Since I wrote my post a few weeks ago about Indian spiced cauliflower, I’ve been hankering for more spices and exotic flavors. I picked up a book at the library titled “Lord Krisna’s Cuisine: The Art of Vegetarian Cooking” by Yamuna Devi. I don’t remember if it was the first page I opened to or the second, but her appetizer recipe for Crispy Plantain Wafers called to my tastes buds. So, it’s time for another Indian treat: Baked Plantain Chips with Indian Spices…umm.
Technically, plantains are a fruit, but they are considered more of a vegetable, as many people cook them when they are still green or yellow. They are not sweet until the peel turn black. They are very tasty fried in olive oil and served with fried eggs and tomato sauce over rice in a dish called, Arroz a la Cubana –Cuban style rice in English. Devi says that in the south of India people are as fond of plantain wafers as Americans are of potato chips. In India, they are fried in coconut oil, which is a highly saturated fat. In my adapted version I use, you guessed it…olive oil. Why olive oil? According to Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist, olive oil is considered a healthy fat and may lower your risk of heart disease. OK, I know you know that. I’m just reminding you that you can always change a recipe and go for the healthier choice.
I’ve also adapted the spice from the original recipe. The only spice she used was turmeric, which was mixed with water applied from a spray bottle to crisp up the wafers. I didn’t include turmeric in my adapted version the recipe because this is a finger food, and turmeric will stain your fingers. My version calls for a spice mix sprinkled on when they come out of the oven. I agree with her that they can be quite addicting, like potato chips, and should be eaten with caution; nothing eaten in abundance can be good for you as it throws your body out of balance. Enjoy with reserve.
Servings: 6 (approximately 8 chips each)
Prep time: 45
Total time: 15 minutes
1 plantain – *When buying, look for yellow plantains speckled with black spots.
5 tablespoons olive oil (Much of this will remain in the pan when done.)
For Spice Mix:
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon chipotle, or some type of hot spice
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
*Note- for crunchier chips get a spray bottle full of water and finely spray the chips once or twice with a fine mist of water.
1) Remove the plantain skin with a paring knife. The plantain skin is not easy to remove like a banana, so trim it off with a small sharp knife.
2) Slice the plantain at an angle, no more than 1/8 of an inch thick. Soak the plantain ice water for 30 minutes.
3) Heat the oven to 375° and get a pan 10 ½ x 15 1/2, or a pan 12 x 17 that has sides ½-inch tall. Place 4 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and place the pan in the oven on the middle rack.
4) After the plantain has soaked in ice water remove them from the water and pat the slices dry with a tea towel.
5) Remove the baking sheet and spread the oil around evenly. Put the plantain slices on the baking sheet, placing more slices in the middle of the pan, as the one on the outer edges tend to cook faster.
6) Put the pan in the oven and bake approximately 15 minutes. This time will vary from oven to oven so watch the plantain carefully and flip the slices over halfway through the cooking time. You may have to rearrange the chips for even cooking.
7) Remove the chips from the oven when the chips are evenly browned. Place them on a couple of paper towels and pat them to soak up the oil. Next, place the chips on a plate and sprinkle the mixed spice on and toss the chips around with the spice. At this point they are ready to serve. Later if they become soggy, they can be toasted in a toaster-oven to crisp them up.
This recipe is posted at Simply Indulgent Tuesdays