Though plantains originated in India, it quickly spread to other tropical countries and is now sold in most fresh produce sections of the supermarkets. They look like green bananas but they may have darker or blackish skin. On the inside (once peeled), they are starchy and cream colored.
Plantain relatively has more calories weight for weight than that in the table bananas. 100 g plantain holds about 122 calories, while dessert banana has only 89 calories. Which is why it is important to watch out for the quantity you are consuming.
Health benefits of plantain:-
- Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A plays a vital role in the visual cycle, maintaining healthy mucus membranes, and enhancing skin complexion.
- They also provide adequate levels of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorous. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well.
- They contain 2.3 g of dietary fiber per 100 g.
- Fresh plantains have more potassium than bananas
Being a close relative of bananas, plantains too often can be a cause for skin and systemic allergic reactions in some sensitive individuals. Please watch out for these symptoms if you are eating plantain for the first time -“Oral allergy syndrome,” is a condition in which eating banana family foods may cause itching and swelling in the mouth or throat within hours.
This is a modification of a well know south Indian recipe.
3 plantains (washed, peeled and sliced)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons lime juice
cayenne powder (a pinch)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 cup chopped scallions or red onion
2 table spoons canola/sesame oil
4-5 curry leaves (optional)
2 green chilies
14 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat.
Add in the mustard, ginger and cumin. In a minute add the chopped green chilies and curry leaves and fry for 1 minute. Add in the plantain (raw banana). Sprinkle a few drops of water in the skillet and place a lid on it. Cook for 5 minutes.
Now, remove the lid, stir the raw banana and cook on low flame for 6-7 minutes.
Add salt, turmeric, cayenne and cilantro. Cook on low heat for another 5 minutes while stirring.
Turn off the heat and add lime juice and stir.
Eat this wonderful plantain fry with brown rice or roti.