Green Plantain Skin Temperado

(Photo by Arbitrary.Marks/Flickr)
(Photo by Arbitrary.Marks/Flickr)

Serves 2.

Ingredients

3 or 4 plantains or 2 if very large
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 scant teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried prawns
1/2-1 teaspoon chilli powder

For finishing
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves


Directions

With a sharp paring knife cut off and discard the stem end of each plantain. (It helps to smear the hands lightly with oil before preparing plantains to protect against sticky sap.) When removing the skin, first make a shallow scraping cut and pull away and discard any long fibres in the outer layer, as you would with celery.

Slice off the skin with a small sharp knife, as if peeling a potato thickly. Because the skin will discolour very quickly, shred it crossways into thin shreds and put it straight into a small saucepan with the cup of water and the next 4 ingredients. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until skins are soft.

Meanwhile, cut the peeled plantains into thick slices, rub both sides of each slice with ground turmeric and salt and set aside. When dried prawns and plantain skins are soft and water almost evaporated, in another pan (preferably a wok which requires very little oil) heat the oil and fry the onions and curry leaves on medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are brown. Add contents of the first pan to the oil and continue to toss mixture over heat until almost no liquid remains.

Serve as an accompaniment to rice.


Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)