Video guide to making Kerala special Sharkara Varatti or jaggery-coated banana candy

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Servings: 10



1 kg raw plantains

400 gms jaggery

½ cup water

2 tbsp dry ginger powder

1 tsp cumin powder

7 to 8 cardamom (powdered with 1 tbsp of sugar)

1 tbsp sugar

1 pinch of salt

2 tsp of clarified butter

1 tbsp of rice flour

Cooking oil for frying



Step: 1

Discard the head and tail portion of the raw plantains. Then peel the skin and place in water. Leave it aside for 30 minutes.

Water prevents decolourisation and also removes the stickiness of the plantain.

Step: 2

Strain the water, and pat dry the plantains. Slit them vertically and then chop them into crescent-shaped pieces about 1 cm thick.

Step: 3

Begin by heating some oil in a pan. Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully add a handful of plantain pieces and fry them until they are crispy. For best results, maintain a medium-low flame to ensure the plantains are fried evenly and thoroughly.

Break a fried piece and examine the inner section to check the crispness. If it feels soft, it requires more frying. Ensure that they are crispy on both the outside and inside.

Step: 4

Strain the plantain pieces from the oil and set them aside to cool.

Step: 5

Meantime dissolve jaggery with ½ cup of water and bring this to a boil.

Step: 6

Strain the melted jaggery into a pan and bring it to a boil. Stir continuously.

Step: 7

To make the syrup, combine 1 tablespoon of dry ginger powder, ½ tablespoon of cumin powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Keep stirring the mixture until it reaches a one-thread consistency.

Step: 8

Turn off the flame and slowly add the fried plantains to it. Mix well. Add the remaining dry ginger powder. Mix well.

Step: 9

Mix in clarified butter, cardamom powder, and one tablespoon of sugar until well combined.

Step: 10

Finally, add the rice flour and mix well.

After cooling, the jaggery coating on the plantain chips becomes crispy and sweet, with a rich flavour of dry ginger, cumin, and cardamom. Store the chips in an air-tight container to ensure freshness. Enjoy it with a cup of hot tea.


Recipe courtesy: Sobha Varghese is a homemaker based in Mumbai, India. Sobha runs a popular YouTube blog called ‘Sobha's Kitchenette’ that focuses on authentic and traditional Kerala recipes.

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