Ethapazham Pachadi (Kerala Plantain Curry)

Ethapazham Pachadi (Kerala Plantain Curry)

If there is one variety of banana that I absolutely love, it is the Ethapazham or Nendrapazham, or plantain. It is great as a fruit, in curries and in desserts. This particular curry, Ethapazham Pachadi, is easy to make and is a fine balance of sweet and spicy.

Ingredients

Ethapazham or plantain 2, peeled and chopped

Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Grated coconut 3 tbsps

Green chillies 2

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Red chilli whole 1

Coconut oil 1 tbsp

Yoghurt 2 tbsps

Method

Boil the chopped plantains with red chilli powder, turmeric and salt in 1 cup of water.

Grind the grated coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds.

Mash the cooked banana.

Add the ground coconut mix.

Add the curry leaves and bring to a boil. If it is too thick, add some water.

Take it off the heat and add the whipped yoghurt.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and whole red chilli.

Garnish the curry and serve hot with rice.

Banana Oat Loaf

Banana Oat Loaf

This is a great loaf for breakfast. It is healthy and tasty and can be made the night before or even early in the morning if you prefer a warm slice.

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

Bananas 2, mashed

Oat flour 1 1/2 cups

Butter 50 g

Condensed milk 1/2 cup

Yoghurt 1/2 cup

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

Baking powder 1 tsp

Walnuts 1/2 cup, chopped

Method

Cream the butter and condensed milk together using an electric whisk.

Add the yoghurt and whisk at high speed.

Add the mashed bananas and whisk for a minute.

Mix the oats flour, baking soda, baking powder and walnuts in a separate bowl.

Add it to the liquid mixture using a cut-and-fold motion.

Grease a bread loaf pan and pour in the batter. It will be thick, but that is ok.

Bake in a 170 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let it cool in the pan. Slice and serve.

Banana and Chocolate Pie

Banana and Chocolate Pie

I had pastry left over from the lemon tart I made and decided to make a banana and chocolate pie. It is a light dessert that goes well after a soup and meat dinner.

Ingredients

Pastry pie crust

Banana 1

Chocolate chips 1/4 cup

Honey 3 tbsps

Method

Make the pie crust according to the recipe given here.

Lightly dust the countertop and roll out the pastry dough to form a 1/4” thick disc. Cut out a round the size of round baking tray and use the dough you count out to border the disc.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for about 20 minutes till the crust is flaky and light brown.

Take it out of the oven and pour a tablespoon of honey.

Slice the banana and line the middle of the baked crust.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and pour the rest of the honey.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven for 15 minutes.

Let the pie cool and slice into wedges.

Banana and Chocolate Rice Cake

Banana and Chocolate Rice Cake

I was trying to come up with a way to use rice flour and remembered some lovely dishes I had in Japan. Thinking of some the sweets made from rice flour, I decided to make a banana cake. The chocolate chips added a delicious but subtle taste.

Ingredients

Bananas 3

Eggs 2

Sugar 3/4 cup (150 g)

Vegetable oil 4 tbsps

Milk 6 tbsps

Rice flour 1 cup (200 g)

Baking powder 2 tsps

Chocolate chips 1 tbsp

Method

Mash two of the bananas well in a wide bowl.

Add the eggs and mix well. I use an electrical whisk, my trusted hand-held blender Braun.

Add the sugar, oil and milk and whisk for two minutes.

Add the rice flour and baking powder and mix with a wooden or rubber spatula. Then whisk at high speed for a few minutes. In the case of rice flour there is no gluten and so you can whisk well to get in as much air as you can.

Line a round baking tray with greased butter paper and pour in the batter. Slice the remaining banana and arrange on top of the batter. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and bake the cake at 170 degrees C for 45 minutes. Check after 35 minutes and stop when a toothpick poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Banana Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

Banana Bread with Walnuts and Raisins

When I was working on the newspaper desk in Singapore, we would start work at the unearthly hour of 4.30 am and the one thing that kept us going was that we would take turns to bring in warm bread for an early breakfast. One of my colleagues used to make this really divine banana bread. My banana bread recipe is based on hers though I have tweaked it to add nuts and raisins and also sour cream to make it more moist. This has been a hit with my family for more than 20 years. In fact, my sister-in-law said this should be my retirement plan: to make and sell banana bread.

I make this in the bread maker and so it is super easy. I set it for baking overnight and it is ready for breakfast the next morning.

Ingredients

Vegetable oil 1/3 cup
Sour cream 1/4 cup
Eggs 2, beaten
All-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups
Brown sugar 2/3 cup
Baking powder 1 tsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence 1 tsp
Bananas 2, mashed
Walnuts 1/2 cup
Raisins 1/4 cup

Method

Add everything to the bread-maker pan in the order given above. Set it to Sweet or Cake setting depending on your machine.

When done take it out and let it cool. Slice and serve.



Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

This is a quick and easy pudding that can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes. I make this for impromptu dinner parties and winter lunches. It goes well with vanilla ice cream or toffee sauce.

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

All-purpose flour 3/4 cup
Butter 100 g
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cinnamon 1 tbsp
Bananas 3 (2 mashed and 1 sliced)
Eggs 2, beaten
Milk 2 tbsps
Baking powder 1 tsp

Method

Melt the butter in a rectangular baking dish for about 30 seconds.

Add the beaten eggs to the butter. Mix with a whisk.

Add the flour, cinnamon and baking powder and whisk well.

Add the mashed bananas and mix all the ingredients till well blended to form a thick batter.

Arrange the sliced bananas on top.

Microwave on high for 9 minutes.

Serve hot.

Banana, zucchini, walnut bread

Banana, zucchini, walnut bread

I had asked my vegetable vendor to bring me zucchini, but by the time he brought it, I forgot what I had wanted to make in the first place. I had some overripe bananas, so I decided to try adding zucchini to my usual banana bread. It turned out delicious.

A healthy breakfast option

Ingredients

(Serves 4-5 persons)

All purpose flour 1 1/2 cups
Bananas 2, mashed
Zucchini 1 cup, grated
Sugar 3/4 cup
Baking powder 1 tsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Eggs 2, beaten
Walnuts 1/2 cup, roughly crushed
Vegetable oil 1/2 cup

Method

Preheat the oven at 350 degree F or 180 degree C.

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar. In another bowl mix well the eggs, bananas and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and add the zucchini too. Mix using a folding motion. Do not over-mix. Add the walnuts.

Grease a loaf pan and pour in the batter. Tap it on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake for 60 minutes. Check after 50 minutes using a toothpick in the centre of the loaf. If the toothpick comes out clean, take out the pan. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then let it cool on a rack. Slice it only after it is completely cool.

Gooey and moist inside, crisp outside
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