Plantain is found in the tropical regions around the world. According to Wikipedia it is the tenth most important staple food in the world. Plantain is a good source of dietary fibre and also contains potassium. It can be eaten green (unripen) or when yellow (sweet and ripe). Wikipedia affirms plantains position as one of the staple foods of choice throughout Africa, constituting 25% of Africa’s carbohydrate requirements for over 70 million people. An averaged sized plantain has about 220 calories which is equivalent to eating a cup of rice.
In 2009, the Food and Agricultural Organization reported Uganda as the top producer of plantain.
Plantain can no longer be viewed as a boring staple food. You can serve it sweet, spicy, salty, cripsy, mashed crunchy, in the food family it would known as the one with multiple personality disorder.
There are healthier ways to cook plantain dishes. Older methods of deep frying sweet plantian or the crispy plantain chips can now be substituted using methods such as roasting, baking and grilling , all these methods add a new taste dimension.
It is definitely more forgiving on the waistline.
Oven Roasted Plantain and Beans (serves 2-3 people)
- 4 ripened plantain (still firm)
- Slice the plantains diagonally
- Olive oil
- black eyed beans (soaked overnight in water and cooked without salt till soft, alternatively used canned black eye beans)
- palm oil or vegetable oil – 4 tablespoons
- 3 tomatoes diced and peeled
- habanero chillie!
- Fresh herbs parsley and basil finely chopped.
- spices to taste (curry powder)
- 1 pink onion(finely chopped)
- crushed ginger (to your taste)
Toss the sliced plantain in olive oil and salt, . Make sure to occasaionally turn the plantain during the roasting period. Roast in the oven until golden brown
Heat palm oil in a pot, add finely chopped onions till onions are golden brown add diced tomatoes and habanera chilies (cut the pepper in halves, to release the flavours. let simmer add finely chopped basil, parsley, ginger and curry powder . Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes Add beans to sauce and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.