Sharakkara upperi(Plantain chips coated with jaggery syrup)

IMG_5810-2

Sharakkara upperi is nothing but a sweet version of plantain chips. The plantain is fried and coated with a jaggery syrup and seasoned with some special flavors. An absolutely charming snack, that you can keep on munching without realizing that it got over in no time.

Let me be honest here. I will not say that making this is easy. Atleast it wasn’t so for me 😦 Frying the chips is the easier part. Getting the right consistency for the jaggery syrup and mixing the powders to the chips and getting it dried up is the tricky part. I made it once and it did not come out well. Well, also coz I got the measurements of the powders wrong and I didn’t stir the chips long enough to coat it well with the jaggery till it all dried up. But the second time, I was lot more patient with my attempt and I got it right. Phew @#%&@!* 😀 I didn’t want to take risk, so I made it with just 1 plantain and it got finished the same day!!!

Tips: 1. After you fry the chips, drain/take out all the extra oil in the chips.
2. If you plan to make plantain chips and sharakkara upperi together, fry the sharakkara upperi first. This is because, while frying the plantain chips, you will sprinkle saline solution. And salt will make the sharakkara upperi ooze out water and it could get sticky and prevent it from being crispy.
3. To check if the plaitain has cooked by right amount, take a piece and try to crush it using your wrist. It should break easily. The pieces should be crispy and cooked through evenly.

IMG_5815-2

INGREDIENTS:
Note: Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml

Oil – 2 cups
Coconut oil(optional) – 1/2 cup
Raw Plantain/Nendrakkaya – 1 no
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Jaggery – 1/3 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Dry ginger powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Powdered sugar – 1 tsp

METHOD:

1. Remove the plantain skin well. You would need to use a small knife for ease of removing it. Do not use a peeler!
2. In a bowl of water, put some turmeric powder and immerse this plantain in it.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a kadai(deep cooking pot).
4. Take the plantain and wipe it well using a kitchen towel. Cut the plantain into 1/4 inch slices(round pieces) and cut each 1/4 inch slice into half.
5. Heat oil(+coconut oil) in a kadai. Put the plantain slices(halves) into hot oil.
6. Cook in medium flame till the plantain pieces cook well and get crispy.
7. To check if the plaitain has cooked by right amount, take a piece and try to crush it using your wrist. It should break easily. The pieces should be crispy and cooked through evenly.
8. Remove the chips from oil and place on kitchen towel till the excess oil is removed.
9. Meanwhile, melt jaggery in a pan using water.
10. Stir continously till the jaggery starts to thicken. (It shouldn’t be too thick nor watery).
11. Put the fried chips/pieces into the jaggery syrup and stir continuously.
12. Put the cardamom powder, dry ginger powder, cumin powder and ghee to this and mix well.
13. Once all pieces are coated well with the jaggery syrup, remove from heat and allow it to cool for sometime. Add powdered sugar to prevent the pieces from sticking to each other.

Advertisements

Plantain Chips

IMG_5386-2

Plantain chips or ‘Upperi’ is not the same as Banana chips. Atleast in the US, that’s a huge difference. Banana and plantain are 2 different fruits. Some of these information you realize or learn only when you have to deal with it 😛 To me, banana and plantain was one and the same. When I had to make chips, which is made of Plantain(Nendrakkaya), I had to be sure not to pick raw banana instead. To me it was a new thing that I learnt this time 😛 Some of you, like DD, might think that how could I not know the difference and how can I act dumb!!! 😉 But for me, it was the same experience as finding out that Lime and Lemon are 2 different fruits and are NOT the same 😀

Whether or not I should make plantain chips was a difficult decision to make. Its so much more easier to just buy it from stores. But when I thought I will make a special page for Onam, I thought I should try every recipe however tedious or easy it is. After I made it, I felt so happy because these things are so easy to make at home and I feel our generation already doesn’t know so many cooking techniques our previous generations practised. Afterall, Kerala is famous for its Banana chipe or rather Plaintain chips. So I feel proud that I learnt how to make the most popular snack of my homeland 🙂

IMG_5377-2

INGREDIENTS:
Note: Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml

Oil – 2 cups
Coconut oil(optional) – 1/2 cup
Raw Plantain – 1 no
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Salt – to taste(approx. 1/4 tsp)

METHOD:

1. Remove the plantain skin well. You would need to use a small knife for ease of removing it. Do not use a peeler!
2. In a bowl of water, put some turmeric powder and immerse this plantain in it.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil(+coconut oil) in a kadai(deep cooking pot).
4. Also, mix salt in approx. 1/2 cup water and keep aside.
5. Once the oil is heated, take the plantain and wipe it well using a kitchen towel. Using a slicer, slice the plantain into thin slices and put into hot oil. Slice it directly into the oil to prevent plantain slices from sticking to each other.
6. Let the plantain cook in medium-low or low flame. You will have to let it cook for a long time for it to get crispy. So ensure that it doesn’t burn or turn brown in the process of frying them.
7. Once the plantain chips is almost getting ready(when it makes a hissing sound), sprinkle the salt water on the chips evenly(Be careful when you do this. The oil will splatter. A splatter guard will be handy in this case.)
8. Take out a plantain chip and if it is not chewy/uncooked, remove the chips and place on kitchen towel till the excess oil is removed. Else continue to cook till the chips are crispy.