Isn’t that a Banana?
I count myself lucky because the area of London that I live in has plenty of shops where plantains are sold in their dozens. On the downside the processed factory-made packet versions of these plantain chips are also sold in their dozens and when I’m feeling too lazy to make my own can easily inhale a packet (oops) except they aren’t very good for you. It’s not the plantain itself that’s the problem but the cheap oil and deep fried container that they are produced in.
Plantain is a starchy veg found in equatorial climates – used mainly in West African, Andean and West Indian cuisine – often where us Brits would used the humble potato. Plantain looks much like a banana and is usually sold in 2 versions green and yellow. The yellow versions are sweeter and the green starchier – I love its “I don’t know whether I’m sweet or savoury” attitude.
My Nigerian friend Adura introduced me to plantain, and I absolutely love it – as does Adura and many of our recent conversations have revolved around ideas to cook with it. I am working on many ways to Anglicize it, whilst Adura is working on healthier versions of the Nigerian way to cook it. My method for cooking these chips – has been taken from Adura’s excellent You Tube instruction video – thank you Adura:
I love her tip of using a spatula to paste the coconut oil on the baking sheet – not something I ever had the brain wave to do before (I’d struggle using a corner of the paper instead), but because I don’t like to follow recipes I naturally free-styled a little bit and made a nice crust for the chips with some almond meal and cumin. The almond meal is left over from the almond milk I made a few weeks back, you could also use shop bought ground almonds .
Ingredients (enough for 2 as a snack)
- 2 yellowy-green plantains
- 2 tablespoons almond meal / ground almonds
- ½ tablespoon of ground cumin
- Organic extra virgin coconut oil
- Salt (e.g. Himalayan or Celtic)
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C (fan)
- Peel and slice the plantains as thin as is possible, place in a bowl, pour over 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil, and mix well so that the plantains are covered.
- In a separate bowl combine the almond with the cumin, and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavour, then sprinkle this mix over the oiled plantains to coat them, mix well.
- Place some baking parchment on a baking tray and spread a little coconut oil with a spatula over the parchment. Spread the plantain evenly over the tray and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, checking for burning and turning at regular (15 minute) intervals.
Will keep in a airtight container for a few days.0