Plantains are the raw version of bananas (ripe and yellow ones). They are greener, much firmer and low in sugar. Plantains need to be cooked before eating and they are hard to peel. You can steam, deep dry, saute, bake them. 1 cup of raw plantain has 181 calories and rich source of dietary fiber, potassium, Vitamin A and C. Plantain has good amount of carbohydrates and low fat content in it but the carb content is much lower than in potato, yam, rice and wheat. Plantain are quite famous in tropical countries like India, Thailand, Sri Lanka. Almost every single family homes will have a banana tree.
How to peel a plantain?
1. Wash the plantains in running water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
2. Slice off the ends (about 0.5 cm)
3. Use a vegetable peeler to get rid of the skin. You may not get rid of the skin in the first attempt as the skin is fibrous and thick.
4. Once done, slice into roundels or cubes or any shape of your choice and place them in salted water to prevent discoloration.
How I chose a good one for my home?
1. Plantains can be found in every grocery store in the US. I look for firm, green ones and avoid yellowish, squishy ones. There is no use when you bring a moldy fruit, so avoid that too.
2. Look for smooth ones without any insect holes.
Plantain stir fry is hearty, crispy and delicious. The sweetness from onions and goodness from ginger and mild heat from green chillies makes the dish taste extremely delicious. This foolproof recipe will make it easy for everyone to try and win the heart of many at home
Plantain stir fry
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp urad dhal/ black gram
- 20-25 curry leaves
- 2 large red onions
- 2 inch ginger – minced
- 5 Thai green chillies
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp red chili powder
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 8 long raw plantains
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 tsp Salt to taste
- Remove the skin of the plantains, wash and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Cut them into roundels about 1cm or little less in thickness. Place in a bowl of water to avoid oxidation. If left in the open, the atmospheric air will turn them black. Set aside.
- Make a paste with onions, green chillies and ginger. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pan. Once they ripple, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the urad dhal and let it brown a bit, about 30 -60 seconds. Add the curry leaves and let it crisp up, about a minute.
- Add the onion-ginger paste and saute till the raw smell disppaears, about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle turmeric, chili and coriander powder and let it saute till the raw smell disappears, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the plantains and pour water. Stir to combine and cook covered on low flame for 30 minutes. Once the plantains have cooked through, rise the heat to medium high and let them crisp up. Keep an eye while cooking or else they might get burnt.
- The addition of onion paste will make the dish taste bitter during the cooking process. If you end up tasting the dish every 10 minutes during the cooking, it will taste bitter and will scare you. Leave it untouched for 30 minutes and when they are completely done, do a taste check.
- Not included in the menu list for those in South beach phase 1 meals.
- Since plantains have just little less carbs than potatoes, I don’t think they are allowed for women with gestational diabetes. If you still crave for plantain dish during pregnancy, restrict yourself to a cup (cooked) and do mild walking after the meal to break down the sugar.