Nendrakkai chips are freely available in stores all over the world - branded as well as local. In fact the best ones are the ones that are made fresh in reliable stores and sold like hot chips. Nobody makes them at home now. Tell me who has the time, energy and patience?
And no they are not that economical either! Once upon a time I used it fry them at home as my boys loved the home-made ones - thin and crunchy. In Pune in the 80s, one could never be sure about the freshness of the chips from the market except during Vishu and Onam! (Kerala items like nendrakkai, chips, nendrapazham etc were not freely available in Pune then). So I'd buy half a dozen raw Kerala plantains when available and make a big steel 'dabba' full of nendrakkai chips which would be gone in 3 days!
Now let's get back to the recipe - this time I made chips with just three nendrakkais and it lasted for a week it - was just this old couple munching them for evening snacks!
- Nendrakkai (raw Kerala plantain)
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Wash the nendrakkai and make long lengthwise lines all around each of them with a knife.
- Pat one raw plantain dry and make thin slices using a grater, taking care not to pile them over but spread apart on a piece of paper so that they don’t stick together.
- Heat oil in frying pan.
- When it is hot, drop the slices spreading them all over in the oil.
- Remove them onto a tissue when they are a golden and the bubbles in the oil have subsided.
- Sprinkle salt over the hot chips and mix well and leave on a tissue paper.
- Repeat with the other rest of the plantains.
- Sprinkle salt soon after draining off the chips from the oil.
- Earlier I used to add 1 tsp of concentrated salt water just before the removing the chips from the oil; fry for 1/2 minute and drain off on to a tissue paper. This enabled uniform spread of salt but caused the oil to splatter and cleaning was an issue.
- I use minimum oil (say 1/3rd not ½ the kadhai) and have the patience to fry the chips in small batches – you see I don’t reuse the oil and I don’t want to waste too much oil!
© Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.