Banana Leaf Recipe: How to Make Homemade Banana Leaf Rice

Banana Leaf Recipe

If you’re a Malaysian foodie, you’ve probably had your fill of some of the best banana leaf rice known to man. Eating on a banana leaf has a lot of benefits such as having cooling effects on the body.

In restaurants, there’s a specific protocol when it comes to serving this dish. Condiments and fried veggies are always placed on the top side of the stem, away from the customer. The rice and meat are placed nearer to the client. This method has been followed for the longest time. It is done to show respect to the flow of energies within the dish.


Origin of Banana Leaf Rice

This dish originates from South India. It is a staple meal amongst the Tamil people. Originally, this meal was meant for farmers and hard workers alike to have during lunch. This heavy meal was a way of replenishing their energy in the mid-day.

Often, because of the chemical released from the leaf, the person eating this meal will feel slightly drowsy. Back in the days, farmers would take a short nap right after eating their lunch before getting back to their hard work.

Banana Leaf Recipe

Recipe by LokaTasteDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Banana leaf rice often plates up a wide variety of delicious dishes. In most shops, you’ll see a minimum of seven side-dishes on your banana leaf- which is honestly tough to recreate in the home kitchen. In this recipe, we’ll be teaching you how to make the main curry as well as two vegetable sides.


  • Ingredients for the chicken curry:
  • ½ kg chicken (cut into small pieces)

  • 1 small tomato

  • 1 red onion (finely sliced)

  • 1 tbsb ginger garlic paste

  • 1 tbsb curry powder

  • 1 tbsp chilli powder

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 star anise

  • 1 cardamom pod

  • I stalk curry leaves

  • Ingredients for dry aloo
  • ½ kg potatoes (boiled, peeled and cubed)

  • 1 red onion (finely sliced)

  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • Ingredients for fried cabbage
  • 200g cabbage (finely sliced)

  • 1 onion (finely sliced)

  • 2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 2 dried chillies

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder


  • First, make the chicken curry. In a pot over medium heat, pour in some oil and saute the cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, and star anise. Then, add the onion, ginger-garlic paste and tomato. Stir well. Next, add the curry and chilli powder. Once the mix is fragrant, add in the chicken and water to cover all of the chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the curry leaves and ½ tbsp. salt before serving.
  • To make the aloo, or potatoes, use a non-stick pan and add a little oil. First, sauté the cumin, ginger garlic paste and sliced onion on low flame. Once the onion turns translucent, add in the cooked potatoes and chilli powder. Stir well. Add 2 tbsp of water to help dilute the powder. Add salt as needed and serve.
  • Lastly for the cabbage, sauté the onion and mustard seeds until fragrant in a pan over a medium-high flame. Add in the dried chilli and cabbage. Cook for 10 minutes until or until the cabbage has wilted. Add the turmeric powder salt to the pot before serving.

Ways to enjoy Banana Leaf Rice

You can’t have banana leaf rice without rice! So, be sure to cook up a batch before you start cooking the curry.

Pair your meal with a few crispy papadoms and you’ll have a complete meal.

Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!


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