Banana tree (Vazhai Maram) is part of every south indian household, Our sabzi wala once joked " You guys don't leave anything in Banana tree " and he was absolutely correct. We use the leaves as plates, we use the plantains too cook sabzi, chips etc, fruit is used, flower is used, we also cook the stems (Vaazhai thandu) , we use the tar of the banana tree and we even plant the entire Banana tree in weddings and other auspicious occasions as it brings lot of happiness and good luck.
In Tamil people wish married couples saying " Vazhaiyadi Vaazhaiyaga Vazhu" the literal meaning is " Live like Banana tree " because Banana tree is eternal. If we keep 1 banana tree it will produce many like wise the cycle will continue.
I'm sure many of you would have seen the Banana flower (Red big flower) we cook bhaji, with dal and in many version but the famous is "Vazhai poo vada" , Will post the recipe soon but more than the recipe cleaning of the flower is very important, Hence a seperate post... tune in for the recipe.