TRANSLATE

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pathekaan (Banana Chips) - Kuswar 4 - and Celebrating Terra Madre at the Mumbai Food Bloggers' Meet

While I had planned back to back posts of the Kuswar series, I had to take a short break to focus on what I was going to make for the potluck dinner on Saturday, the 10th of December where the food bloggers in Mumbai met. Incidentally on the 10th of December  the global network of Slow Food and Terra Madre came together to celebrate the Terra Madre ('Terra' stands for earth and 'Madre' means mother) and promote local food. Terra Madre is coordinated by the Slow Food Organisation, a movement which lays emphasis on using locally available ingredients and traditional cooking methods to preserve culinary diversity.    This movement was started as a resistance to the opening of McDonald's in Rome in 1986 and was officially founded in 1989 'to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world" read more

The Mumbai food bloggers' also celebrated the Terra Madre Day by way of a potluck dinner - organised by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal and hosted by Nikhil Merchant - each one of us was required to bring a dish that was made with ingredients that were either local or seasonal or a dish that was traditional and/or uncommon. It was my first time to the bloggers meet & was very excited to meet everyone. I chose to take a traditional Mangalorean dish that was pretty unpopular outside Mangalore, was made differently by each community in Mangalore and suited the theme of Slow Cooking very aptly. Any guesses? Well, I made the quintessential Mangalorean Pathrade/Pathrode in a curry. Since I was aware that there would be vegans and vegetarians as well, I prepared a vegan (without meat and ghee) version and a non vegetarian (mutton curry) version. For those of you who don't know what Pathrade is - well, it is nothing but rice cakes made of rice and colocasia (arbi) leaves and spices. The Catholics steam this mixture in Teak leaves. Mangalorean Bunts, Konkans and Brahmins make it differently - ground masala paste is smeared on each leaf and then stacked one above the other, rolled and steamed or cut into pieces and fried before consuming. Since I didn't find Teak leaves in Mumbai, I simply steamed the cakes in banana leaves - the result was just perfect.


The dishes brought by others revolved around the same theme - I was not only introduced to new cuisines but also unfamiliar ingredients, methods and flavours. We also had two chefs who graced the event,. one of them was Vikas Khanna (of MasterChef India fame) who is also a Michelin starred Indian chef based in New York. Since I religiously follow MasterChef India (which he also judges) it was a huge surprise and a pleasure to have him present at the meet.

Coming back to our recipe for today - whoever doesn't like banana chips, please raise your hand - I am sure there are very few people who do not like these addictive chips made from our humble Nendra bananas. Nendra Bale (in Kannada) /Nandarkai (in Konkani) as we call them in Mangalore are colloquially known as the Macho banana or Kerala Banana. They are usually consumed in their ripe form and are very nutritious and delicious. Some people can barely finish a whole large banana in one go and you can equate each banana to at least 6-7 elaichi bananas! That's a lot of bananas eh? In the South, the dried & powdered form of the semi ripe banana is one of the first foods offered to babies when they are weaned as it is highly nutritious and naturally sweet which is what appeals to fussy eaters as well.


These ubiquitous chips score over the potato chips in South India and are a favourite among many people I know. These much loved chips however are not made in most homes in Mangalore today, maybe because not everyone has the time & patience to slice & fry the unripe bananas and maybe because many do not know the process. Neither did I - just learnt them from my MIL recently and was amazed at the simplicity of making them at home - honestly, I think this is one snack I don't mind deep frying at home (I am not a fan of deep fried foods but have to give in to the pressure from hubs & the little brat once in a way). Making your own banana chips is the best way to ensure a cost effective (unless you are frying in olive oil!) and fresh batch made right in your kitchen. Since you have complete control over the quality of oil used to deep fry you can ensure that you have healthier snacks at home. I have made these twice in the past 3 weeks and each time they have been finished before I could even store them in an airtight box!


These chips are called as 'Pathekaan' (n is silent - just a nasal pronunciation) in Konkani and figure in the Kuswar platter which is usually dominated by sweets. The Pathekaan along with Khara Kaddi (spicy sticks made of chickpea flour) are probably the only two items that are savoury. If you can find raw Nendra bananas, do give these chips a try. You will love them!


