Clean and cut the banana stem into thin circles.
After cutting one circle, one can feel the fibers when it tries to separate it from the remaining stem. Move your fingers in a circular motion and remove as much of the fibers as you can.
Cut the circles into small pieces. Add salt and turmeric and keep aside for half an hour.
After half an hour, squeeze out all the water from the banana stem pieces using both hands.
Cut the onions into thin and small pieces. Cut the potato into small cubes.
Grind the garlic cloves, cardamon, cinnamon, cumin and coriander into a smooth paste along with two of the red chillis.
Heat 5 tsp oil in a wok. Add the pancha phutana, bay leaves and one red chilli. Follow with the onion pieces and fry till it turns brown.
Add the masala paste with ginger-garlic paste and turmeric and fry till the raw smell goes off. Add the potato cubes and stir fry for 5 minutes.
Add the squeezed out banana stem pieces and stir fry till it is almost cooked.
Time taken will depend on the tenderness of the banana stem. If its very tender it will take about 8-9 minutes but if it is not so tender this time may increase to 15-16 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of water and cover with a tight lid. Cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from fire. Serve hot with rice.