KENYAN RECIPE: Plantains in Coconut Milk
3-4 plantains, sliced in rounds
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of curry powder
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1-2 cups of coconut milk
Serves 4 – 6
Combine all ingredients, except the coconut milk, in a heavy saucepan and stir. Pour in 1 cup of coconut milk and simmer over low heat until the plantains absorbed the milk and are very tender. It takes a while for them to get soft; give them about the same time you would need for cooking potatoes.
You can add more coconut milk if you desire.
Serve hot and try with fish or curries.
Note: The wonderful thing about plantains is that they truly are a versatile food. As a plantain ripens, its high starch content changes to sugar.
Plantains are good at any stage; it just depends on what you want to make. Plantains are a relative of the banana, but are bigger, less sweet and need to be cooked before they are eaten. Plantains also keep their shape when cooked, unlike bananas, which get mushy.
Green or “unripe” plantains contain a lot of starch and very little sweetness. Their starchy flesh is used more as a vegetable than a fruit. They can be used in soups, stews, boiled and mashed.
A ripe plantain can be used in savory or sweet dishes. You can pan-fry them with some butter, rum, and brown sugar and serve over ice cream. When buying ripe plantains, they should be firm and not mushy or cracked.
When peeling plantains or green bananas, moisten hands and rub with salt to prevent the juices from sticking to your hands.
Cut off about 1 inch from both ends of the plantain.
Using a sharp knife, make 2 lengthwise cuts at opposite ends of the plantain.
While holding the plantain steady with your left hand, use your right hand to slide the tip of the knife under the skin and begin to pull it away, going from top to bottom.
Soak the peeled plantains or bananas in salted water.
Drain on a paper towel to use in your recipe.