Nendran banana chips
Banana chips are made from a specific variety of banana called the nendran banana or Chengazhikodan Nendran Banana. These bananas have also been awarded a GI (Geographical Indication) tag. Nendran banana is predominantly found in the South Indian state of Kerala. You could have never missed these chips if you had gone on a Kerala tour.
In fact almost every bakery in Kerala has a dedicated area where they keep on frying these chips on a huge kadai or frying pan. These chips are also a must in our sadhya, in which its served along with the sweet chips. (My recipe coming up).
The flavour of these chips frying in coconut oil will be so inviting and tempting. Yes, it has to be coconut oil if you are looking for the authentic Keralite flavour. And believe me, the coconut flavour blends so well with the raw banana that enhances the taste.
My kids who refuse to have anything deep fried in coconut oil, just gobble up these. Still if you are not sure you can always use the oil that you prefer 🙂 . In fact when I was in Orissa, there was this small shop, ‘Hot chips’ at Sambalpur where they made all kinds of chips using vegetable oil. And these banana chips sold like hot cakes.
These days I see so many varieties of banana chips in the bakeries in Kerala – the thick ones, thin ones, sweet ones, spicy ones, flavoured ones etc. But our family favourite has always been the simple plain banana chips.
So much so, we never fail to buy kilos of these to be brought back to Qatar, for us as well as for our friends. It has been like that all these years, till suddenly it struck me that I should try frying it at home.
The special type of banana, otherwise called the nendran banana or nendran vazhai is available aplenty in Supermarkets here. You will also need the mandoline slicer which can slice very thinly. If you could source these two, making banana chips is a breeze.
The chips kept vanishing as I kept making it, as both hubby and kids are so fond of it. I was very pleased with the final outcome. Try it once, and you are going to love it.
Over to the recipe…
- 4 raw Kerala long bananas (Nendran banana or Chengalikodan)
- oil as needed to deep fry
- salt to taste
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- water as needed
- Take the bananas, wash and wipe them dry. Make a thin slit on the outer skin and peel the bananas.
- Keep the bananas immersed in turmeric water, so that they do not change color. Get the salted turmeric water ready in a bowl by adding ¼tsp of turmeric powder and required salt to 1 cup of water.
- Heat up oil in a frying pan. Once the oil becomes hot enough for frying, slice the bananas directly into the hot oil, using the mandolin slicer.
- Do not overcrowd the pan. Once the required quantity is sliced into the frying pan, sprinkle a handful of salted water on the frying banana pieces.
- Reduce the flame to medium and fry the banana slices till the bubbles die down and the 'shhh' sound stops.
- Drain onto a paper towel. Transfer to an airtight container once it cools down.
- The banana is usually easy to peel just with one slit. If you find it difficult, make a few more slits on the skin and then peel.
- The salt in the salt water for sprinkling can be adjusted to taste.
- Its always better to fry the banana slices in medium flame, as high heat can brown them without crisping.
- Raw bananas taste the best, though mine had slightly started to ripen on account of the delay in locating a mandolin slicer 🙂 .
You may also like my other snacks