Vazhakkai Roast (Raw Banana Stir Fry)

My colleague and friend, Kalpana, brought a similar dish for lunch. It looked interesting and I had a bite, it was really good – spicy and the banana was cooked perfectly. When I usually cooked raw banana, I cut into smaller pieces and stir-fried them. But this way, it is almost crispy on the top and soft inside. This was inspired by her dish.

These raw bananas are usually of a certain variety (nendrakai or the Kerala plantains). It is widely available in India and is available in Asian/Indian supermarkets in the US.


  • 2 raw bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 9-10 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (add more if you would like it spicier)
  • salt to taste


  • Peel raw bananas. Slice them into 3/4 inch pieces. Place them in a bowl of water mixed with a tbsp of yogurt. This will help avoid oxidation of the banana. Also slightly oil your knife before cutting to avoid the knife to get sticky
  • Heat oil in a large flat bottomed skillet.
  • Add asafoetida, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.
  • When mustard starts to splutter, add the chopped onion and garlic.
  • Fry till golden
  • Drain and add all the spice powders to the slices and mix and coat well
  • Add banana slices to the pan and stir gently.
  • Cover and let it cook.
  • stir gently every 5 minutes. If required sprinkle some water and let it cook
  • It should not be overcooked, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside but there should be a bite to it
  • Turn off heat and serve as a side dish with roti or rice or even as an appetizer.

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