I love the traditional appetiser(almost an entree)of Pazham Nirachathu..., plantain filled with coconut, nuts and raisins, sealed with maida and then deep fried in oil. It is one of the items on the Ramazan Iftar menu. I was always on the eating end of this particular preparation and never really learnt how to make it from scratch. My last few attempts with the willful plantains available here turned out to be disasters with the filling coming out, the bananas breaking up and so forth. If anyone has a foolproof method of making it, do send me the recipe.
Meanwhile, my friend was recently at a party in Calicut where she had this eclectic presentation of the plantain filled, and she suggested I try making it. It seemed simple enough from her description and had everything from the traditional recipe in its ingredients.
So I did and was thrilled to get all the flavors of the original recipe in a much more bite sized and low fat morsel. It works well as an appetiser as well as a delicious dessert with cinnamon icecream. Even as a weekend breakfast!
You will need:
1 Medium ripe Plantains
Coconut Grated-1/2 cup
Sugar- 1 tbsp( more or less as per sweetness required)
Cardamom Powder-1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts-2 tbsp chopped
Raisins- 1 tbsp
Ghee or oil-2 tbsp
1. Saute the coconut,nuts and raisins on slow heat till it gives out its aroma and is slightly toasted. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and mix well till the sugar is blended in.
2. Peel the bananas and cut into half. Now cut each half into about three thick slices along its length. Heat a non stick pan, reduce the heat to medium low and add the ghee or oil. Gently saute the slices for about 30 seconds on each side or till it turns golden yellow, which is an indicator that it is cooked. It is very important that the banana be just ripe. If the banana is too ripe, it breaks down fast(as you can see in my photo, some were just a bit too ripe.),and then you cannot roll it easily. It has to be just a bit unripe for the perfect texture.
3. Drain each slice onto paper towels. When it cools, spread a thin layer of the sticky coconut filling on each slice and roll it up carefully, securing it with a toothpick. Thats it, keep doing that for all the slices and serve hot or cold.