Also known as
Kaccha kela, Vaayaka, Plantain Banana
What is Raw Banana, Kaccha Kela?Raw bananas/ Plantains belong to the banana family but tend to be firmer and cannot be eaten raw. They require cooking and are used when green or under ripe. They are a staple food in tropical regions of the world and are used in varied ways like steamed, fried etc. They are referred to as "potatoes of the Caribbean" since they resemble in flavour.
The peel of raw bananas doesn't come off easily and thus has to be peeled off mostly using a peeler or a knife. Do note that the juice from peeling the plant can stain clothing and when it sticks to the hand, it is difficult to remove. Thus, always oil your hands lightly before peeling and chopping raw bananas.
Boiled peeled and mashed raw banana
To boil raw bananas, place the bananas on a perforated sieve and fill the pressure cooker with enough water. Place the sieve on a stand inside the cooker and pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles or till they are cooked. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid and keep aside to cool. Peel the skin and discard it. Mash them using a potato masher. Use as required.
Chopped raw banana
Make light slits on the raw banana peels at equal distance using the tip of a sharp knife while taking care not to slit the raw banana. Trim both the edges of the raw banana and gently remove the peel using your fingers. Place the peeled raw banana on a chopping board and cut the banana lengthwise into 2 equal halves. Make slits at regular intervals lengthwise on each halve. Line all the long strips together and cut horizontally to obtain and chopped raw banana. You can cut finely chopped or roughly chopped raw banana.
Grated raw banana
Make light slits on the raw banana peels at equal distance using the tip of a sharp knife while taking care not to slit the raw banana. Trim both the edges of the raw banana and gently remove the peel using your fingers. Hold the thick/ thin end of the grater in one hand and the peeled raw banana in the other hand. Now place the raw banana on the blade and push it downwards using the force of your hands to get grated strands of raw banana. You can grate it thickly or thinly as per the recipe requirement. Before grating you may cook the banana as the recipe demands.
Parboiled and diagonally cut raw banana
To parboil raw bananas, cut each banana into 2 pieces along with its skin. Wash well and place them in boiling water in a deep pan and cook till they are 80% cooked. Drain, peel the skin and place the pieces on a chopping board. Now using a sharp knife, cut each half vertically and then cut into a series of diagonal slices. You can cut them into thick or thin diagonal slices as per the recipe requirement.
Raw banana roundels
Make light slits on the raw banana peels at equal distance using the tip of a sharp knife while taking care not to slit the raw banana. Trim both the edges of the raw banana and gently remove the peel using your fingers. Place the peeled raw banana horizontally on a chopping board and slice it at 1/2 inch diameter across the board to get raw banana roundels . Use as required.
Sliced raw banana
Make light slits on the raw banana peels at equal distance using the tip of a sharp knife while taking care not to slit the raw banana. Trim both the edges of the raw banana and gently remove the peel using your fingers. Place the peeled raw banana horizontally on a chopping board and slice it at 1/4 inch diameter across the board to get sliced raw banana. Use as required.
How to select Raw Banana, Kaccha Kela
Ensure that the colour of the banana is green, is firm to hold and not ripe. Check that the skin is free from blemishes and is smooth.
Culinary Uses of Raw Banana, Kaccha Kela
Raw banana chips
South Indian recipes using kaccha kela
1. Kai Kutan, Raw Banana Coconut Curry : A traditional preparation from Kerala where "kai" means plantain and 'kutan' means curry.
2. Avial is a dish that originated in kerala, but gained an equal fanfare in tamilnadu as well. Rare is the wedding or festive menu that does not include avial!
3. Kacche Kele ki Errisery : Go south with Errisery! This variation of the popular south Indian dry vegetable dish uses raw bananas whose bland taste accentuates the spiciness of the tadka.
· Since it has a flavour which is similar to potatoes, it is used in a similar fashion as potatoes. Raw banana can be boiled and then mashed, flavoured with spices and used as a filling to make cutlets, samosas and vadas. These kind of snacks are made by Jains who don't eat potatoes.
· Sliced raw bananas can be used in stir fry subzis which are served along with chapatis, phulkas etc. It can also be seasoned with basic spices and topped with coconut.
· South Indians use raw bananas to make a recipe called "Podimas". It is basically steamed and grated raw bananas lavoured with basic south indian tempering and lemon juice.
· Peel and thinly slice raw bananas, dip in besan batter and deep fry in hot oil to make hot bhajjis which are a favourite during rainy season. Serve hot with coconut chutney.
· Thinly sliced raw bananas are also deep fried to make chips which can be simply seasoned with salt or with red chilli powder too.
· In countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica etc, raw banana is either fried, boiled or added to a soup.
· Boiled raw banana can be mixed with groundnut paste, pepper, onion and palm oil to make "eto" which is eaten with avocado pear.
How to store Raw Banana, Kaccha Kela
Store in refrigerated conditions in a zip lock bag. Cooked and mashed raw banana can be kept in an air tight container for upto 2 days under refrigeration.
Health Benefits of Raw Banana, Kaccha Kela
· It is a good source of potassium and vitamins like A and C. Potassium helps reduce risk of blood pressure and is also beneficial for our brains and kidneys.
· It is high in carbohydrates and thus an energy booster.
· It is also high in dietary fiber.