Spicy Plantain Curry

(30 minutes, serves 4)

Sri Lanka grows a host of plantains and bananas; this type of curry is typically made with a variety known as ash plantain. That’s not easy to find in America, but luckily, plantains generally have become much more available, and they work beautifully in this dish. You can even use very green bananas if you like.

After the first frying stage, the plantains should be just a little bit sweet, and can be eaten straight up if you like as a snack, or added to a plate of rice and curries. But add them to this curry sauce, and the spicy, tangy sauce meets the sweetness of the fried plantain, for what I can only call a taste explosion. In a good way!

NOTE: You can save plantain or banana peels to cook them too.

3 plantains, peeled (about 4 c.) (or very green bananas)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. turmeric
oil for deep frying
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 green finger hot chilies, chopped
1 stalk curry leaves, about a dozen
1/4 t. fenugreek seeds
1 t. cayenne (or less, adjust to taste)
1/2 t. Sri Lankan roasted curry powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. coconut milk

1-2 T lime juice

1. Slice plantains on the diagonal in roughly 1/4″ slices, then toss with 1/2 t. salt and turmeric.

2. Heat oil and fry plantain slices until golden; remove to a plate lined with kitchen towels and set aside.

3. In a separate large sauté pan, heat 1-2 T of the oil and add onion, chilies, curry leaves, and fenugreek seeds. Sauté about 10 minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and translucent.

4. Add cayenne, curry powder, and 1/2 t. salt, and stir a few minutes more, then stir in coconut milk.

5. Add fried plantain and lime juice; stir gently to combine. Turn off heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes; the plantains will absorb much of the sauce. Serve hot with rice or bread.

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