4 green plantains
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt, divided
2 Tbs oil, divided
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 small red onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 curry leaves
3 green chilies, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coconut, grated
2 Tbs coconut bits
1. Peel the plantains. Cut them lengthwise into quarters then slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
2. Put the plantains in a medium sauce pan with the turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover with water. Boil until tender, approximately 5-10 minutes. Pour out the remaining water. Remove the plantains from the pan. Mash them coarsely with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds and urad dal. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the onion and garlic. Fry until they are golden brown. Then add the green chilies, curry leaves, remaining salt, 1/2 cup of water and the mashed plantain. Stir to mix well. Fry for 5 minutes. Mix in the grated coconut. Fry for another 5 minutes.
4. Divide the plantain mixture into four or six portions. Place one portion in a ramekin, press gently to smooth the top the shake out the portion onto a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining portions. Drizzle the remaining oil over each portion.
5. Garnish with the coconut bits. Keep warm until ready to serve.
My recipe for Mashed Plantains was inspired by a popular recipe in Puerto Rico called Mofongo. It is made with fried plantains and seasoned with garlic and pork cracklings (fried pork rinds) then mashed in a mortar and pestle, and shaped in a ball. Kerala has a similar recipe that features plantains called Kaya Podimas (Stir-fried Bananas), a local specialty. This recipe combines the techniques and flavors of Puerto Rico and Kerala.
- Using a knife to cut into the plantains to facilitate peeling them.
- Mashed Plantains can be served as a side dish or as the base for a curry. When serving with a curry, press into the top to form a bowl so the curry can be poured into it.