Plantain Chips or Ethakka Upperi consist of finely sliced raw green plantains fried to a crispy golden-brown and seasoned with a dash of salt and turmeric. A tasty Kerala recipe, fried plantain chips (aratikaya chips) can be had as a delicious crispy snack or as a yummy side dish with steamed rice.
Kerala Kaya Varuthathu (Fried Plantain Chips), a crisp and crunchy delicacy made from raw green plantains is a staple food in Kerala meals. It’s one of the many dishes traditionally served as a part of the Onam Sadhya – a vegetarian feast to celebrate the festival of Onam in Kerala.
Plantain health benefits: Plantains are rich in dietary-fibre essential for normal bowel movements. Plantains are excellent sources of beta carotene, Vitamin C (essential for combating infections), starch and energy.
Plantains or cooking plantains are native to Indian. Unlike bananas, plantains cannot be eaten raw. They need to be cooked or fried before being served.
Vazhakkai Green Plantain Chips Recipe:
Crispy and lightly salted Ethakka Upperi cooked in coconut oil is a typical Kerala food recipe. These homemade fried chips taste great with dips such as salsa.
How to make Kerala plantain chips:
1. To make yummy and crunchy Kerala Plantain Chips, wash and peel fresh raw plantains using a peeler/knife. Place them in a bowl of water to which a pinch of turmeric is added.
2. Meanwhile, take about half a cup of water in a small bowl. Add salt and turmeric powder to it and mix it well. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan. (Usually coconut oil is used to get the authentic taste but you are free to use any white oil). Ensure that the oil fills less than half of the pan. )
4. Remove a plantain from water and pat it dry with a clean towel. Using a plantain chip slicer, slice the plantain directly into the pan.
(If you find this tough, just cut the plantain into paper-thin slices. Separate the slices before frying so that they don’t clump up in the oil. Once the oil gets sufficiently hot, drop the plantain slices into the oil.)
5. Gently stir the slices and allow them to fry for about 3-4 minutes. When the slices start to get crisp, pour about 2 tsp of the salt-turmeric solution into the oil (the amount of solution depends on the quantity of plantain slices in the frying pan). Turmeric lends a yellowish tinge to the slices while the salt evenly coats the plantain slices.
(Alternately, you can skip this step. Just fry the plantain pieces in batches to a golden brown, remove onto paper towels. Season raw plantain chips with salt and toss well).
6. On adding the turmeric-salt water, you will hear a bubbling noise and the oil might rise up a little (hence you should only half-fill the pan with oil). Just step back a little or place a lid on the pan.
7. Once the water evaporates and the bubbling sound subsides, stir gently with a spoon. The chips start to get crisp.
8. Remove crispy Kerala Kaya Varuthathu onto paper towels to remove excess oil. Repeat the procedure with the other plantain.
9. Once the homemade salted plantain crisps are cooled, store them in an air-tight container.
Serve Kerala Plantain Chips as a side dish with rice and dal or as a tea-time snack with Guacamole.
If you are looking for more recipes for plantains, do try out Aratikaya Vepudu.
Kerala Ethakka Upperi Recipe details below:
- Raw Green Plantains – 2
- Turmeric – ½ tsp (optional)
- Salt – ¾ tsp
- Oil for frying
- To make crispy homemade chips, wash and peel the plantains. Immerse the peeled plantains in a bowl of water to which a pinch of turmeric is added to prevent the plantains from turning black.
- Take ½ cup water in a small bowl and dissolve ¾ tsp salt and ¼ tsp turmeric in it. Keep aside.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai. Once the oil heats up, reduce the flame to medium
- Remove a plantain from water and pat dry. Hold a slicer over the kadai and quickly slice the plantain into the hot oil. (Alternately, you can cut the plantain into thin slices and then drop them into the oil).
- Gently stir the plantain slices with a slotted spoon. Let them fry on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Once you get a crackling sound, pour about 1-2 tsp of the prepared salt-turmeric solution into the pan. The oil will start to sizzle and bubble up. Be careful lest the oil splashes out of the pan. Continue cooking on medium heat until the bubbling ceases. (If you find this step difficult to execute, just skip it. After the plantain chips turn golden brown, remove and sprinkle with salt).
- Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper napkin. Repeat the same with the other plantain. Cool and store in an air-tight container.
- Serve garlic sauce or cilantro dipping sauce for plantain chips.
* Fry the plantain slices in batches or else they tend to stick to each other.