Plantains are the most misunderstood fruit. Most people are not really sure what it is – a fruit, vegetable, tuber or root. I have had questions regarding why we can use bananas in a smoothie but not raw plantains. These questions are valid and due to the resemblance, most people think of plantain as a ‘stodgy banana’. If you are not used to cooking with plantains, you might not know exactly what they are or how to use them. Moreover, just how many great plantain recipes there are out there.
What are Plantains?
Plantains are almost banana but not quite. Growing up in Africa, my mom had a plantain tree in one of our homes in Benin City (Nigeria) growing up. She forbade us from going into the farm but I could see them clearly from my room to know that they are grown just like bananas. Plantains are the starchy cousins bananas, and all that added starch means it almost always needs to be cooked before it can be eaten. Plantains can be boiled, fried, grilled or baked. So No, you cannot blend plantains in a smoothie. I grew up mainly eating plantains with boiled honey eyed beans or fried plantains with a spicy tomato sauce.
The Best Fusion Plantain Recipes
These are 5 unique plantain recipes that you will love to try this season.
Beans And Plantain Porridge Recipe
This is an absolute favourite and the backbone of West African Childhood. Maybe not so unique, but a list of ‘plantain recipes’ without honey beans and plantain porridge, is simply incomplete. If you a looking for a savoury recipe to use up those overripe plantains, this recipe is for you. The dish is sort of a local sweet and spicy dish. It is made by cooking beans in a really spicy tomato stew and using one or two overripe plantains to add some sweetness to the dish. A common question I get is the use of scotch bonnets and prawn powder (crayfish). You can use chilli powder to replace raw scotch bonnets.
- 250g Honey Beans
- 2 Overripe Plantains
- 2 Tablespoons Prawn Powder (Crayfish)
- 1 Tablespoon Bouillon Chicken Stock Powder
- 100ml Palm Oil
- 1 Scotch Bonnet
- 1 Large Red Onions
- 2 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
- In a large pot boil the honey beans until almost soft.
- Rinse this out with a sieve under running water and set aside.
- Chop the onions and scotch bonnets.
- Dice the plantains into bite size small quarters.
- In a clean pot, heat the palm oil. Add in the Onions, Bonnets and Tomato Puree. Let this cook until the onions, peppers and tomatos are cooked.
- Add the chicken stock and prawn powder and let heat up.
- Add the chopped plantains and beans.
- Add 1 cup of water and let cook down until it forms a porridge consistency.
- Serve hot.
Plantain Muffins Recipe
When you think of plantains, savoury is the first thing that comes to mind. The idea of plantains in sweet bakes seem unnecessary (given the existence of bananas), but I tell you, it does have a different taste. Baked plantains have a slight depth and is not as sweet as a banana. So why would I put plantains in a muffin? If it is a savoury muffin like these Cheddar Chicken Plantain Muffins…. definitely needed!!! These muffins are so filling that you probably need half of one. 6 large muffins would feed 8-10 people. For this recipe, you can use raw plantain fruit or plantain flour. Using plantain flour really changes the taste and consistency, but makes a runny batter that makes fluffier muffins.
- 1 Large Ripe Plantain
- 100 Grams Grated Cheddar Cheese
- 80 Grams Unsalted Butter
- 200 Grams Minced Chicken
- 1 Large Eggs
- 5 tbsp Parseley
- 150 ml Coconut Milk
- 2 Cup Self Raising Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- In a separate Bowl Melt the butter
- In a separate bowl, grate the cheese
- In a separate bowl mash the plantain
- Mix the minced chicken, grated cheese and mashed plantains. Mix thoroughly.
- In another bowl whisk the eggs, coconut milk, melted butter and parsley.
- In a separate bowl mix the flour, and baking powder2 Cup Self Raising Flour.
- Combine contents of the three bowls and mix throughly. Use a wooden spoon.
- Divide into 3-6 large muffin tins. Fill each muffin hole leaving just about half a cm on top
- Bake at 160C for 45 mins – 1hour
Fluffy Plantain Waffles Recipe
Waffles are probably the easiest thing to make – and best still, you can make waffles from anything. Literally anything can be added to a waffle recipe. Waffle recipes can be sweet, savoury or somewhere inbetween. Plantains are not conventional in waffles given that they are much similar to bananas when melted down. But the taste of overripe plantains is quite different in a waffle and makes for a great alternative to bananas. The best part is that you can make them with coconut milk to really reach that creamy Caribbean flavour. This recipe is the perfect snack for a blend of summer and fall flavours.
- 1 Cup of thick coconut milk
- 1 large overripe plantain
- 1 cup of soft blackberries or blueberries
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 Cup Caster Sugar
- 1 (1/2) cup self raising flour
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
- In a bowl, use a fork to mash the plantain into a smooth paste.
- Add the egg, melted butter, vanilla extract and coconut milk and turn until thoroughly combined.
- Add the cater sugar, ginger and nutmeg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add in the flour and turn. Now you should end up with a thick batter.
- In a plate or small bowl, roughly mash the berries with a fork.
- Gently fold in the mashed berries into the batter.
- Line the waffle maker with some butter using a pastry brush. Heat up a waffle maker .
- Put 1 tablespoon into the waffle maker, cover and heat up until light and fluffy.
- Repeat until the batter is finished.
- Stack waffles and drizzle with some honey, chocolate syrup or strawberry syrup.
Crunchy Plantain Meatballs Recipe
These Crunchy Plantain Mint Balls are all you will ever need in life! They are so filled with spiciness and yummy flavour, it is ridiculous! These are a touch of savoury, a touch of sweetness and a whole ton of yummy!!! This recipe is one of my favourites as they are easy to make, so they are my ‘lazy’ go-tos when I have a ton of people over. All you really need is one large overripe plantain and any spice you like. You can make them savoury, spicy, sweet or warm. They are just easy to make. As a sweet recipe, consider skipping the mint and use a creamy dipping sauce instead. Just Yummy!!!
- 1 large, unripe plantain
- 1 chili pepper (scotch bonnet)
- ½ red onion, chopped roughly
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 to 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs, depending on texture of plantain
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp dried mint
- In a food processor, place the plantain, scotch bonnet, red onions, and the parsley and blend together well.
- Add ½ cup of the breadcrumbs and Mix
- Roll into bite sized balls
- In a bowl combine the all purpose flour, the water and the dried mint, with the egg and Mix until smooth
- Heat oil in a deep fryer
- Using a spoon, place one rolled plantain ball into the batter and Toss to coat the Plantain ball evenly
- Carefully place the coated plantain ball into the hot oil and fry until golden brown
- Remove the plantain ball with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain
- Repeat the last 5 steps until all plantain balls are coated and deep fried.
Plantain Meatloaf Recipe
Probably one of my favourite things on my blog is my plantain meatloaf recipe. Like seriously, this recipe is everything you want on your dinner table in a loaf!!! I cannot stress how many times I have had requests in my DMs asking questions on this recipes. It is a light a fluffy savoury plantain cake packed with peppers, corn and minced meat. The loaf holds its structure if you mash the plantain but you will need some flour if you puree it. Sometimes with some overripe plantains it may be difficult to get structure, i like to use some breadcrumbs. This recipe is coming soon to my blog!!!
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