I had this craving in my mind for quite some time. Finally, during the last trip to local grocery store, I found green bananas/ plantains. Back home, known as “kelyache kaap”, many would shallow fry the long thick chips of plantain by coating it with semolina and variety of spices. Though delicious, it still requires a considerable oil for frying those crisp. As a matter of fact, I am rather wary of frying as a cooking method. Since I started cooking, I have not made a single dish that involved frying. I am bit scared of working near that hot (sometimes, boiling) mass of oil. That’s why I always like the pan-roasted version of plantain ‘chips’ that my mother made, which I modified a bit by replacing ghee with olive oil and adding few more spices for color.
PAN-ROASTED PLANTAIN SLICES
3 Plantain/ Raw bananas
Teaspoon of turmeric powder
Teaspoon of sumac spice (optional)
Salt to taste
Red pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil to coat the pan
- Plantain or raw banana cannot be peeled like ripe bananas. So cut a banana lengthwise into two halves. Remove the ends. Then slice off the peels from all sides. Such peeled piece of banana would be slightly sticky. Taking care of not to slip your fingers into the knife’s way while holding it, make elongated thick slices (about 0.5 cm in width). Using the slicer/ mandolin with its holder would be rather convenient, but you can use knife as well.
- Keep these slices in cold bowl of water for about five minutes, then drain.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, turmeric, sumac spices and mix to coat all the slices evenly.
- Coat the wide non-stick plan with olive oil and heat it on a medium to high flame.
- Arrange the spice-coated plantain slices in a single layer on this pan. Cover it.
- In about five minutes on medium to high heat, the bottoms of plantain slices would have roasted. Turn those around.
- The second side would take lesser time to cook. Turn off the heat before the slices turn too brown, in about 2-3 minutes.
Enjoy while it is still warm, with ketchup, or pesto, or as it is. You can tone the spices up or down based on your preference. If you like starchy fries, you are going to love it. Overall, it takes only 15-20 minutes to get it on plate and makes a quick satisfying snack for weekend munching, which is surprisingly light.