I have been making this recipe countless times post my marriage as Kundan is so very fond of it. While people with diabetes are generally advised to avoid ripe bananas, raw bananas are quite beneficial to them; also as it is rich in fibre it is a preferred vegetable for weight loss. This might seem like a simple and silly to post recipe; but the reason I do it is because I see people adapt different techniques and each have its own set back. I have arrived at few steps to make a tasty-less oil-quick way to make Vazhaikkai Varuval/ raw banana fry; it is more a compilation of tips than the recipe itself (For people who already do it this way this might be a redundancy).
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1. Raw Banana – 2
2. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
3. Gram flour – 2 tbsp
4. Curry powder (sambar milagai podi) – 1 tbsp
5. Salt to taste
6. Asafoetida – 2 pinches
7. Rice flour or corn flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
8. Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp
9. Refined oil – 1 tsp
10. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Step 1: Wash, peel (avoid peeling if you can eat it with peel, it is good for health) and slice into 2-3 mm thickness. Collect the slices in a wide bowl.
Step 2: Add all dry ingredients except mustard seeds and toss well to coat the slices with spices. Then drizzle oil and toss again, rest for 5 minutes if possible. Taste and adjust spices.
Step 3: Heat a tsp of oil in a thick bottomed kadai or non-stick pan and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add the marinated raw banana slices to it.
Step 4: Mix with light hand to coat the slices with tempered oil; spread them in single layer or as thin as possible, sprinkle just 2 tbsp of water and cook closed for 5 minutes in simmered heat. Beware you don’t overcook them even a tad bit; else they tend to break while tossing or flipping.
Step 5: Open the lid, toss or flip slices with dosa ladle and cook for another 10 minutes by flipping once or twice in between for 10 more minutes in medium heat.
Step 6: Finish frying it the way you want: very crisp – stirring for 3 minutes in high heat; slightly crisp – stirring for 1 minute in high heat (Avoid corn flour/ rice flour or add a little) and for completely soft just turn off heat (Avoid corn flour/ rice flour).
Step 7: Serve with any variety rice or sambar/ rasam/ dal rice.
*Choosing the right vegetable is must: too young ones (small in size and thin ones) or too mature ones (ones that are spongy or turning yellow) are not the right choices for this recipe. It should be nice green, firm and matured.
*Immersing sliced raw banana in water (which people do to prevent it from getting black) will make it broken while frying. Marinating once you slice them is enough to prevent oxidation.
*Alternatively, you can mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and marinate the vegetable using some oil. Setting them aside for 5 minutes helps the marinade to seep into the vegetable.
*If we do not marinate and directly start adding spices to the kadai/ pan, the oil absorption would be too high; 1 tbsp + 1 tsp oil is bare minimum for a crusty banana fry.
*Cooking with lid closed with sprinkled water lets the vegetable cook well and later we fry open to get the crisp; this way the vegetable is soft inside and crisp outside. Starting to fry them from the beginning without cooking will cause the fry to be chewy but uncooked.
*For fresh serving I prefer crisp ones and for lunch pack I prefer soft or slight crisp ones as crispy ones become soggy.