Posts Tagged ‘Plantain’

Caramelized Plantains with Malai Kulfi


2010
03.17

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Ever since I moved to California seven years back, I haven’t got much chance to dress up. There has been an occasional office party here, or a friends anniversary dinner there. But never an actual opportunity that allows me to take out a heavy set gold jewelry from the bank, or drape myself into one of those resplendent gold embroidered Kanjeevarams, that I lugged in my bags all the way over the Pacific, flying to California as a new bride.

So, a few months back when I decided to go ‘full monty’ with my hair, I thought I didn’t have much to lose. Who was going to see me, right? I sit in my pajamas the whole day while I work from home. And, as for my friends, they are sooo used to seeing me in jeans, frayed at the knees and ankles. For them, there is so much ON me to be ridiculed, that something absent would hardly be missed. It started with an intention of just trimming the ragged edges of my hair. The ‘trims’, wound up into big ‘chunks’ and I looked like an Egyptian slave bound to the servitude of a Pharo. I don’t know if it was age  catching up, or if it was the years of chemical torture I’ve put my hair through. It just refused to behave itself anymore. It moved with my head and did not seem to want to get a life of its own!!  So, frustrated, I decided to get rid of it all, hoping the new growth will come with an open new mind. Apparently NOT!! The new hair is as stubborn as the old one, if not more, and now I look like a Mallu-Dingo-Nurse-Aunty fresh off the boat from Dubai.

The cheekiest consolation about my hair I’ve gotten so far – “Thank God, you have a good heart. People will learn to see that and ignore the hair.”

And yes, as luck would have it, my dearest BIL, who so cherished his bachelorhood when my long silky tresses put Rapunzel to shame, has a fiancée now and a wedding date for next month. I know I couldn’t expect people to bring their lives to a grinding halt, just for my hair. But, my vanity compelled me to plead for a few extra months of grace, just until my hair could grow out and I could find alternatives to control it. After all, this was the kind of celebration I’d been waiting for over a decade. But, my dear BIL (who obviously shouldn’t be so dear anymore) politely refused. They evidently have plans that do not involve my hair! :’(!!  So, now I have to welcome the new bride into the family in my gold, fine silk and raggedy static spiked hair! So much for all the waiting!

And like I do for all my woes, I looked towards sugar for help. That is one place I know I will never be turned down from. It won’t fix my hair, but, it really plays cool tricks with my mind. It takes me to a happy place where I can imagine everyone in delicate silks and clean shaven heads :D.

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This delicious dessert is made simply by caramelizing sliced plantains using sugar and ghee (clarified butter). Though it takes about just a minute to make, the flavors are so intense and unparalleled. And as if this by itself wasn’t sinful enough, I thought bedecking it with a dollop of my high calorie Malai Kulfi would be dandy. And voila, what I have here, I guarantee, can take any one out from their deepest of depressions.

Ingredients

2 nicely ripened plantains
2 – 3 tsp granulated sugar
2 – 3 tsp ghee / clarified butter
Malai Kulfi or any ice cream of your preference

Directions

  • Slice the plantains vertically into 3 thin slices. If it is too big, cut it into half and then slice it vertical.
  • Heat ghee in a shallow pan at a low flame.
  • Sprinkle sugar on the slices and place it flat into the pan so that the side with the sugar touches the floor of the pan. Let it roast till it turns golden brown.
  • Sprinkle sugar on the side faced up and turn it over. Let it caramelize on that side too.
  • Serve hot by itself or with a dollop of Malai Kulfi or any ice cream of your choice. 
  • Plantain Fritters / Pazham Pori


    2010
    03.01

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    This two minute, sweet and tangy snack, like many other dishes of the Kerala cuisine, is something you will love or hate. There is no in between. I like it  best  when served right off the frying pan. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat it cold. You can, and it tastes great. Only that it tastes distinctly different from when it is hot. I also like it better, when really ripe plantains are used.

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     Ingredients

    3 plantains /ethakka/ nenthra pazham – nicely ripened
    11/2 cup all purpose flour 
    2 – 3 tsp (based on how sweet you like it, I prefer it on the sweeter side)
    1/2 tsp crushed cumin seeds /Jeera
    1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
    pinch of salt (to taste)
    Refined vegetable oil for deep frying

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    Directions

  • Mix together flour, cumin, sugar, cardamom, salt and water to make a smooth batter, slightly thick, sufficient to form a thin coating on the plantain slices.
  • Slice the plantains vertically into 3 thin slices. If it is too big, cut it into half and then slice it vertical.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan.
  • Dip the slices in the batter to form a thin coat on the slices and slide gently into the hot oil.
  • Fry the slices till the batter is cooked on all sides, remove from the pan and blot the excess oil using a paper towel.
  • Serve hot with tea.