Remove one by one the dark purple sheath covering the plantain flower until the white portion appears. Break open the inner layer of flowers also. From each of these, remove the knobbed pistil and the papery sheath as these do not soften on cooking.
Cut the flower and the inner white cone as finely as possible and keep immersed in water to prevent discolouration.
Cook the green gram till soft and dry.
Grind the coconut, garlic, onion and green chillies coarsely. Wash and drain the cut plantain flower, and place in a vessel. Make a hole in the centre, add the coarsely ground coconut etc. and cover with the vegetable. Add turmeric powder and salt. Cook covered for 3-5 minutes.
Mix well so that the vegetable and coconut are evenly distributed. Add cooked gram and cook over low heat for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from fire.
Heat oil, season with mustard, rice, red chillies, onion and curry leaves. When the onion browns, add the cooked vegetable and fry until dry. Serve with rice.
Note: Vegetables like cabbage, papaya, snake gourd or beans can be substituted for the plantain flower and gram. This is a staple at lunch or dinner in Kerala.