Ethakka upperi or banana chips, is one of the most popular snacks in Kerala. No sadhya (a feast served on a banana leaf) is served without these coin-sized snacks. Banana chips is only made with raw plantains, which are sliced and deep-fried in coconut oil. You can eat these crispy and golden snacks during tea time as well; here's my recipe for it.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 10 to 12
1 kg raw plantain
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
Coconut oil, to fry
Note: Before slicing the raw plantain, make sure you use a pair of gloves or grease your palms with oil to avoid black stains on your hand.
Step 1: Cut both ends of the plantain and then peel the plaintain.
Step 2: Mix turmeric powder in a bowl of water and then soak the peeled plantains in it. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature.
Step 3: Mix salt in ¼ cup of water and keep it aside.
Step 4: Heat oil in a deep skillet – about 2 inches deep – on a medium to high flame. To test whether the oil is hot enough or not, drop a slice of plantain into the hot oil. When the oil is hot enough, the slice would immediately bubble up to the surface.
Step 5: Using a mandoline slicer, slice the banana into thin disks. You can either directly slice it into hot oil or slice it onto a plate and then add it to the oil. Make sure you do not overcrowd the slices; so fry them in batches. Let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your pan and the number of slices.
Step 6: Occasionally stir it with a long steel skewer. Initially, the chips will sizzle and a thin layer of foam will be formed, which will reduce gradually.
Step 7: When the chips are evenly cooked – you can hear a crisp sound and the oil will stop foaming – reduce the flame and pour one teaspoon of saltwater. Make sure you keep a safe distance from the pan while doing this. After the initial bubbling noise, it will subside. Give it a final mix and then allow the water to evaporate from the oil.
Step 8: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chips onto a tray or bowl lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Step 9: Tasty and crispy banana chips are now ready. Cool and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
• Remember to use less quantity of saltwater while frying them in batches.
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