I love to have some snack with my cup of coffee and on the days we have an entire vegetarian meal, which is usually Thursdays, I like to have a side dish with it; needless to mention I would love this snack and side dish to be something sinfully deep – fried. My mum always frowns on this bad habit and has introduced me to a healthy snack which also serves as an excellent side dish --- Plantain Tikkis. Plantains are rich in potassium and low on fat, if you are interested in the nutritional value of plantains click here.
Plantain, banana, cooking banana, cooking plantain, ripe plantain, ripe banana, confused? Well, I definitely used to be confused. In most languages in India we have just one word for banana, for instance in Hindi it is called kela and in Bengali we pronounce the same word a bit differently; we call it kola and then there is the paka kola (in Bengali) or pukka kela (in Hindi) which is the fruit banana and kach kola (in Bengali) or kuchcha kela (in Hindi) which is the cooking banana. Since I wanted to use the right English words I decided to do a bit of research and what I understood was that, plantain is the English word for kuchcha kela while banana refers to the fruit. A plantain contains less sugar than a banana and is used for cooking. For more information click here.
For the patties take care to see that the plantain is green and unripe. A variety of plantains are available in the market, you have to therefore be very careful while purchasing plantains. Please take a careful look at the photograph above, the plantain is straight and not curved and it has an angular shape. I once met a lady in the market, who on seeing me purchasing some plantains, nervously asked me, “Are you sure these are the right variety? My mother-in-law says the plantain should have three corners.” I think that was a nice way to put it. When you cut the plantain the cross-section will reveal either a triangle or roughly the shape of a diamond.
- 4 plantains (small or medium size).
- 2 potatoes.
- Half teaspoon very finely chopped ginger.
- Finely chopped green chillies
- Finely chopped coriander leaves.
- One teaspoon cumin seeds.
- One green cardamom.
- 3 cloves.
- One small piece of cinnamon.
- Salt to taste.
- Boil plantains and potatoes. Do not boil them together.
- Mash and mix them together.
- Add finely chopped coriander leaves, finely chopped green chillies (quantity according to taste) and finely chopped ginger.
- Roast the cumin seeds, green cardamom, cloves, and the piece cinnamon. Grind to a fine powder and add to the banana and potato mixture.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Now make round patties of medium size from this mixture.
- Roll these patties in corn flour; moisten your hands and pat the patty with your wet hands this will prevent corn flour granules from falling in the oil.
- Shallow fry the patties. Alternatively you could also make a thin batter of besan (gram flour) and roll the patties in the batter before frying.
Serve hot with some tomato sauce or ketchup.