A bunch of bananas are almost always stocked in every household.
It is quite cheap and safe to eat with the outer skin protecting the inner sweet fruit. Even when the outer covering becomes soft with dark spots on it, the inner flesh is good enough to be used to cook up something tasty from the many traditional recipes found in Indian regional cuisine.While the cooking style varies from region to region, traditional Indian cuisine always made use of ingredients which were easily available and a lot of experimentations were done according to the local ingredients available.
POWERHOUSE OF NUTRITION
While bananas are known to be a rich source of potassium, ripe bananas are a powerhouse of nutrition and it is one of the few fruits that can be used by almost all people across all ages. Easy to digest, ripe bananas have higher levels of antioxidants as they ripen. Says nutritionist Dhvani Shah,”Ripe bananas contain a high concentration of dietary fibre, potassium, vitamin B-6 and antioxidant compounds. Ripe bananas are a rich source of vitamin C, which ensures the health of your skin and bones and may decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease, osteoarthritis and age-related bone degeneration.”
HOW THEY WERE USED IN TRADITIONAL INDIAN CUISINE
Puris, halwa, pakodas, appams, dosas or flavoured buns, ripe banana has made its place in cuisine from various states of India.
Says homemaker Alka Pai, “Apart from adding ripe banana to halwasheera, we make sweet banana puris too, which are best enjoyed with tea and some people like to eat them with milk and coconut chutney . I also remember my mother making Filos (Goan banana pancakes) for breakfast. These thick dense pancakes are hard to resist as the sweetness of jaggery is mixed with the ripe bananas, and the hint of coconut lends them a unique taste.”
Since the South produces a large quantity of this fruit, it is not surpris ing that they have a number of recipes that makes use of ripe bananas. Ripe bananas are also added to sweet appams to make painyarams which make it spongy and light to bite.
Chef Sudhir Pai remembers a recipe from his childhood days, “Rulava bhakri is a traditional, easy-to-make snack from Mangalore and it can be savoury and sweet as per your choice.Nothing was wasted in the olden days, and same was the case in my house, when we found ourselves stuck with overripe bananas, it would be transformed into tasty preparations. Rulava Bhakri or Kela Rawa Bhakri is banana semolina dosa, another innovative item from our traditional regional cuisine.” Ripe bananas find their place in Bengali cuisine too. Paka kolar bora is ripe banana fritters or pakodas, which are crunchy outside and soft inside.”
RULAVA BHAKRI (BANANA SEMOLINA DOSA)
Ingredients ½ cup semolinarava, 1 ripe banana mashed , 3-4 tbsp freshly grated coconut, 2 tbsp powdered jaggery, 3 green chillies, 1 inch piece of ginger, 1 sprig curry leaves, salt to taste and water as required
Take rava and the mashed over ripe banana in a bowl. Add coconut, jaggery, green chillies, and ginger and curry leaves. Add salt and water to mix well to form a thick batter which should be such that it should fall from the ladle.
Heat a pan smeared with oil and pour a ladle full of batter. Spread it evenly to give it shape.
Cover and cook on medium heat till the top surface is cooked. Flip and cook for a minute.
Remove from flame and serve hot with butter andor enjoy it with pickle.
KERA PAR EEDA (SPICED EGGS ON BANANAS)
Ingredients 3 ripe bananas, 2 eggs, 1 small onion finely chopped, 1 small tomato finely chopped, 1 chopped green chilli, 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste, ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp chopped coriander salt to taste, oil.
Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion along with chopped green chillies. Saute well.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and when the onions turn brown, add the turmeric, chopped tomatoes. Cook well.
To this add the bananas cut into medium thick slices, salt and coriander. Mix gently and after couple of minutes flatten the mixture on the pan.
Gently mark two surfaces and break the eggs into the hollows. The other method is to beat the eggs together and pour them over the top.
Cover the pan and turn the heat to low, and cook until the eggs are set.
PAKKA KELA NU SHAAK (RIPE BANANA VEGETABLE)
Ingredients 3 Ripe Bananas, sliced, 1 tsp red chilli pow der, 2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp cumin seeds, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp oil, salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
Add cumin seeds, banana slices and rest of the dry masalas and mix well.
Cook for couple of minutes and remove from flame. Serve hot with roti.
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