The inspiration for this week's cooking experiment came from Tarla Dalal's newsletter(www.tarladalal.com) which sends a bunch of 'new' recipes every 15 days or so. Now at this point, it is important to note that I am biased against Tarla Dalal's recipes. I have unsuccessfully tried following some of her very 'novel' westernized dishes with Indian ingredients. Mrs. Dalal, I like to follow recipies so that I don't have to exercise my noggin, but your 'novel' , 'imaginative' recipes need constant improvisation which makes me doubt if they have been tested. But credit should be given where credit is deserved. Kudos to you for building your own 'empire' and brand name all over the world based on the simple ingredients of vegetarianism. But - call me biased or inexperienced, I would recommend only your strictly Gujarati recipes to friends who are starting out. That said, MIL is a HUGE fan of yours and owns a copy of almost all of your books. One of them is also personally autographed by you.
On to today's topic. So Mrs. Dalal's recipe called for using the microwave oven to crisp the banana chips, but I had my doubts if that would work since microwaves tend to make wet foods soggy at the bottom. So I decided to use the conventional oven instead. One of these days I will try this using the microwave and report the results (which may be just as good)
One Raw Banana (Plaintain)
(or any other masala that strikes your fancy)
oil a few tsps
How to proceed
Peel the raw banana. This step was the hardest in my case because I own a lousy peeler which took several rounds of peeling to remove all the thick skin. I didnot want to use a knife and loose majority of the pulp. I would like any recommendation on what kind of gadgets would work well for plaintains.
Use a box grater or slicer to slice wafer thin rounds of the plaintain. The thinner the slices are, the faster it will crisp. You HAVE to be careful if you are using a conventional grater for this.
Preheat oven to ~400F. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. In a bowl (or a ziploc bag if you don't wont to dirty too many dishes) place the slices, add about 2 tbsps of oil and salt to taste. Toss around to coat both sides of the slices. Place the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Use 2 baking sheets if you are making a big batch. Place in oven for 15 mins or till crisp. Flip over the slices once in between.
Once out if the oven and still hot, toss in other dry masalas like jeera pow, chilli pow etc.
Enjoy with rice and dal or rice and sambar or eat it just as is.