Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Special Snacks ~ Homemade Plantain Chips

“Okay, it’s my turn now”, I said.

“What is your turn for?” she said with a curious look on her face.

“I want to make chips with the plantains we bought yesterday. You just relax and wait for a tasty snack I’m going to make for you”. I said to her. But it wasn’t just for her. It was for me too. I like plantain chips very much. But, I don’t get very good quality chips here. So, whenever I could find good quality plantains, I prepare the chips myself.

Making of plantain chips in-house started few years ago, when we were in Houston. We have a good friend, Sunil Sukumaran, who is a Keralite. I knew that plantain chips were popular snack food in Kerala and I always wondered how they were made. I thought that there would be some special process to make them, because they were different, tasted good and had a special flavor. During one of our visits to their house, I asked my friend Sunil.

“Sunil, do you know how these plantain chips are made? I like them a lot, they are really tasty.” I expected a very long answer. I will tell you the truth. I was getting ready to note down the details on a sheet of paper. But his answer surprised me. Just one sentence!

“Pick unripe plantains. Slice them into thin rounds and deep fry them in oil.”

“That’s all?!” I didn’t believe it.

“That’s all there to it, man. What more you want to do? That’s how we make them back home in Kerala. We use coconut oil to fry them, but you can also use peanut oil.”

You don’t know how much relieved I was. Oh, I can make my favorite snack food right in my home. That’s fantastic.

Houston is a very lively city with all kinds of people from all over the world. Also a great place to get all kinds of food and vegetables. Most importantly (for me), I could get four fresh plantains for a dollar! How nice! Bought four of them and brought them home. Washed them thoroughly and scraped the outer skin lightly. I didn’t remove the skin completely. Cut them into circular chips. In the meantime, I had a big cast iron frying pan with peanut oil heating on the stove. When the oil reached proper temperature for frying, I dropped the chips in oil. One after the other, I filled the pan until the whole oil surface was covered by the chips. Reduced the heat to medium-high, and fried them for about three or four minutes. I turned the chips in the pan occasionally to make sure that both sides are properly fried.

I was very happy. Why? I just made the first batch of plantain chips myself. They looked just like the chips I was used to buy in Kerala bakeries. I sprinkled little bit of salt and they were ready to eat. I thanked my friend in my heart for sharing the great secret with me.

Now, coming back to Boardman, Ohio, there I was making the chips again, for Indira (and myself too). A full bowl of chips were ready in just few minutes and they also disappeared in just few minutes. But, I was quick enough to take some pictures to share with you. Here they are, tasty and crunchy, homemade plantain chips.

Plantain with outer skin peeled and sliced into thin round chips and whole Plantain
Plantain with outer skin scraped and sliced into thin round chips

Deep Frying plantain chips in Peanut oil
Deep-frying Plantain Chips in Peanut Oil

 Homemade Plantain chips (banana chips)
Homemade Plantain Chips

-Guest post by Vijay Singari

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Arati Kaaya (Plantain), Vijay Singari (Thursday February 23, 2006 at 3:43 pm- permalink)

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40 comments for Special Snacks ~ Homemade Plantain Chips »

  1. You need to add Turmeric with salt and asfoetida after the chips are fried but still in the oil to get the real taste. They do this in India

    Comment by Neela — February 23, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

  2. You need to add a watery solution of Turmeric with salt and asfoetida after the chips are fried but still in the oil to get the real taste. They do this in India

    Comment by Neela — February 23, 2006 @ 4:03 pm

  3. Vijay, fixation with plantain chips huh? It’s nice that you’re interested in food and cooking too. Made for each other! :)

    Comment by sandhya — February 23, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

  4. Good results Vijay..When we make plantain chips in Kerala we remove the whole skin, but I guess leaving some of the skin on was your touch?

    Comment by Gini — February 23, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  5. Hi Vijay- nice to see you cooking with Indira. Great husband! I love the color on your chips even without any turmeric. Did you use a mandoline for the thin slices?

    Comment by mika — February 23, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

  6. Cut and deep fry in oil indeed!!

    Your post reminded me of one of those cryptic movies where the story fits together only when the last scene is revealed. After reading the last line, the context of the post clunked into place. Nicely done!

