Rinse 3 unripe nendran bananas and dry them with a clean kitchen towel. The bananas have to be completely unripe with a green skin.
In a large bowl take 4 cups water and add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder.
Mix very well with a spoon.
Now peel the nendran plantains. Don't throw away the peels. With the peels you can make delicious banana peel thoran.
Halve the peeled bananas and place them in the turmeric water for 30 to 40 minutes. They should be completely immersed in the water.
Before frying, take ½ cup water in a bowl along with 1 tablespoon salt.
Mix very well. Keep the salt solution aside.
Now take two banana pieces and wipe them dry with a clean kitchen towel. They should be completley dry before you slice them.
making ethakka upperi or kerala banana chips
Heat 1.5 cups coconut oil in a kadai for deep frying. If you do not have coconut oil, then you can use sunflower oil or any oil for frying. Keep the flame to medium.
For slicing bananas its better to use a mandoline slicer as the slices are thin. Thin slices make for crispy chips.
Add a thin slice of one or two banana chips in the oil. If they come up steadily on top, the oil is ready. The oil has to be medium hot, so fry on medium flame. Do not fry on low flame as then the banana chips will absorb too much oil.
Using the mandoline slicer directly slice the banana over the oil. Be careful while doing so. Alternatively you can slice the banana chips in a tray or plate and add the slices in the oil.
As soon as you add the slices stir them with a slotted spoon. Do not overcrowd the kadai with the banana slices while frying.
Begin to fry on medium flame and in between you can turn over the banana chips.
Keep on turning them and frying till they become lightly crisp.
Then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt solution on the oil. For a more salty taste you can sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt water. be careful when doing this as the oil sizzles and splutters.
As soon as the oil bubbles and sizzles, quickly cover the kadai with a splatter screen or mesh screen (if you have one) or else skip. With the splatter screen the oil does not splutter outside.
After adding the salt solution, continue to fry till the sizzling and bubbling sound stops.
The banana chips will be completely crisp and when you move them towards the side of the pan, you will hear a crispy sound.
With a large slotted spoon, remove the banana chips draining the extra oil in the kadai.
Place the chips in another sieve which is placed below a pan or bowl. This helps in draining the extra oil if any.
Alternatively you can also place the fried banana wafers on kitchen paper towels. This way fry the banana chips in batches. While frying the later batches, if the chips taste too salty, then you can add ½ teaspoon of the salt solution.
As soon as the banana wafers cool down at room temperature, place them in a jar. Cover tightly and store at room temperature.
Enjoy nendran banana chips as a snack.
Few tips for making ethakka upperi:
If using regular plantains, then use 3 large plantains weighing 500 to 550 grams.
Instead of coconut oil, you can use sunflower oil for frying.
If you do not have a mandoline slicer, then with a knife slice the bananas very thinly on a chopping board. Then add them in the hot oil.
Fry chips on medium flame. On a low heat, the banana chips absorbs a lot of oil. On a high flame they won't cook properly and evenly.
Note that the approx nutrition info is for 1 cup of kerala banana chips.