15-minute Kerala recipe for making ethakka upperi or banana chips from scratch

15-minute Kerala recipe for making ethakka upperi or banana chips from scratch

Sliced into thin disks and deep fried in coconut oil, make this snack at home for Vishu

Guide to making Kerala ethakka upperi or banana chips at home Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

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


Here's what you will need: Raw plantains, salt, turmeric powder and coconut oil Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

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.

Peeling the raw plantain... Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

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.

Mix turmeric powder in a bowl of water and soak the plantains for 15 minutes Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 3: Mix salt in ¼ cup of water and keep it aside.

Mix salt in water and keep aside Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

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.

Test the heat of the oil by dropping a slice of the plantain into the skillet Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

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.

Transfer the chips on a paper towel to soak up excess oil Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese

Step 9: Tasty and crispy banana chips are now ready. Cool and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Serve and enjoy! Image Credit: Supplied/Sobha Varghese
Cooking Notes
• You may use any cooking oil for frying the chips, however, banana chips made in coconut oil taste much better.
• Remember to use less quantity of saltwater while frying them in batches.

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