Kerala Banana Chips - Onam Special Recipe
I don't know whether a Malayali really requires a recipe for Banana Chips. It is like drinking milk or eating biscuit at a very young age and it is an inseparable part of the Onasadya. By the time the infinite number of curries are served to everyone, if you can munch on these chips and the sharkaravaratti as an appetizer. Though we lived in Tamilnadu when we were young there were specific bakeries that sell banana chips. Now that i live in Kerala, it may sound crazy to make these chips at home. Because you can see these chips being made in every other corner shop in bulk quantities...and all you have to do is just go grab few packets....yeah...one pack is never enough.....
Since the season is also on, the quality conscious Malayali is a bit concerned about the oil being used and the health issues that can come with it....we cannot even buy coconut oil because many brands were banned a few weeks ago...so i took the safe bet and fried this in vegetable oil....
Raw Banana (Kerala variety called Ethakka) - as much as you want (I used 1 kg organic raw banana- 10 numbers - it was smaller than the usual ones available in the market)
Salt solution - Mix 10 tsp water with 2 tsp salt (Check the first batch of chips and adjust salt)
Vegetable Oil or Coconut Oil to fry
Place a wide pan with water enough to immerse the peeled fruit. Add salt and turmeric to it to removed the starch.
It is tricky to peel a raw banana. Run a knife on the banana lengthwise without touching the fruit. Repeat the same on the other side of the banana. Gently start peeling with your hands or knife. Place the peeled banana in the pan filled with salted water. Let the peeled banana stand in water for an hours. Then rinse it in running water and pat dry with a tea towel...it will not blacken.
Heat oil it a pan. What you see in this frying pan is 2 sliced bananas.
Use a slicer or a heavy knife and chop 2 bananas at a time. Add to the hot oil and keep stirring with a bamboo skewer or a knife to ensure the chips doesn't stick together. When the aggressive bubbling of the oil stops, turn to medium flame and add 2 tsp salt solution and keep stirring. At this stage stay a little away from the frying pan. When you hear a rustling sound or a hollow sound while gently tapping the chips, it is done. Use a slotted spoon and drain from oil. You can either place it in a paper towel or any other pan. Once cooled store it in an air tight container and don't forget to hide it....otherwise it will be gone in no time... :-)