Kela Upkari/Raw Banana Curry (South Indian Style Plantain Stir Fry)

Raw Banana or Raw Plantain Stir Fry is a simple south Indian dry curry with a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves, sweetness of freshly grated coconut and a mild flavor of exotic cumin seeds. It is a quick stir fry and is normally served as a side dish with dal and rice.

Plantains are a member of the banana family but the raw variety. It has a much lower sugar content than regular bananas and sometimes is used as a substitute for potatoes in a large number of vegetarian dishes; perfect for diabetics.

It is one of my favorite vegetables to cook with as it cooks easily and I love the texture it creates once it is cooked; of course overcooking makes it mushy and unpalatable!! We use it in lot of dishes like kele koddel (plantains in coconut masala), as a fritter (sliced and coated in a chickpea batter before deep frying them, a popular street food in Bangalore-Mysore area in south India) or added to other vegetables in curries. Sometimes, they are used to make vegetarian kebabs for people who do not eat meat or chicken or seafood.

Making this stir fry is so easy; it can be ready in under 15 minutes! Just peel and chop the plantain and add to a tempering of mustard seeds and hing along with a coconut-green chilli-cumin seeds mixture. Shallots have been added as I love the texture, flavor and color shallots add to a dish! You may choose to omit it. Stir fry for a few minutes and a simple vegetarian dry curry is ready to be served with any meal!

Do try this quick vegetable stir fry and let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

Other stir fry vegetables you can try are: Midke Sange Upkari, Spicy Aloo Stir fry etc.

Kela Upkari/Raw Banana Curry (South Indian Style Plantain Stir Fry)

Kela Upkari/Raw Banana Curry (South Indian Style Plantain Stir Fry)

Ingredients

  • 1 large raw banana
  • ½ cup small onions/shallots
  • ¼ cup grated fresh coconut
  • 2 green chillies/jalapenos
  • ½ teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustards seeds
  • ½ teaspoon urad dal/split black lentils
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • ¼ teaspoon hing/asafoetida
  • Few curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Instructions

  1. Wash and peel the bananas using a peeler.
  2. Chop into small cubes and place them in a bowl of cold water until ready to be cooked (this prevents them from browning or darkening).
  3. Roughly chop the shallots or if using whole large onions, slice or chop them and keep aside.
  4. In a blender jar, place the grated coconut, green chillies and jeera and make a coarse paste.
  5. Heat coconut oil in a deep saucepan or kadai.
  6. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds; when they crackle, add the lentils, dry red chilli (cut into 2 or 3 pieces) and hing. Saute for a few seconds.
  7. Add the chopped shallots and curry leaves and fry on medium low till the onions turn a bit soft; about 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Stir in turmeric powder and coconut mixture and mix well. Saute or fry for a few seconds.
  9. Drain water from the soaked banana pieces and add the raw banana to the onion-coconut mixture.
  10. Add salt to taste, sprinkle a little bit of water, close the pan and cook on medium low heat till the bananas are cooked (but not mushy), stirring in between. Squeeze lemon juice and remove from heat.
  11. Serve hot, south Indian style raw banana or plaintain curry with a simple dal and rice or with any of your meals.
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How to  make Raw Banana Curry with step-by-step method:

  • Wash and peel the bananas using a peeler.

  • Chop into small cubes and place them in a bowl of cold water until ready to be cooked (this prevents them from browning or darkening).
  • Roughly chop the shallots or if using whole large onions, slice or chop them and keep aside.

  • In a blender jar, place the grated coconut, green chillies and jeera.

  • Blend to make a coarse paste.

  • Heat coconut oil in a deep saucepan or kadai.
  • Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds; when they crackle, add the lentils, dry red chilli (cut into 2 or 3 pieces) and hing. Saute for a few seconds.

  • Add the chopped shallots and curry leaves and fry on medium low till the onions turn a bit soft; about 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Stir in turmeric powder and coconut mixture and mix well. Saute or fry for a few seconds.

  • Drain water from the soaked chopped banana and add to the onion-coconut mixture. Give it a good stir.

  • Add salt to taste, sprinkle a little bit of water, close the pan and cook on medium low heat till the bananas are cooked (but not mushy), stirring in between. Squeeze lemon juice and remove from heat.

  • Serve hot, south Indian style raw banana or plaintain curry with a simple dal and rice or with any of your meals.
  • Enjoy!!!

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