and harder to find it at the market.  So, should you ever find good quality pisang tanduk, I hope you will try it and enjoy the tasteful experience.