Add a touch of flavor to your mealtime routine with this tasty and easy-to-make Indian-style spicy pan-fried plantains. Also known as balekai palya or vazhakkai poriyal, this dish is made with just a few simple ingredients and is ready in less than 20 minutes.
The combination of spices and pan-roasting gives the plantains a unique texture and flavor that is sure to delight your taste buds. Perfect as a side dish or main course, this recipe is a delicious way to incorporate more plantains into your diet.
Plantains are called kaccha kela in Hindi, balekai in Kannada, vazhakkai in Tamil, aratikaya in Telugu, and kanch kola in Bengali. This recipe of raw banana, or kachhe kele ki sabzi, is very common in Indian households, and there are several regional variations of this raw banana fry. This raw banana recipe I am sharing here is also popular as palya, poriyal, or vepudu in South Indian cuisine.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Quick and easy: This pan-fried plantains recipe requires only a few basic ingredients and can be prepared in less than 20 minutes, making it a quick and easy option for a weeknight dinner.
- Versatile: This balekai palya recipe can be customized to your taste preferences by adjusting the spices and adding vegetables.
- Delicious: The combination of spices and pan-roasting gives the dish a unique flavor and texture that is sure to be a hit with your taste buds.
Plantain: Unripe green plantains are the main ingredient of this dish.
Coconut oil: I prefer coconut oil as it elevates the dish in my opinion; however, if you find coconut oil too strong, you may choose to use any other cooking oil of your choice.
Curry leaves: Curry leaves are a common herb used in most South Indian savory dishes.
Whole and powdered spices: This dish has minimal spices. The whole spices used are mustard seeds and cumin seeds. The powdered spices I use here are turmeric powder and chili powder.
Fresh coconut and cilantro: They are optional and are used as a garnish. However, I highly recommend you do not skip them.
Step 1: Wash, peel, and chop the plantains into small cubes. Soak them in cold water (image 1).
Step 2: Place a
Step 3: Drain the water from the chopped plantain and add it to the
Step 4: Mix well, making sure the plantains are well-coated with spices. Cover and let it cook completely (images 4 and 5).
Step 5: Once the plantains are cooked, increase the heat and let them char slightly. Add grated coconut and cilantro (image 6) before serving the pan-fried plantains.
Select plantains that are unripe and firm, as overripe or soft plantains will not hold up well when cooked. Also, cut the plantain into even-sized pieces so that they cook evenly.
Soak the chopped plantains in cold water for at least 10 minutes. This will help remove the excess starch.
Do not add water when cooking the plantains, as the water will make them mushy. Cover the pan and let the plantains cook on low heat. The oil in the tempering, along with the steam that is created by covering the pan, is sufficient to cook the plantains and also create a beautiful crust.
Pan-fried vegetables like this one or this pan-fried broccoli are a lovely addition as a side dish to any meal and can be enjoyed on their own, too.
These two are similar in some ways but are not the same when it comes to flavor and usage. Cooking bananas usually refers to the variety that is used ripe. Unripe plantains are starchy, thick, and less sweet. They are mainly used in making savory dishes, while cooking bananas are used to make desserts.
While this dish is best served fresh, you can make it in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the dish in a pan or microwave before serving.
Yes. This recipe for raw banana fry is vegan and naturally gluten-free.
More South Indian vegetable sides
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Spicy Pan-Fried Plantains
- 3 green plantains (unripe)
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil or any cooking oil of your choice
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida hing
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon coconut fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- Peel the green plantain and dice them. Soak them in cold water for 10-15 minutes.
- Place a frying pan on medium heat and add coconut oil. Once it heats, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add cumin seeds, curry leaves, and hing. Saute for a few seconds.
- Drain the water completely from the diced plantain and add to the frying pan.
- Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well and reduce the heat to low.
- Cover and simmer until the plantain is completely cooked (don’t add water to cook the plantain. It needs to cook in the steam and oil. Adding water will make it mushy)
- Once the plantains are cooked, increase the heat and let them char slightly.
- Turn off the heat and top with coconut and cilantro. Serve hot.