Pathekaan (Banana Chips)
Yield: 300gm (approx)

You Need:
  • 4 raw Nendrakai bananas
  • oil for deep frying
For the salt solution
  • 1/2 - 3/4th tsp salt (for moderately salty chips)
  • 3 tbsp water
You also need:
  • a potato chip slicer or a mandolin blade



Preparing the bananas
1.) Wash the bananas & pat them dry. Run a knife gently along the length of each banana taking care to see that the knife does not cut through the flesh of the banana - make cuts with the knife only as deep as the outer green skin. When you have made approx 5-6 such vertical cuts, carefully skin the bananas using the tip of the knife if required. Peel the entire banana & retain the peels - you can cook an interesting side dish (Click for recipe). 
2.) Repeat the process and peel all the bananas & immediately place them in a large bowl of water - this will help the bananas to retain the colour otherwise they will turn black


Preparing the salt solution
Dissolve the salt into the water. Keep it aside

Deep frying the chips
1.) Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed kadhai or a deep wok. Let the flame be medium high. Hold the slicer at a safe height over the kadhai & quickly slice the banana so that the pieces drop into the hot oil. 
2.) Using a slotted spoon give the chips a stir and continue to cook them on a medium high flame. The colour will slowly begin to change from off-white to pale yellow & then bright yellow. Ensure that you give a mix every now & then so all the chips fry evenly.
3.) Around 1-1/2 minutes into the frying process, add about 2 tsp of the salt solution into the kadhai. You will hear a furious gurgling of the oil as the salt water spreads into the kadhai. Wait for this sound to subside.
4.) You can then remove the chips ladle by ladle. Ensure that the oil has been drained from the chips by placing the ladle against the side of the kadhai for a few seconds before transferring onto an absorbent kitchen tissue. Continue to fry the remaining bananas.
5.) Allow the chips to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container. The chips keep well for 10-12 days if they haven't been eaten by then!


Pic1: Slice the banana into the hot oil
Pic2: Fry until the colour turns into a bright yellow, scoop out the chips with a slotted spoon
Pic3: Drain excess oil on an absorbent kitchen tissue
Pic4: Store in an airtight container

Notes:
  • Ensure that you buy absolutely raw bananas as they will be hard to slice once they start to ripen. If you do not find this variety, you can use plantains too (plantains are the variety that are used for cooking)
  • An average wide mouthed kadhai accomodates chips of one banana at a time. Do not overcrowd the kadhai as the chips will not fry evenly. 
  • You need to slice the banana quickly and carefully as the heat can get uncomfortable if you delay (as we call 'Dhaau' in Konkani - which can burn your hands if you are inexperienced with this). Also, take care not to drop the slices from such as height that the oil splash outside the pan.

23 comments:

  1. love 2 munch on them anytime...missed d potluck..:(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow ! glad to hear that you enjoyed the meet and met big guns like Vikas Khanna ! Addictive chips and beautiful pictures

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  3. the meet sounds fun and glad u had a whale of a time meeting other foodie bloggers including the celebrity chef ! banana chips looks wow and ur on a roll shireen !! there is a giveaway in my blog- check it out & participate if you wish !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to hear that you had a whale of a time Shireen. Lovely clicks makes it look as it is present there for real.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is pure torture for me as i love coconut oil fried banana chips. Yours are fried in a different oil but looks exactly like the plain ones in CO..
    I make the chips sometimes but Nendran banana has a different flavor n texture in chips n i am yet to make them with nendran banana.

    The food bloggers meet sounds really fun. Your kuswar series is like a tutorial...keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely clicks! :) Hey! DO the food bloggers meet every often? I wanna join next time! :)
    -
    Kavi
    (Edible Entertainment)
    Ongoing events:
    Jingle All The Way &
    Microwave Easy Cooking
    Have a great day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. lovely clicks Shireen...these seriously look better than the store bought chips...looks so fresh and crisp...i love to munch on banana chips..but only thin and crisp ones...these look perfect

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are really really addictive for sure. I make them in the same way Shireen, and now you have given me the craving again :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. cant be more perfect !! looks so crispy and fresh !!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I absolutely love banana chips and this looks so thin and crisp just like the way mum makes it...yumm!

