In the mood for a crispy masaledar side dish with your simple rice and dal? Here comes the perfect recipe for you – plantain (raw banana) fry.
Plantain is tailor-made for new cooks – easy to slice, quick on the stove, no hifi artistry required except in making sure that the plantain slices do not blacken as you cut them.
How to cut plantain so that the slices do not turn black: Keep a bowl of salted water handy. With a knife, peel the green skin off the raw banana, slice into 0.5cm discs and drop the slices immediately into the salted water. The key is not to let the peeled plantain remain exposed to air.
- Plantain (raw banana) – 2 thick, sliced into 0.5cm discs
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
- Chilli powder – to taste
- Salt – to taste
- Mustard seeds
- Asafoetida (hing) – a pinch
- Oil – 2 teaspoons (I use mustard oil for this; its tang sets off the starchy plantain taste perfectly)
Heat the oil in a flat non-stick pan. When it begins to smoke, throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as mustard seeds are done with spluttering (a few seconds), put in asafoetida and the plantain slices. Add turmeric, turn the slices around to coat evenly.
Cook covered on medium heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring once in between to prevent burning. The plaintain should be nearly done by now (try breaking a small piece to check).
Now add salt, cumin-coriander powder and mix well. Cook uncovered from this point onwards, on medium-high heat tossing occasionally so that the slices get crisp all over.
A minute before you turn off the heat, sprink chilli powder and toss. I add the chilli powder near the end as I like the red to show.
Take off the fire and serve with boiled rice and dal.