Bananas are a popular fruit in India, and the country is one of the largest producers of bananas in the world. The cultivation of bananas in India dates back to ancient times, and it is believed that the country is home to over 50 different varieties of bananas.
Bananas are a staple food in many parts of India and are consumed both as a ripe fruit and as a cooking ingredient. The fruit is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and is also a good source of energy.
In addition to being eaten fresh, bananas are also used in a variety of Indian dishes. They are used to make desserts like banana halwa and banana kheer, and are also used in savory dishes like banana chips, curry, and sambar. In some parts of the country, the leaves of the banana plant are also used to wrap and cook food.
Bananas are grown in many parts of India, with the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka being some of the largest producers of bananas. However, bananas are also grown in other parts of the country, including Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and West Bengal.
In Kerala, bananas are one of the major crops and are grown in almost every district of the state. The Nendran variety of bananas is a popular variety in Kerala, and it is used in making banana chips and other traditional dishes.
In Tamil Nadu, bananas are grown in the districts of Coimbatore, Madurai, and Salem. The Cavendish variety is a popular variety in Tamil Nadu, and it is often used for making desserts and smoothies.
In Karnataka, bananas are grown in the districts of Chikkaballapur, Kolar, and Hassan. The state is also known for its production of the Yelakki variety of bananas, which is a small and sweet variety that is often eaten as a snack.
Below we take a deeper look at the different types of bananas in India:
Cavendish bananas are grown in India, particularly in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. The bananas are typically grown in small farms and plantations, with many farmers growing a mix of both Cavendish and other banana varieties.
The Cavendish banana is a popular variety in India and is widely consumed both as a fresh fruit and as an ingredient in various dishes. In particular, the banana is often used in desserts, such as banana bread, banana pudding, and banana smoothies.
The cultivation of Cavendish bananas in India faces a number of challenges, including diseases such as Panama disease, which can devastate banana crops. To address this issue, farmers are encouraged to use disease-resistant varieties and follow good agricultural practices to prevent the spread of disease.
Robusta bananas are a variety of banana that is grown in India, particularly in the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. This variety is also known as Nendran or Ney Poovan, and is a popular variety for both local consumption and export.
Robusta bananas are a type of plantain, which means they are typically larger and less sweet than other varieties of bananas. They have a thick skin that turns black when fully ripe, and the flesh is starchy and slightly sweet. Robusta bananas are often used in cooking and are a popular ingredient in South Indian cuisine. In Kerala, Robusta bananas are a major crop and are grown in almost every district of the state. They are often used to make traditional dishes such as banana chips, banana halwa, and banana fritters. In Tamil Nadu, the Robusta banana is a popular variety for making desserts and smoothies, and is also used in cooking savory dishes such as curries.
Monthan bananas, also known as Mysore bananas, are a popular variety of banana in India. Monthan bananas are a large variety of banana, with a thick skin that turns yellow when ripe. The flesh of the banana is firm and creamy, with a sweet flavour that is less sweet than some other varieties. These bananas are often used in cooking, particularly in South Indian cuisine, and are a popular ingredient in dishes such as banana chips, banana bajji, banana halwa, and banana dosa.
In addition to their culinary uses, Monthan bananas are also used in traditional medicine in India. They are believed to have several health benefits, including helping to regulate digestion and reduce inflammation.
Bhim Kol Bananas
Bhim kol (musa balbisiana colla) is an Assamese native banana variety. This seeded banana has various advantages and makes wonderful baby food. In Assam, some newborns are given deseeded and mashed bhim kol combined with rice flour and milk, or simply milk. Even now, some Assamese people eat bhim kol combined with rice flour or xandoh for breakfast. When one or two ripe bananas are mashed and steeped in two glasses of water overnight and drunk the next morning, bhim kol functions as a free health tonic. The name “juroni” refers to this tonic. Bhim kol is claimed to significantly enhance immunity.
Most importantly, no part of this banana is wasted – the stem (posola) and flower (koldil) are eaten as vegetables, the skin and roots are used to make “kolakhar,” and the leaves are used to make “patot diya” delicacies – wrapped in bhim kol leaves, fish, chicken, or vegetables are smoked or steamed. Banana blossoms contain high levels of calcium and iron. Kolakhar was once used as a detergent for washing clothing and shampoo for washing hair.
