Here are a few recipes to experiment with the versatile raw banana

Raw bananas (vazhakkai) belong to the banana family, but are firmer and cannot be eaten raw. They require cooking and can be steamed, fried etc. Always select green and firm bananas, with skin that’s smooth and free from blemishes.

Always oil your hands before peeling them as the juice can leave stains that are difficult to remove. They can be flavoured with spices and for koftas, cutlets, kababs, filling for parathas, samosas etc. It can also be used as basic curry seasoned with spices. Raw banana chips and bhajjis are common. They are a good source of potassium and vitamins such as A and C. They are high in carbohydrate and dietary fibre.

Here are few recipes of easy-to-prepare dishes using raw bananas.

Raw Banana Tikkis

Ingredients

6 raw bananas

100 gm gram dal

1 onion chopped

1 cup bread crumbs

Half tsp chilli powder

1 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)

3 cloves

A handful of chopped coriander leaves

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method

Peel and cut bananas into big pieces. Boil banana pieces and dal together till done and dry. Grind them into a fine paste, add onions, chilli powder, poppy seeds, cloves, salt, coriander leaves and grind once again into a thick paste. Heat a little oil in a pan and cook the mixture till it’s thick and dry. Cool the mixture, shape into small tikkis and roll into bread crumbs before shallow frying them in oil till golden brown. Drain and serve hot with chutney.

Stuffed Bananas

Ingredients

4 big raw bananas peeled

Quarter coconut grated

4 green chillies

A handful of coriander leaves

Half tsp mustard seeds

2 red chillies

Half tsp turmeric powder

Lime juice to taste

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method

Cut each banana lengthwise till halfway, and cut each slice again halfway. Keep aside. Grind coconut, green chillies and coriander leaves, and mix in salt, turmeric and lime juice. Stuff this paste into the bananas. Heat one tbsp of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds with red chillies. When the seeds stops popping, place the bananas. Cover the lid and cook over medium flame till the bananas are cooked. Serve hot.

Banana Erussery

Ingredients

4 large bananas (peeled and cut into cubes)

Half tsp turmeric powder

Half coconut

Half tsp mustard seeds

Half tsp cumin seeds

A few curry leaves

2 flakes of garlic crushed

2 red chillies

1 onion finely sliced

2 tbsp coconut oil

Salt to taste

Method

Rub turmeric powder and salt to the bananas and boil them in water till they are soft and dry. Grind quarter coconut, cumin seeds and curry leaves to a paste. Grate the remaining coconut. Mix the ground coconut with the banana and heat the vegetable. Remove from fire and set aside. This is erussery. Heat coconut oil and toss in mustard seeds, garlic, red chillies. When the seeds stops popping, add onion and grated coconut. When the mixture turns nearly brown, remove from heat and pour it into the erussery. Mix well and serve hot.

Raw Banana Curry

Ingredients

3 raw bananas peeled cubed

4 medium-sized tomatoes

3 green chillies minced

2 onions chopped

5 flakes of garlic minced

Quarter tsp cumin seeds

Quarter tsp mustard seeds

Quarter tsp urad dal

Half tsp chilli powder

Quarter tsp turmeric powder

Half tsp coriander powder

Half tsp garam masala

A few curry leaves

A handful of chopped coriander leaves

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method

Heat oil in a pan. Fry banana pieces lightly and keep aside. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal to oil, and fry until dal changes colour. Add chopped onions, green chillies and curry leaves. Fry until the onions turn pink. Now add garlic. Stir and add chilli, coriander and turmeric powders and salt. Mix well and add chopped tomatoes. Cook for three to four minutes till tomatoes are soft. Add fried banana pieces, garam masala and mix well. Add water as per your requirement, cover the lid and simmer the flame. Stir occasionally. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the curry is done. Turn off flame. Transfer curry into a bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice or chapatti.