Saturday, January 15, 2011

Steamed Ripe Banana (Ukdicha Kela)

There is a particular variety of Banana which is available on perennial basis in India and in US as well. We call it Nendra Baale in Konkani. In US, its available as Ripe Yellow Plantain in the fruit section. Its a large, fleshy, long Banana variety with a blackish yellow skin and tastes amazing when consumed boiled, steamed, fried or deep fried. In Marathi, we called it Ukdiche Kela at home. It implies steam cooked Banana.

Many many decades ago, I was invited for a tea party. My best friend's mom, Chechi G served ripe plantain deep fried in Maida batter which I relished eating. This recipe is inspired from the same long forgotten flavour. Essentially, this is inspired from Kerala style of steam cooking ripe Nendra Baale variety of Banana and serving either on its own or with some garnish of choice, either grated coconut or light spice powders. I took a healthy route while treating the ripe bananas. I removed the skin and marinated them in salt and red chilli powder. Steam cooked them in little water and then sauteed in tad bit fat. We both liked it and relished the sweet and spicy flavour. The good thing was we escaped the deep-fry bit and yet enjoyed the flavour! Serves as a good breakfast/ snack item.

Happy Makar Sankranti to all those who celebrate it!
Til Gool Ghyaa Aani God God Bola!!

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ripe Banana Yellow Plantain - 1
Red Chilli powder - 1/3 teaspoon

Peel off the skin and chop the ripe Banana into 2" pieces. Marinate in salt and red chilli powder and keep aside for 30 minutes. Take a deep dish pan and steam cook the pieces in just enough water. Do not overcook, just cook for few minutes. Once done, transfer on a clean kitchen towel and let the water content get absorbed. Discard the water and saute them in little ghee on low flame. Keep a watchful eye as the ripe par-cooked plantain pieces cook very fast. Serve hot as a breakfast item or evening snack item.

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