Red bananas are smaller than yellow cavendish bananas, with a shorter length, broader diameter, and a curved to straight form with a few angular ridges along the length of the fruit. The peel of the banana is thick, firm, and smooth, and it ripens from green to variegated shades of red-orange, bright red, dark red, yellow, and maroon. The colour of the peel will vary according to the antioxidant content of the fruit, and the matte peel may have a few flaws from being nicked and banged during harvest and transportation. The skin will grow many dark patches as the fruit ripens, indicating ripeness. As the peel is peeled away, the flesh displays a yellow-orange, white, to light pink flesh with a delicious and sweet scent.While fresh, the flesh is dry, chalky, and unappealing; however, as the banana ripens, the flesh softens and becomes creamy, soft, thick, and tender. Red bananas have a mellow, sweet, and earthy flavour with tropical, fruity undertones similar to raspberries and mangoes.
Rasthali Banana, also known as Silk Banana, is a popular variety of banana that is primarily grown in the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. It is a medium-sized banana that is known for its soft and creamy texture and sweet flavor. Rasthali bananas have a bright yellow skin that is thin and easy to peel. The flesh of the fruit is white and has a creamy, tender texture that is similar to silk, hence the name “Silk Banana.” The flavor of the banana is sweet and has a mild aroma that is reminiscent of vanilla.
These bananas are commonly eaten as a snack when fully ripe or used in cooking, particularly in South Indian cuisine. Rasthali bananas are considered to be a healthy food choice, as they are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also believed to have several health benefits, such as improving digestion and boosting the immune system.
People prefer big, yellow, somewhat ripe bananas; yet, one may have come across little and dwarf sized bananas that are sweeter and more expensive. In Mumbai, this type is known as Elaichi Banana, in Bengaluru as Yelakki, and in Bihar as Chinia. Small-Sized Delights In Kannada and Hindi, Yelakki and Elaichi signify cardamom, respectively, while Chinia signifies little. Contrary to popular belief, the name Elaichi or Yelakki was given to these bananas due to their tiny size rather than their flavour. They taste similar to ordinary bananas but are sweeter and not even the size of a hand.
The word on the street is that if you’re looking for a good time, you should go to the movies. They have a natural flavour, are fragrant, and sweet. They are commonly used to produce ‘Pua,’ a sweet snack. If ripe, these little bananas are highly sweet and can be used to make sweets, while raw bananas are used to make savoury meals. These little bananas are rich in Vitamin C and full of potassium which makes them a great post-workout snack. They are handy and tasty, but they are also high in healthy carbs. Locally grown elaichi bananas tend to be more healthy and tasty too.
Malbhog bananas are a variety of banana that is primarily grown in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. They are small to medium-sized bananas with slightly curved yellowish-green skin that turns yellow when fully ripe.
Malbhog bananas are known for their sweet, creamy flesh and distinct aroma. They are an important ingredient in many traditional Assamese sweets, such as pithas (rice cakes) and doi-jolpan (yogurt with puffed rice), as well as other desserts and snacks. In addition to their culinary uses, Malbhog bananas are also believed to have several health benefits. They are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are believed to aid in digestion, boost immunity, and promote heart health.
Malbhog bananas are typically grown in the districts of Nagaon, Darrang, and Sonitpur in Assam. They are an important crop for many farmers in the region, and are often grown in small-scale, family-run farms. The cultivation of Malbhog bananas is an important part of the economy of Assam, and helps to support many rural communities in the state. Malbhog bananas are a delicious and nutritious variety of banana that is an important part of Assamese cuisine and culture. Their unique flavor and aroma make them a prized ingredient in many dishes, and their health benefits make them a healthy food choice.
India is home to a wide variety of bananas, each with its own unique flavor, texture, and culinary uses. From the popular Cavendish and Robusta bananas to the lesser-known varieties such asBhim Kol, and Malbhog, there are many different types of bananas grown in different regions of the country. India’s diverse climate and soil conditions make it an ideal place for growing bananas, with the majority of bananas grown in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. Banana cultivation is an important source of income for many farmers in India and plays a significant role in the country’s economy. The wide range of bananas grown in India reflects the country’s rich biodiversity and cultural diversity. The different varieties of bananas provide a valuable source of nutrition and flavor, making them an integral part of India’s food and agricultural landscape.