    Comment by GaramMasala — February 23, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

  7. Thank you for the recipe Vijay. I’m sure your chips taste better than those packeted in the store. So what do you think about the peel ? Are the chips better than when you remove the whole peel ? What’s the difference ?

    Comment by Virginie — February 23, 2006 @ 7:25 pm

  8. I was about to write the same comment as “Neela”.
    I too love these chips. My mom used to prepare them & they taste great when they are hot :) .

    Comment by shilpa — February 23, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

  9. I bought some the other day but they werent very fresh, but they had chilli on them which was a nice change,

    Comment by clare eats — February 23, 2006 @ 10:02 pm

  10. Neela:

    I am not sure I understand the procedure. Do you remove the chips from the oil and then sprinkle the turmeric water while they are still hot?

    Comment by Dee — February 23, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

  11. Nice! I love the look of the end result - so beautifully golden! Definitely like the idea of leaving some skin on, too.

    Comment by Shammi — February 24, 2006 @ 6:45 am

  12. amazing results. but I have only seen chips with the whole skin removed as gini mentioned

    Comment by Tony the Bachelor Cook — February 24, 2006 @ 8:29 am

  13. Oh! It’s this easy? Mom makes banana chips out of the raw bananas available back home, though it tastes great, it doesnt turn yellow or taste like kerala chips. So, I assumed, that those yellow chips involved some mysterious procedure. Thanks for demystifying that.

    And Oh! It must be the kind of plantain you are using.

    Comment by Kay — February 24, 2006 @ 8:46 am

  14. Wow, they look so tasty. Too bad I dont have plantain at home today, otherwise would have done this immediately. This is going to be our snack this weekend.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Prati — February 24, 2006 @ 9:14 am

  15. Wow! I never thought it was so easy to make these chips. Thanks for the recipe.
    Neela I didn’t quite understand your suggestion. Did you mean we ought to add that watery mix to the oil it self when the plantain is frying?

    Comment by Arjuna — February 24, 2006 @ 11:26 am

  16. Latin Americans make plantain chips, too. Cubans will cut them thin, longways and fry them, and Nicaraguans will cut them into rounds like you did, Vijay. They always seem to peel them, though.

    They are delicious fresh, you are right.

    Have you ever pan fried ripe plantains? This is another Latin American dish–I think you would like it. You let the plantain get black and soft, then peel it and cut it into 1/2-3/4″ thick slices on the diagonal, and fry them in peanut oil. I sometimes add a tiny bit of butter to the oil for the flavor.

    These are delicious with beans and rice. I think both you and Indira would like them.

    Comment by Barbara — February 24, 2006 @ 11:28 am

  17. hi vijay,

    good try!! Indira needs break for sure!

    what indira says on chips??!!

    Comment by Aparna — February 24, 2006 @ 11:52 am

  18. Apologies for not explaining the procedure properly, so here goes my explanation based on what I saw: You peel the skin of the plantain with a peeler, then slice and fry them, just like Vijay explained. Once you are ready to remove the chips from the fire (don’t take them out of the oil yet and don’t turn the stove off either), you add a solution made of water, turmeric, salt and asoftida (need to do a spell check here, but aw what the heck you get the point) to the chips which are still sizzling in oil. The oil doesnt really sputter as one might think, atleast not dangerously. Take the chips out of the oil after about a minute or 3 and you are done. Saw Madhur Jaffrey doing this in Kerala on the Indian Telly about 3 weeks ago:). Came back to the US and tried it last weekend and it worked.

    Comment by Neela — February 24, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

  19. I love men who cook for their ladies…!

    Comment by Stephanie — February 24, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

  20. Wow!!! Is it that simple…didnt know. I love these chips.
    Never thought of asking Sunil. Great job Vijay.

    Will try it out

    Comment by Lakshmi — February 24, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

  21. What a great job vijaygaru!That’s so nice of you.Isn’t that true Indira? Indira! vijay sure do need an appreciative comment for this from you too. comeon go ahead. so happy to hear about sunil too. It’s been so long.

    Comment by bharghavi — February 24, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

  22. Hi Indira and Vijay
    congrats , Nice to know about chips.and nice photography. very well done for second time.
    Second time, you tried with only two plantains.
    it should be” ohio nenthiram chips “.Are they realy same as kerala plantain or different .I tried five years ago.The taste is not authentic
    like kerala chips.

