Which food item comes to your mind when you think of Christmas? Is it Fruit Cake and Wine or is it something like Appam & Stew? Ok, tell me.. do you have any crunchy munchy snacks like Diamond Cuts associated with Christmas? Now, this particular snack is something which my Ammachi (maternal grandmother) used to make. Ammachi used to make sharkkara varatti (jaggery coated chips) during Onam time and this chips during Christmas time. I remember eating them out of big aluminium dhabbas (containers) during my childhood. I had it very rarely after my Ammachi passed away.
During my recent trip to Kerala, my Amma made this. She got a “vazhakkula” and made banana chips, this one and sharkkara varatti(jaggery coated chips). I should say, it was a sight to see! As I’ve said before, Amma gets into the cooking mode very rarely. When she switches onto that mode, it’s almost like a kid playing with a new toy. The excitement is always sky high! The initial plan was just to make chips. But since I was roaming around the kitchen with my camera, her excitement doubled and she got the idea of making this. Immediately, a few calls were made to her sisters to get the technical know how of it and she swung into action.
I actually felt like clicking her pictures to capture the various expressions. When these chips took it’s final shape, her face was beaming with pride, excitement and happiness. I’m not sure whether it’s the result of simple joy that cooking gives you or the joy of being able to recreate something that her mom used to make! After all food is always served with a plateful of memories on the side, right? Her excitement didnt end in the kitchen. Whoever visited our home after that, got a taste of these chips along with a generous share of her excitement :)
Well, it tasted great! She packed a small batch for Jose also and after tasting it, he didnt even allow me to touch the packet! I managed to keep aside a few, so that I can take some pictures and share it with you too. Here you go Amma, this post is for you! May the joy of cooking fill your life more often ;)
May be you can try this sugar coated chips instead of sugar cookies for a change, what say, my friend :)
Step by step pictures…
Cut the peeled plantains into oval shaped slices. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and give it a good shake.Heat oil in a deep pan/wok. When oil is hot enough, add the sliced plantains. Stir in between and make sure the chips arent sticking together. Fry till it turns crispy.The chips should be slightly crispier than the normal banana chips. Remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a tissue paper.
Heat together the sugar and water in a pan. When the sugar has melted completely and the syrup has reached single thread consistency, remove from fire. Stir continuously for 2 more mins and add crushed cardamom…
- Raw green plantains – 500 gms (2 large)
- Turmeric powder – ¼ – ½ tsp
- Sugar – 100 gms
- Water – 50 ml
- Cardamom – 4-5
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Oil – for deep frying
- Peel the plantains and soak them in water for a min or two. Pat them dry using a clean kitchen towel. Cut them into oval shaped slices. It should be slightly thicker than the normal banana chips (refer the step by step pics). Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and give it a good shake.
- Heat oil in a deep pan/wok. When oil is really hot,reduce the flame to medium-high and add the sliced plantains.You can add one slice and check whether the oil is hot enough. Make sure you dont overcrowd the pan. You can fry it in 2-3 batches, depending on the size of pan, you are using.
- Stir in between and make sure the chips aren’t sticking together. Once the chips are ready, it will make a specific sound, when you stir it. After hearing that sound, reduce the flame to medium and cook for a few more mins. This chips should be slightly crispier than the normal banana chips. Remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a tissue paper. Let it cool completely.
- Check out Annita’s post to see a detailed version of making banana chips (http://deepann.wordpress.com/2008/08/19/vaazhakka-upperiplantain-chips/)
- Powder the cardamom along with 1 tsp of sugar in a mixie.
- Take a wide pan and add sugar and water. When the sugar melts completely and reaches one thread consistency (refer notes for details) remove it from fire. Keep stirring continuously for 2 more mins and add crushed cardamom powder and chips. Keep stirring it, till all the pieces are well coated with the sugar syrup. Make sure the chips aren’t sticking together, separate it using a fork, if it’s sticking together. Spread it out in the pan itself and let it cool. Once it’s cooled completely and the sugar has crystalised, store it in an airtight container. It keeps well for 2-3 weeks.