Monday, September 12, 2011

Banana Madeira (Plantains): My New Obsession

Plantain Bananas
The cutest tree
 I think banana trees are the cutest tree so last year Victor planted a few along the outside of our wall and then a few months ago he plopped down a gigantic bunch of ripe plantains on our kitchen table.  This was the beginning of my obsession with plantains, which I’m sure will last the rest of my life.  For Mozambicans and probably more than half of the rest of the world, plantains, a.k.a. Banana Madeira (“wood banana” in Portuguese), are not this exciting because it’s a normal part of the cuisine.  But for me!  I can’t believe I was missing out on this most delicious, delicious treat my whole life and I am now making up for it on a daily basis!

Here are my three current favorite ways to eat Banana Madeira:

1. BOILED

Put the plantains in a gigantic pot and boil them for a while.
Peel a cooked plantain and put it in a bowl.
Mash it up.
Mix in some water and then show it to a cute baby.
Feed the baby the mashed plantain.  He will love it.  It tastes like banana and apple mixed together.

2. FRIED

Peel the plantains and then slice them up.
Fry the plantain slices in hot oil.
Dry the fried plantains on napkins.
Put them in a pretty little glass dish and sprinkle them wish salt.  They are SO tasty!
Or even better – Cuban Style – serve them with black beans and rice.  This is the best African version of a Caribbean meal EVER!

3. FRITTERS

Mix up a dough with a few mashed up plantains, ½ a cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ a teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar (Wycliffe Cookbook), shape the dough into little paddies, and then fry them in hot oil.
Dry the fritters on napkins and then dip them in powdered sugar.
Plantain fritters are SO good.
A tasty American style African breakfast:  Black Gurue Mozambican tea with sugar for Victor, South African red bush tea with milk for me, boiled plantain mash for Yohani, boiled eggs, and plantain fritters – yum.

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