    Comment by Ramya — February 24, 2006 @ 11:49 pm

  23. Thank you all!

    Hi Neela..
    I was not aware of the procedure you mentioned. Thanks for the info.

    Barbara… pan fried ripe plantains - I’ll definitely give it a try. Thanks

    Lakshmi and Bhargavi… Thanks. They tasted really good, even more so because we prepared them with only two plantains.:)Just enough to satiate our cravings.

    Comment by Indira — February 25, 2006 @ 9:52 am

  24. I will try these this year for Passover. I never heard about leaving on part of the skins before, but it looks wonderful.
    eqj

    Comment by eqj (the chocolate lady) — March 4, 2006 @ 11:10 pm

  25. Jood job !!!!My mother used to soak the plantains after skinning, in water with plenty of turmeric added. Then she rinses in once in plain good water and chops it up for frying. Her upperi ( that’s what we call it back there) is always golden yellow, and it never tasted like turmeric. Salt was her only addition to oil.

    Comment by archana — March 12, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  26. I’m addicted to plantain!!! plantain is so good! plantain rocks!

    Comment by vp — March 17, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  27. Hi Indira,
    I have been lurking around your website lately and tried some of the recipes too. It’s a great website and love your recipes. I tried this chips recipe y’day and it didn’t turn out crispy. Do u know where i could have gone wrong? Thanks!
    Sonal

    Comment by Sonal — May 1, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  28. I LOVE THESE THINGS!!! MY FRIEND IS INDIAN, AND HER MOM MAKES THESE FOR ME ALL THE TIME!!! YUMMY!!!

    Comment by livi — September 12, 2006 @ 10:44 pm

  29. Hi Indira,

    I tried these chips yesterday and added water with little salt, turmeric and hing as suggested by Neela. It turned out crunchy, crispy and delicious. I also tried the same receipe with Breadfruit, which is a native vegetable of Barbados,Caribbean where I live. That turned out well too ! Can you suggest some ways of using breadfruit in our Indian Cuisine?
    Thanks.
    Viji Surendhra

    Comment by Viji Surendhra — December 12, 2006 @ 3:47 am

  30. i love banana chips.

    they’re good.

    Comment by Martha — January 11, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

  31. Looking forward to making these. We tried them when we vacationed in Aruba and loved them. I think they may have added a touch of garlic. Thanks for your recipe!

    Comment by Denise — March 24, 2007 @ 9:39 am

  32. I am new to this website and am exited with the contents already shared. Will try the banana chips at home. Thanks for the recipes !!

    Comment by Tara — May 22, 2007 @ 7:05 am

  33. Hi there,
    I read that you were in Houston before, how nice? would you mind telling me where you got these plantains, wish I could plant some trees too.
    thanks

    Comment by houstongirl — July 9, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  34. Hi,

    Thank you v much. I’m crazy about these chips and have been wondering how to make them for a long,long time.I used to find packages of them in supermarkets in the Sultanate of Oman and in Dubai. I live in Cairo, Egypt, and don’t see them here. Now I’ve simply (Hahahaaa… Simply!) got to find plantain. I hope somebody grows it.

    Ramez

    Comment by Ramez Yasseen — July 22, 2007 @ 1:01 am

  35. We can supply good quality plantain from Cameroon for your quality chips.

    Comment by Nelson Ammen — August 23, 2007 @ 12:27 am

  36. Pictures really inspire me to cooking mood. I have tried so many recipes from your blog. Its wonderful. I wish there was a link for snacks and could see more snack recipes.

    -lakshmi

    Comment by laksh — August 28, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

  37. Hi, I like your blog very much. I was reading this old post and I wish to let you know that in Trader Joe’s you can find plantain chips. This is very similar to the ones we get back home.
    Thanks,
    KS

    Comment by KS — February 6, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

  38. Can I use canola oil rather than peanut oil?does it make a difference?

    Comment by ds — June 21, 2008 @ 7:36 pm

  39. Hi, I tried the receipe using oil, salt and tumeric. they taste and look good, but the only problem I have they are not crispy. As they are getting dry, they became softer and softer. Any advice.

    Comment by marie — July 23, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  40. Thanks for the plantain chips recipe.But you didnt note the type of plantain you used e.g ripe,unripe or slightly ripe.

    Comment by Margaret — May 12, 2011 @ 5:05 am

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