sadya without licking your fingers. And one of the most intriguing facets of the cuisine of Kerala is its versatile use of bananas. Be it snacks, stews, jams, desserts or curries, bananas are a must on the signature banana leaf meal. Kerala’s fertile land allows a large scale cultivation of bananas and coconut. One can see several banana trees lined across farmland of thousands of hectares, and even courtyards outside local house, and as such it easily finds its way into the local cuisine. Here’s a round up of eight traditional Malayali dishes, giving the most sumptuous twist to the humble banana. So what are you waiting for? Dig into your share and go bananas.
1. Pazham Pradhaman (Banana Kheer)
Also called ‘nenthra’ Payasam, this is not your regular kheer. Made with mashed banana/plaintain, jaggery, grated coconut, ghee, milk and a whole lot of nuts and raisins, this treat is filling and satiating in all parts.
2. Pazham Varattiyathu (Banana Jam)Steam-cooked banana, molten jaggery and oodles of ghee, say hello to one of India’s favourite jams. You can also store the treat for over a week and enjoy it with your idli and appams whenever you feel like.
3. Pazham Pori (Banana Fritters)
A tea-time favourite. These sweet and scrumptious chunks of bananas enveloped in a crunchy rice flour coating are a winner all the way.
4. Upperi (Banana Chips)
Fried plantain chips, also famous as Nenthra-Kaaya Oopperi, these thinly sliced chips are fried in coconut oil. At times they are coated with masala or jaggery for variantions.
5. Kay Pola (Banana Cake)
Cake and bananas, what really can go wrong here. This steamed plantain cake is made with eggs, sugar, cardamom powder, nuts and ghee. It's a sweet dish that has been a local favourite since ages.
6. Pazham Nirachath (Stuffed Banana)
Prepared by stuffing ripe plantain with coconut, cashews and walnuts, and then dipped in a maida batter and fried. This savoury treat would have you wanting for more.
7. Banana Peel Thoran
A stir-fried dish made of raw banana peels, mustard seeds, green chilli, and grated coconut. It tastes best with hot steamed rice accompanied with hot dal or rasam.
8. Kurukku Kalan (Raw Bananas in a Coconut Curry)
Kuruku Kaalan is a delectable dish made from ripe bananas and cooked in a yogurt and spiced coconut curry.
One ingredient and so many dishes! The perfectly tuned balance of flavours, never makes Kerala’s love affair with banana boring or monotonous. The preparation with a whole lot of spices, herbs or nuts not only enhances but also complements the simple taste of banana. We see you slurping already.
God’s own country, Kerala’s cuisine is no short of divine. Flavourful, experimental and enticing, there is no way you can step out of the
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.