On our tropical island, we grow plenty of local fruits like mangoes, litchis and guavas which are unfortunately seasonal ones. The only reliable, all-year-round fruit is the banana which has multiple usages in our present day cuisine. The banana may be eaten ripe or unripe, whole or mashed, raw or cooked and added to various sweet or savoury preparations. Known to be a rich source of potassium, it packs several health benefits and along with the flesh, the peel and young shoots may also be used as ingredients. Nowadays, the more common form of banana curry served as part of the traditional sept carris/ seven curries at wedding and prayer ceremonies is the Carri Banane Râpée. It makes a great side dish if you are planning to entertain with an Indian meal at home and looks even better if you manage to serve it on fresh banana leaves.

CARRI BANANE RAPEE

Ingredients:

10-12 unripe bananas

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon masala powder

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon garlic paste

1 large tomato, chopped

1 teaspoon table salt

1 bunch cilantro leaves

1 bunch spring onions

Few curry leaves/carri poulé

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method:

  • In a large pan, place unripe bananas and fill with water until bananas are completely covered. Bring to the boil over low heat.

  • After about 15-20 minutes, the skin of the bananas will darken and start to split. Remove from heat and drain excess water.

  • Leave to cool to room temperature before proceeding further. Once they are cooled, peel the bananas and discard the skin.

  • With a knife, scrape off a thin layer from the peeled bananas so that they do not have any residual fibers sticking to them.

  • Coarsely grate the bananas with a box grater and set aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add onion and fry lightly.

  • Add the spices and toast them until fragrant, then add tomatoes, garlic paste and curry leaves and cook for about 1 minute.

  • Next add grated bananas and carefully fold into spice mixture until coated and evenly yellow. Do not add water at any point.

  • Season with salt to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro and spring onions before serving. Best served warm with faratas.

Carri Banane Râpée