    ReplyDelete
  11. that looks yummy shireen.....slurppp!

    ReplyDelete
  12. chips look fabulous... delicious and crunchy...

    ReplyDelete
  13. first time here and a very nice space...Glad to hear that tyou liked the meet and got to meet Biggies like Vikas Khanna..

    Do drop in at my space when u get time

    ReplyDelete
  14. perfect..Looks so crispy and tempting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Quite addictive chips,feel like munching some..

    ReplyDelete
  16. shireen, hello again! glad to be back here... and what great timing since I love love banana chips.. but not tasted anything like yours yet. im intrigued on how it taste like especially that it's fried on coconut milk...hmmm i could smell it bursting with a sweet flavor.
    glad to know about your awesome blog event over there in Mumbai... more power!
    malou

    ReplyDelete
  17. You r just amazng in your explanations and how you show each stage....not joking the best blog ever in layout and explanations. How can I give you an award?
    Even a novice can cook with the details you provide. If you took out a book I would preorder prior to publshing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. i have missed the fresh banana chips since i moved to seattle. also coz hubbs is allergic to banana.. your chips look so fresh, crunchy and beautiful! made even more gorgeous by your lovely clicks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The chips look lovely crisp and delicious. Anzzcafe has completed one year of blogging. I wish to thank you for your support and words of encouragement. You have been a sure motivator. Thanx

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Shireen, thanks for linking this to Jingle All The Way. Could you please mention the event with the link?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you! Thank you! And thank you yet again for all the lovely words you have said about this post!!

    Anonymous: I am floored!! Seriously! You will preorder my book before it is published!! Thank u so much!! I will let u know whenever I publish a book!!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pathekaan (Banana Chips) - Kuswar 4 - and Celebrating Terra Madre at the Mumbai Food Bloggers' Meet

While I had planned back to back posts of the Kuswar series, I had to take a short break to focus on what I was going to make for the potluck dinner on Saturday, the 10th of December where the food bloggers in Mumbai met. Incidentally on the 10th of December  the global network of Slow Food and Terra Madre came together to celebrate the Terra Madre ('Terra' stands for earth and 'Madre' means mother) and promote local food. Terra Madre is coordinated by the Slow Food Organisation, a movement which lays emphasis on using locally available ingredients and traditional cooking methods to preserve culinary diversity.    This movement was started as a resistance to the opening of McDonald's in Rome in 1986 and was officially founded in 1989 'to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world" read more

The Mumbai food bloggers' also celebrated the Terra Madre Day by way of a potluck dinner - organised by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal and hosted by Nikhil Merchant - each one of us was required to bring a dish that was made with ingredients that were either local or seasonal or a dish that was traditional and/or uncommon. It was my first time to the bloggers meet & was very excited to meet everyone. I chose to take a traditional Mangalorean dish that was pretty unpopular outside Mangalore, was made differently by each community in Mangalore and suited the theme of Slow Cooking very aptly. Any guesses? Well, I made the quintessential Mangalorean Pathrade/Pathrode in a curry. Since I was aware that there would be vegans and vegetarians as well, I prepared a vegan (without meat and ghee) version and a non vegetarian (mutton curry) version. For those of you who don't know what Pathrade is - well, it is nothing but rice cakes made of rice and colocasia (arbi) leaves and spices. The Catholics steam this mixture in Teak leaves. Mangalorean Bunts, Konkans and Brahmins make it differently - ground masala paste is smeared on each leaf and then stacked one above the other, rolled and steamed or cut into pieces and fried before consuming. Since I didn't find Teak leaves in Mumbai, I simply steamed the cakes in banana leaves - the result was just perfect.


