Crispy Matoke Wedges.

Remember these beautiful green bananas I had shared some time ago?

Look at the size of that matoke!

They came from one of the banana plants here in the compound and I have been thinking of different ways to use them up before they ripen.

This time round I decided to deep fry them. Not too healthy but it is ok once in a while right? This is a very straight forward recipe similar to the way I make vegetable pakora and I eyeballed the measurements.

For the batter, I used chickpea flour, rice flour, paprika, a pinch of cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mixed herbs. I did not add any water to the flour mixture.

Tip: Peel your green bananas under running water to avoid the sticky sap that’s hard to get off your hands.

Once peeled and cleaned, slice them into wedges, then add the wedges to the flour mixture and mix well.

The banana wedges will be moist as they were peeled under running water, so the wetness will make the spiced flour mixture stick to the wedges. If its too dry, you can add a little water. A little.

Deep fry them in batches till crispy and golden brown.

The fresher the green bananas, the better the flavour.
They are crispy, delicious and have an amazing aroma. It will be hard to resist to munch on them as you finish cooking.
Very tasty.

I served this with a simple kachumbari salad of grated carrot, red onion, coriander, tomato, salt, pepper and a pinch of chaat masala.

This is a perfect dish for a quick dinner, great for the kids’ lunchboxes or even as a crunchy and filling snack.

Final plate: Crispy green banana wedges, baked lentil balls and salad.

The baked lentil balls were from leftover boiled toor dal which I mashed with mixed spices, salt and pepper and baked in a 200°C oven for 20 minutes.

Toor dal balls ready for the oven, just spray some olive oil before baking them.

They were also great for leftover lunch with beetroot pilau and a simple salad.

What a colourful and tasty plate!

I have been enjoying thinking up, searching for and adjusting various green banana recipes, which are all up here on the blog already.

From mashing them up for a matoke cottage pie dinner, steaming them with groundnut sauce, making tasty breakfast porridge, stewing them, baking them as fries or a pan fry, making them into crisps or as a curry, the possibilities with this fibre rich starchy fruit are endless.

Green bananas are tasty, filling, nutritious and quite versatile, all the recipes are worth a try!

O Potato!

If you do not love potatoes we cannot be friends. There, I said it!

Seriously though, how can one not love this versatile vegetable? Boil it, roast it, fry it, mash it; the possibilities are endless with this starchy fella.

Potatoes are a staple here in our meals as they can be served any time, anyway. One of my favorite snacks to make with them is Maru bhajia (I use this lovely recipe from Fauzia’s kitchen), and packed potatoes also known as “viazi Karai” in Kenya. They are not the healthiest but a great way to indulge your fried food craving when it strikes.

Fun fact: Potatoes are called ‘Irish’ by many in Uganda- it took time for me to get used to it.

Peel and chop your potatoes about a kg of them. Boil for ten minutes in salted water till cooked but still firm, set aside to cool. You can add some garlic powder to the water for flavour.
In a bowl, mix one clove crushed garlic, 1 tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, salt and black pepper to taste. I added a little grated onion.
Add a cup of gram flour to the bowl, some water and two tablespoons of chopped coriander. Mix well into a thickish consistency, not too thick though, more like a low fat yoghurt 🙂
Add your now cooled potatoes to the mixture and mix gently. Heat oil in a deep pan or your deep fryer and fry until a nice golden colour, but not too dark.
Don’t they look lovely?
Let them drain on a paper towel. Then serve with chutney of choice, or ketchup, salsa, whatever you fancy. I like squeezing lemon on mine. Nothing more.
They make a lovely tea time snack too; going down well with some spicy tea.

Try them and enjoy as you listen to this lovely ode to the wonderful potato. Yes, it’s The potato song. And don’t worry, we can still be friends even if you do not like potatoes 🙂