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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pan-fried Plantain Wedges and Plantain Chips

Pan-fried Plantain Wedges and Plantain Chips vazhakkai podimaas vazha poduthuval

Unlike Bananas which are enjoyed as-is ripe and sweet, Plantains are best for cooking when raw/unripe and firm. I grew up with a variety of bananas and plantains, some of which still stir happy memories - like ripe Rasthali and Nendran - and thanks to my mom, we had quite an array of dishes made with green plantains - mezhukuvaratti, podimaas, varuval and so on during my childhood which established a liking for this vegetable/fruit.

For this recipe, it is best for the plantains to be firm but almost ripe, not too raw and green, else it doesn't cook through well before the outside is crisped. To adjust for this, I par-cook the plantain wedges in the microwave, then pan-fry.

Pan-fried Plantain Wedges and Plantain Chips vazhakkai podimaas vazha poduthuval

The flavoring spices can be varied - sometimes I prefer simple salt and chili powder, or black pepper; sometimes, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander; can even toss it around with some brown sugar and pan-fry to caramelize for a mildly sweet snack.

Plantain chips are just deep fried in canola oil and sprinkled with salt.

Pan-fried Plantain Wedges and Plantain Chips vazhakkai podimaas vazha poduthuval

Ingredients
2 plantains, cut into wedges or rounds
salt and spices as needed
a few teaspoons of oil for pan-frying

Preparation
  1. Toss the par-cooked plantain wedges with salt and spices and some oil
  2. Heat a teaspoon or two of oil in a pan, add the coated wedges, allow to develop a crisp skin on each side, turning only to get all sides browned, not too often

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