The dishes brought by others revolved around the same theme - I was not only introduced to new cuisines but also unfamiliar ingredients, methods and flavours. We also had two chefs who graced the event,. one of them was Vikas Khanna (of MasterChef India fame) who is also a Michelin starred Indian chef based in New York. Since I religiously follow MasterChef India (which he also judges) it was a huge surprise and a pleasure to have him present at the meet.

Coming back to our recipe for today - whoever doesn't like banana chips, please raise your hand - I am sure there are very few people who do not like these addictive chips made from our humble Nendra bananas. Nendra Bale (in Kannada) /Nandarkai (in Konkani) as we call them in Mangalore are colloquially known as the Macho banana or Kerala Banana. They are usually consumed in their ripe form and are very nutritious and delicious. Some people can barely finish a whole large banana in one go and you can equate each banana to at least 6-7 elaichi bananas! That's a lot of bananas eh? In the South, the dried & powdered form of the semi ripe banana is one of the first foods offered to babies when they are weaned as it is highly nutritious and naturally sweet which is what appeals to fussy eaters as well.


These ubiquitous chips score over the potato chips in South India and are a favourite among many people I know. These much loved chips however are not made in most homes in Mangalore today, maybe because not everyone has the time & patience to slice & fry the unripe bananas and maybe because many do not know the process. Neither did I - just learnt them from my MIL recently and was amazed at the simplicity of making them at home - honestly, I think this is one snack I don't mind deep frying at home (I am not a fan of deep fried foods but have to give in to the pressure from hubs & the little brat once in a way). Making your own banana chips is the best way to ensure a cost effective (unless you are frying in olive oil!) and fresh batch made right in your kitchen. Since you have complete control over the quality of oil used to deep fry you can ensure that you have healthier snacks at home. I have made these twice in the past 3 weeks and each time they have been finished before I could even store them in an airtight box!


These chips are called as 'Pathekaan' (n is silent - just a nasal pronunciation) in Konkani and figure in the Kuswar platter which is usually dominated by sweets. The Pathekaan along with Khara Kaddi (spicy sticks made of chickpea flour) are probably the only two items that are savoury. If you can find raw Nendra bananas, do give these chips a try. You will love them!


Pathekaan (Banana Chips)
Yield: 300gm (approx)

You Need:
  • 4 raw Nendrakai bananas
  • oil for deep frying
For the salt solution
  • 1/2 - 3/4th tsp salt (for moderately salty chips)
  • 3 tbsp water
You also need:
  • a potato chip slicer or a mandolin blade



Preparing the bananas
1.) Wash the bananas & pat them dry. Run a knife gently along the length of each banana taking care to see that the knife does not cut through the flesh of the banana - make cuts with the knife only as deep as the outer green skin. When you have made approx 5-6 such vertical cuts, carefully skin the bananas using the tip of the knife if required. Peel the entire banana & retain the peels - you can cook an interesting side dish (Click for recipe). 
2.) Repeat the process and peel all the bananas & immediately place them in a large bowl of water - this will help the bananas to retain the colour otherwise they will turn black


Preparing the salt solution
Dissolve the salt into the water. Keep it aside

Deep frying the chips
1.) Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed kadhai or a deep wok. Let the flame be medium high. Hold the slicer at a safe height over the kadhai & quickly slice the banana so that the pieces drop into the hot oil. 
2.) Using a slotted spoon give the chips a stir and continue to cook them on a medium high flame. The colour will slowly begin to change from off-white to pale yellow & then bright yellow. Ensure that you give a mix every now & then so all the chips fry evenly.
3.) Around 1-1/2 minutes into the frying process, add about 2 tsp of the salt solution into the kadhai. You will hear a furious gurgling of the oil as the salt water spreads into the kadhai. Wait for this sound to subside.
4.) You can then remove the chips ladle by ladle. Ensure that the oil has been drained from the chips by placing the ladle against the side of the kadhai for a few seconds before transferring onto an absorbent kitchen tissue. Continue to fry the remaining bananas.
5.) Allow the chips to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container. The chips keep well for 10-12 days if they haven't been eaten by then!


