Spicy Plantain Curry

(Photo by seriouslygood1/Flickr)

Serves 4.


500 g/1 lb green plantains
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
oil for frying
sprig of fresh curry leaves
small stick cinnamon
2 cardamom pods, bruised
small strip pandan leaf
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 fresh chillies, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon Ceylon curry powder
or 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon
ground fennel
500 ml/1 pint/2 cups coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
squeeze of lime juice


Prepare the plantains, rubbing the slices with turmeric and salt and setting aside for 15-20 minutes.

Deep fry a few slices at a time until golden. Pour off the oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons.

Heat oil and fry curry leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, pandan leaf and fenugreek seeds for 1-2 minutes. Add onion and chillies and fry a minute longer, then add the curry powder or individual spices, coconut milk, salt and chilli powder.

Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes.

Add lime juice to taste and serve with rice.

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