We've been selling plantains in the shop recently, but some customers have been a little flummoxed as to how to cook them and who knows, a little bit put off by the scruffy appearance. Don't be! They are at their best when fully ripe although you can use them green too. Here are a couple of suggestions:
Plantains are large members of the banana family, but they must be cooked and are not edible raw. They are widely used throughout Africa and the Caribbean and can be cooked in a variety of ways whether green or overripe – roasted, boiled, mashed or fried – and eaten either as an appetizer, in soups, as a vegetable or as dessert.
FRIED RIPE PLANTAINS
The plantains must be very ripe, soft to the touch and almost black if possible. Allow about half a plantain per person. You will also need oil for frying
Wash the plantains then peel, by slitting the skin and pulling away from the flesh. Cut each one crossways in half then slice each half lengthways into 3 or 4 slices.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan and fry the slices of plantain on both sides until golden brown.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve.
Ideal as an accompaniment to curried dishes.
A dish from the West coast of Africa which was brought to the West Indies during the slave trade.
Peel and wash the plantains with the juice of half the lemon to stop it browning.
Bring it to the boil in salted water with the juice from the other lemon half.
Cook until tender.
Place in a bowl with the butter salt and pepper and mash into a smooth paste – alternatively place the ingredients in a food processor and whiz!
Season to taste and serve warm with a sauce of your choice or a stewed bean dish.