Pic1: Slice the banana into the hot oil
Pic2: Fry until the colour turns into a bright yellow, scoop out the chips with a slotted spoon
Pic3: Drain excess oil on an absorbent kitchen tissue
Pic4: Store in an airtight container

Notes:
  • Ensure that you buy absolutely raw bananas as they will be hard to slice once they start to ripen. If you do not find this variety, you can use plantains too (plantains are the variety that are used for cooking)
  • An average wide mouthed kadhai accomodates chips of one banana at a time. Do not overcrowd the kadhai as the chips will not fry evenly. 
  • You need to slice the banana quickly and carefully as the heat can get uncomfortable if you delay (as we call 'Dhaau' in Konkani - which can burn your hands if you are inexperienced with this). Also, take care not to drop the slices from such as height that the oil splash outside the pan.

23 comments:

  1. love 2 munch on them anytime...missed d potluck..:(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow ! glad to hear that you enjoyed the meet and met big guns like Vikas Khanna ! Addictive chips and beautiful pictures

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  3. the meet sounds fun and glad u had a whale of a time meeting other foodie bloggers including the celebrity chef ! banana chips looks wow and ur on a roll shireen !! there is a giveaway in my blog- check it out & participate if you wish !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Glad to hear that you had a whale of a time Shireen. Lovely clicks makes it look as it is present there for real.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is pure torture for me as i love coconut oil fried banana chips. Yours are fried in a different oil but looks exactly like the plain ones in CO..
    I make the chips sometimes but Nendran banana has a different flavor n texture in chips n i am yet to make them with nendran banana.

    The food bloggers meet sounds really fun. Your kuswar series is like a tutorial...keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely clicks! :) Hey! DO the food bloggers meet every often? I wanna join next time! :)
    -
    Kavi
    (Edible Entertainment)
    Ongoing events:
    Jingle All The Way &
    Microwave Easy Cooking
    Have a great day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. lovely clicks Shireen...these seriously look better than the store bought chips...looks so fresh and crisp...i love to munch on banana chips..but only thin and crisp ones...these look perfect

    ReplyDelete
  8. These are really really addictive for sure. I make them in the same way Shireen, and now you have given me the craving again :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. cant be more perfect !! looks so crispy and fresh !!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I absolutely love banana chips and this looks so thin and crisp just like the way mum makes it...yumm!

    ReplyDelete
  11. that looks yummy shireen.....slurppp!

    ReplyDelete
  12. chips look fabulous... delicious and crunchy...

    ReplyDelete
  13. first time here and a very nice space...Glad to hear that tyou liked the meet and got to meet Biggies like Vikas Khanna..

    Do drop in at my space when u get time

    ReplyDelete
  14. perfect..Looks so crispy and tempting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Quite addictive chips,feel like munching some..

    ReplyDelete
  16. shireen, hello again! glad to be back here... and what great timing since I love love banana chips.. but not tasted anything like yours yet. im intrigued on how it taste like especially that it's fried on coconut milk...hmmm i could smell it bursting with a sweet flavor.
    glad to know about your awesome blog event over there in Mumbai... more power!
    malou

    ReplyDelete
  17. You r just amazng in your explanations and how you show each stage....not joking the best blog ever in layout and explanations. How can I give you an award?
    Even a novice can cook with the details you provide. If you took out a book I would preorder prior to publshing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. i have missed the fresh banana chips since i moved to seattle. also coz hubbs is allergic to banana.. your chips look so fresh, crunchy and beautiful! made even more gorgeous by your lovely clicks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The chips look lovely crisp and delicious. Anzzcafe has completed one year of blogging. I wish to thank you for your support and words of encouragement. You have been a sure motivator. Thanx

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Shireen, thanks for linking this to Jingle All The Way. Could you please mention the event with the link?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you! Thank you! And thank you yet again for all the lovely words you have said about this post!!

    Anonymous: I am floored!! Seriously! You will preorder my book before it is published!! Thank u so much!! I will let u know whenever I publish a book!!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)