Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Aratikaya (plantain)

I get the plantains for cooking, from Srilankan stores. It is delicious when cooked. We normally get confused, and use the word banana and plaintain interchangeably. Infact, Bananas and plaintains are of same family but different kind. Banana is a fruit whereas, plantain is a vegetable.  Here is the difference where you can identify them very quickly.

Difference between Banana and Plantain:

Bananas are yellow and more sweeter in taste, can be eaten as a fruit. Size is smaller than plantain; thinner skin. Turns from green to yellow to black. It is green when raw, yellow when ready to eat and black when it is getting rotten.

Plantains are used as a vegetable in cooking. They are starchy, low in sugar, longer in size and have thicker skin. The shape resembles the banana and changes colour from green to yellow to black, as it is ripening. The interior color of the fruit remains creamy, yellowish or lightly pink. The flavor of the flesh is bland.  As the peel changes the colour to brown or black, it has a sweeter flavor and more of a banana aroma, but still keeps a firm shape when cooked.

Plantains - 2
Onions - 1 diced
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Fresh coconut - 1 tbsp , grated
Turmeric - a pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp

Boil the water in a bowl, put the raw plaintains and boil until the skin changes colour and feels soft when touched. Peel and mash it with fork

In a pan, add oil put mustard and jeera and fry until it splutters. Add onions, green chillies, curry leaves and fry until the onions turn translucent. Add turmeric and salt. Add the mashed plantain and mix it well. Finally add the grated coconut and mix. serve hot with roti, paratha or rice.

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