A quick-cooking curry with kachcha kela (raw bananas or plantain) that’s easy enough to make for beginners – no intricate slicing, no artful pounding/grinding, no watchfulness needed while the dish is on the heat. Everything chopped or grated "roughly", all spice measurements open to personalization.
The only detail to take care of is to avoid the blackening of plantain when it is peeled and sliced – there’s a simple tip below to prevent that happening, which doubles up as a way to keep the stickiness of the plantain at bay.
Before the recipe, here’s the gorgeous dish of plantain curry to feast your eyes on.
- Plantain/raw bananas – 5 small*
- Onion – 1
- Tomato – 1
- Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Pepper powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – a pinch**
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
*In Delhi, the size of raw bananas in vegetable marts is much smaller than in Bangalore. This dish was made with 5 raw bananas in Delhi – adjust to 3 or 2 if using the south Indian variety!
** Two pinches actually – one for cooking, another for dipping.
How To Make Plantain Curry:
Grate the onion and tomato separately. Keep aside.
Peel and slice the plantain into 1-cm high disks.
How to prevent discoloration of plantain? As soon as peeled, dip the plantain in salted water to which a pinch of turmeric has been added. Dip your knife too into this water. Pick each plantain out and, as you slice it, let the slices plop into the salted-turmericked water.
Heat two teaspoons of oil in a skillet or kadhai. When hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Follow with grated onion and cook till golden.
Add plantain slices and mix well.
Saute plaintain slices in onion masala for 5 minutes, then add these dry spices: cumin powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder.
Add to the skillet next, grated tomato and salt. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add a cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or till the plantain is tender.
Let plantain curry stand for a few minutes covered (this lets the curry thicken further and the plantain slices absorb the flavors).
Serve plantain curry hot with the main course of an Indian meal.
My meal today: stuffed parathas, plantain curry and fresh cucumber/tomato slices.
For a dry recipe using plantain, try crispy spicy plantain fry.