The only edible things I could imagine with raw bananas was the yellow coloured salty chips(A Kerala speciality), which I absolutely love and can survive on those for any number of days! and the pakodas which were a regular at my place. But that was until I tasted this delicious dry bhaaji which my Mom made one fine day using the remaining Baalekayi (Raw banana in Kannada). The reaction that I get from most of the people when I offer this bhaji is the same that I gave my mom when she made it for the first time. The hardest part is to convince someone to have this, after that, all the work is done by the bhaaji itself to get the person hooked on to it!
The recipe is as simple as it can be and can also qualify as a 'Jain' dish (The followers of Jainism are strictly vegetarian and in addition to that also avoid eating underground vegetables). In fact raw banana is used as a substitute for potatoes in most of the Jain dishes.
Here in London, I easily get Plantains which, as is pointed out here, is not the same as Raw Banana! To be very honest I did not know the difference myself until I read this post from Jugalbandi.
This bhaaji tastes great when made with plantains as well.
- 2 Plantains
- 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
- 7-8 Curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
- 1/2 tsp Haldi (Turmeric powder)
- 1-2 tsps Red Chili powder
- Salt (As per taste)
- 1-2 tblsp oil
Peel the plantains and chop them into small cubes. Keep these immersed in water or else they will get discoloured.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add the curry leaves, hing and the haldi.
Mix in the plantain cubes and saute for sometime.
Add the chopped tomatoes and mix. Add the salt and Chili powder, mix and cover and cook for about 10-15 min stirring regularly. Any of the curry masala or garam masala can also be added here but it tastes best without any masalas.
If the bhaaji starts sticking to the bottom sprinkle some water, stir and again cover and cook until the plantain is soft and tender.
Serve hot with Chapatis/Phulkas.
I hope the picture here is tempting enough to convince everyone to at least try this once!