Once an integral material for wrapping foods into various shapes, the banana leaf has a multitude of uses in the kitchen. When wrapped food is steamed, the banana leaf imparts a wonderfully aromatic scent to the dish. It is always at hand, as every house has a banana tree in the garden. Choose a middle aged leaf without any blemishes, using a knife cut the leaf away from the banana tree. Holding the leaf by its stem, carefully cut the foliage away from the midrib on both sides. Gather the leaves together and lay them out in the sun for a few minutes, this process makes the leaves more pliable and easier to work with. Give the leaves a good wipe on both sides with a damp cloth, removing dust on the surface. The leaves can now be trimmed to the desired shape by tearing it down the seam, or alternatively by using a knife or a pair of scissors.

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