Vazhakkai Fry

Plantain Fry in South Indian flavors

South India is known for its banana plantations. There are so many varieties that are unique to this region and taste absolutely delicious and are also a great nutritive addition to one’s diet. The cultures are known to utilize every part of a banana tree, be it the leaves, flower, fruit – ripe or raw, stem, even the fiber of the bark which is quite tender when compared to other tree barks.

There are so many recipes that use the green banana – plantains. Not all varieties are edible in the raw form. There are a handful that are quite starchy and they are the ones that make for a great curry. They are also known as the cooking banana. Not all plantains are green bananas and vice versa, but in the colloquial sense, it works !

This recipe uses the longer variety of green plantains that are cultivated in Mexico/Brazil and imported by the US. My online order of plantains landed me with some half ripe green plantains but to my utter surprise, it worked well in this recipe. So, make this using fully green plantains or semi ripe plantains as well.

I have used the Instant Pot to steam my plantains, but use any steamer set up you have. Vital point is to keep them fork tender.

Recipe : Vazhakkai Fry

Prep Time : 10 minutesCook time : 15 minutes (includes 5 minutes cool off time)
Spice Level : 🌶🌶Ease Level : 😃
Serves – 4 to 6Tamil Cuisine/ Dry Curry

Ingredients :

  1. Plantains – 3 large ones
  2. Coconut oil as needed
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Kashmiri chili powder/Paprika – 1 tablespoon or to taste
  5. Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Hing – 1/8 teaspoon (optional)
  7. Rice flour – 2 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon reserve

How to :

  1. Wash and cut the plantains in half and steam them in the Instant Pot, on Steam High mode for 1 minute. As soon as timer runs out, release pressure so that they do not overcook ( I used a steamer basket inside the inner pot of the IP).
  2. Once you remove the steamed plantains from the Instant Pot, run them under tap water for a few seconds, then peel the skin off. It should come off very easily.
  3. Slice the peeled plantains into 1/4 inch thick rounds and set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in medium heat, in a skillet that can hold all the plantains evenly in an almost a single layer or fry them up in batches. I have used a non stick 12 inch skillet to help reduce oil usage.
  5. Once oil is hot, add the hing, turmeric powder and the chili powder. Fry for 20 seconds.
  6. Next, throw in the sliced plantains, salt to taste and toss well until all the slices are quoted in the spices and oil.
  7. Let sit for a minutes, then toss again gently, so that they start cripsing up uniformly on both sides.
  8. After about a minute on each side, add 2 tablespoons of rice flour and mix well.
  9. Lower the heat to a medium low and let sit for 2 minutes.
  10. Flip the slices and once again let sit for 2 more minutes. Roast like this until desired crispness is achieved. You are all done onceall the slices looks uniformly brown and crisp.

Serve with some steamed rice/quinoa/millets etc and some rasam and enjoy! It makes a great snack as well !!

Variants :

  • Use sweet potatoes or any variety potato instead of plantains.
  • Fry it in ghee for extra flavor.
  • Make it as spicy as you like.
  • Steam plantains in a stovetop steamer or boil in water, key is to keep it fork tender.
  • Use corn flour instead of rice flour.
  • Fry in a well seasoned cast iron skillet instead of the non stick pan.

I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as we do ! Thank you so much for stopping by !

2 thoughts on “Vazhakkai Fry

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