Home made Plantain Chips(Nendran Vazhakkai chips)

These plantain chips are my mom’s specialty. When plantains are in season in my hometown, my dad would get a whole thaar(the whole branch of plantains), and my mom would make plantain chips, by setting up a stove on the open terrace of our house. She would make the chips to fill two tall steel tins, and would send it out to all of our friends and relatives. The terrace would be out of limits for all the kids, as this preparation would involve hot bubbly oil, and my mom usually had my grandmother or my aunts do the police work of keeping away the kids from entering the ‘No Entry’ zone. It was a tough job, cause the smell of the plantains frying up in the aromatic coconut oil was very hard to resist. Even more difficult to resist, was the puzzle, of these green banana like things ending up as crisp yellow discs.

I solved the puzzle as I grew up and watched my mom make these. Although it seems like a daunting task, if you learn few tricks of the trade, it is the easiest thing that you will put together. The only thing is you shouldn’t be afraid of deep frying in oil, if you are not, then you will no doubt nail this recipe. I have listed down these tips and tricks below and also given you some pictures of help out. Hope you try my mom’s recipe and enjoy these cute little crispies.

2 green plantains/nenthirankai
oil to deep fry(coconut oil is used typically, I used canola oil, as I didnt find good quality coconut oil here)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp water

Mix the turmeric, salt and water in a small bowl, until the salt dissolves completely in the water and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok/kadai over mediium heat. Check the temp of the oil by placing a wooden spoon in the oil, if bubbles form around the edges, it is the right temp.

Score the skin of the plantains, by making shallow cuts on the skin, don’t pierce the inside meat of the plantains. Use your thumb to gently peel the skin of the plantains along the scored cuts. This should be easy, but if you find it difficult, try soaking the plantains in a bowl of water, before you do this. Also, after you peel the skin and before you slice the plantain, keep it soaked in water, so as to prevent browning. (Note: You could make a thoran by chopping up the plantain skin into small pieces. It tastes pretty good. ūüôā )

For these chips to be seperate and not stick to each other, you must slice it directly into the hot oil. Keeping the heat medium is critical, because if the oil is too hot, the steam would scald your skin when holding the slicer on the top. Having a non-metallic slicer also helps, as it would not conduct heat. I only have a stainless steel one. My mom has a wooden one, which works great.

Slice the plantain in half, and work one half each time, so as to avoid crowding the oil in the pan. If you have a bigger pan or use more oil, you may definitely work one at a time. Hold the slicer above the oil and slice the plantains into thin chips directly into the hot oil. Now, take about 1 tsp of the turmeric salt liquid and drizzle it over the sliced chips into the hot oil. Stir the chips to coat the turmeric and salt on each and every chip. Cook until crisp and all the bubbles in the oil subside. Drain onto double layers of paper towel. Store in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks.(if it lasts that long. ūüôā )

Verdict: Cripsy golden yellow coins..perfect for an evening snack. It doesn’t have any spice, so it will be liked by both kids and adults and it is really worthy of the phrase – No one can eat just one! Try it and you will agree with me. ūüôā

Sending this to ‘Healing Foods – Banana’ event by Krithi, series by Siri.

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  1. Angie

    These lovely crispies are, oh so YUMMY! Just made the 1st batch, as soon as they cooled I devoured them in less than 2mins (hehe!). Didn’t have tumeric, so I used just salt & water. Turned out great! Didn’t know it was this easy. Thanks for such an easy and ‘tried and true’ recipe. It’s surely a keeper.

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