Kerala Banana Chips Made from Pure Coconut Oil: A Taste of Tradition and Authenticity
Kerala banana chips, locally known as “Nendran Chips” or “Ethakka Upperi,” are a beloved and iconic snack from the southern Indian state of Kerala. What sets these banana chips apart from others is the traditional method of preparation, where they are fried in pure coconut oil. This combination of Kerala’s renowned Nendran bananas and the use of pure coconut oil creates a snack that is not just delicious but deeply rooted in the state’s rich culinary heritage.
Preparation: The preparation of Kerala banana chips is a labor-intensive process that requires skill and precision. Here’s how it’s typically done:
- Selecting the Right Bananas: Ripe Nendran bananas are not suitable for making chips. Instead, raw green bananas are peeled and thinly sliced, ensuring uniformity in size.
- Frying in Pure Coconut Oil: The magic happens in a hot cauldron of pure coconut oil. The banana slices are carefully and slowly fried until they achieve a golden-brown hue. The use of pure coconut oil imparts a distinct, tropical aroma to the chips and elevates their taste.
- Adding Salt: Just a touch of salt is sprinkled over the hot, freshly fried chips. This balances the natural sweetness of the bananas with a subtle savory flavor.
- Draining and Cooling: After frying, the chips are removed from the oil and allowed to drain, ensuring they remain crispy. They are then cooled before packaging.
Taste and Texture: Kerala banana chips are renowned for their irresistible combination of flavors and textures. The pure coconut oil gives them a delightful crunch and a rich, coconutty undertone. The bananas themselves offer a mildly sweet taste that pairs wonderfully with the hint of salt. This contrast between the sweetness of the bananas and the savory notes of the coconut oil and salt is what makes these chips truly special.