I will again go for a complete Kerala snack – in fact, this item is more known in the Malabar (north side of Kerala) area than anywhere else. Plaintains are available in plenty in Kerala and it is quite nutritious for adults and children alike. Some information from Wikepedia:
Plantain is a carbohydrate source. Its utilizable protein content as percentage of calorie ingestion is higher than sago and cassava, but is much lower than other staples such as yam, maize, rice, potato and wheat. On per gram consumed basis, plantain’s essential amino acid concentrations are very low, even lower than cassava. The low fat content of plantain, coupled with its high starch content, makes it a possible food for geriatric patients. It may also be a possible food alternative for people suffering from gastric ulcer, coeliac disease and in the relief of colitis.
Let’s get going to the recipe now. This is one way of making this snack. I will put another way in the notes, which I am not very fond of making because the taste is entirely different, therefore I prefer the hard way. I, being a lazy cook, this interest is strange!!! 🙂 Off to the recipe…
Updated post with new pictures and revised recipe card on June 7, 2016: This being my favorite snack and one of the first recipes published on the blog, I had to update the recipe and pictures as soon as I could. Despite clicking these a couple of months ago, laziness took on and I thought of concentrating on my current blogging rather than updating old posts. But here it is, right in time for Ramadan, since it is an easy snack and a well accepted one in Malabar too. My initial post had only the recipe for the wrapped Pazham Nirachathu, which is the traditional version but since everybody loves quicker versions these days, I have shared the one in which a roux is made and the slits are covered with it. Umma learned it from a Kannur based friend years back and since then, she makes it that way whenever we craved for this snack, though personally, I prefer the old style – so unlikely of the lazy me! 😀
I tried frying them in the pan side by side to show how it looks. The one with the wrap will take more time to fry since you need to flip all four sides to make sure it is nicely cooked. The best way to do it is to deep fry. Whereas the lazy version needs only two flips, to ensure the roux on both the sides gets cooked. You get a nice charring on the open side of the plantain, which gives it a nice flavor. Hope you have liked the new pics and updates! 🙂
The old pic below…
- 2 meduim sized plantains, skinned
- Oil, to fry
- FOR FILLING:
- 1 tsp ghee
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 2 tbsp sugar (upto your sweetness levels!)
- 4-5 cashews
- 4-5 raisins
- A pinch cardamom (optional)
- FOR DOUGH (WAY 1):
- ⅔ cup wheat flour (aata)
- A pinch salt
- Lukewarm water, to make dough
- 1 tsp oil
- FOR PASTE (WAY 2):
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- A pinch of salt
- Water to make paste
- First, let us prepare the filling. Heat a small saucepan, put the ghee and allow it to heat.
- Once heated, add the cashews and raisins and do till raisins get puffed.
- Immediately, add the coconut, sugar and cardamom and stir properly till roasted. The crispiness is totally upto you. If you want it really crispy, you can fry longer but then I prefer to keep the coconut biting raw, so I don't roast for too long.
- Switch off and allow to cool.
- For WAY 1, make the dough by putting the flour and salt and adding sufficient lukewarm water for making a stiff dough. It shouldn't be sticky, or else it would drink too much oil.
- Once kneaded, put oil on your hands and knead the dough again very well. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
- For WAY 2, add water enough to the flour and salt to make it nice and pasty. It will feel like glue. Set aside.
- Make two lenght-wise slits on the bananas, like a plus shape, ensuring that the sides are in tact.
- Fill in carefully with the coconut mixture, ensuring that the sides don't get broken.
- For WAY 1, divide the dough into two, roll it like you would do for a chapathi. Put the plaintain into it and wrap it. Tightly press the sides and the edges to ensure that it does not open up. Repeat this for the next plaintain as well.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan. You don't need to necessarily deep fry, but shallow frying will not cook the wrapped dough properly. So, pour the oil to cover the bottom of the fry pan that you are using.
- Once the oil heats up, put the wrapped plaintains and fry till all sides are browned.
- For WAY 2, simply spread the paste on one side of the slit.
- Heat oil enough for shallow frying. Once the oil is really hot, slowly flip the pasty side into the oil. As it fries, coat the top side with the past to cover up the slit. Slowly flip and fry till done. Drain onto a kitchen towel.
- Enjoy it with a cup of hot chai!!! 🙂
For the dough, you can use maida as well. Since aata is much more healthier, I use it.
Even though WAY 1 is a little bit of work, I prefer it that way! But WAY 2 works when you want a snack in very little time or you have guests...