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Plantain | Nendrankai Chips

Fried plantain is a snack as well a side dish to a main course. It is called Upperi and sold in every part of Kerala and places around Kerala, also a must in any Sadya (Food served in banana leaf during feast). It is known by many names in South America and Africa. I read the chips is called as chifles in Peru, where vendors sell bags of them to the passing cars, Ah fresh chips while driving!

Green, unripe plantain (Nendrakai not vazhakai), after removing the skin, is sliced and deep-fried in hot coconut (must in Kerala) or sunflower (I used this) or any other oil like canola or vegetable to make chips.

The riper yellow plantains with plenty of black spots on the peel are great for grilling in a pan or frying for making Pazham pori or Maduros. But that ripe is not what you need in a plantain for chips. The green, less-ripe Plantain that are much firmer is required to make chips. The firmer they are they can hold up to the heat even in a thin slice and give the perfect crunch for making the chips.It’s important to make the slices as uniform as possible, so use a slicer.


We made a small batch of this when my Amma visited us for few days. I remember those days when we were kids, weren’t supposed to enter the kitchen when heavy frying stuff used to happen, Amma used to make this in large batches.

The thickness of the chips depends on your preference and the slicer you have at home. The thinner it is cut, fries faster and is crisp and brittle. The thicker variety takes extra minutes and if not well fried, the center of chips tends to soften.

Ingredients you will need:

3 Green Plantain
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Water
Oil for deep-frying


The preparation is simple. Heat oil, Chop the ends and peel the plantain, Slice. Fry and let it cool. Store. But You might have stained hands, not know why and wish you knew earlier, uneven slices and soft, stale chips so to avoid all these continue reading.

A detailed with more notes preparation to get well crisp and perfect chips:

Heat oil in a thick bottom pan and as the oil heats, will work with the plantains. Use coconut oil for typical Kerala style but the chips has to be consumed in 2 or 3 days as the coconut oil fried chips go rancid. This doesn’t happen with sunflower oil and stays fresh up to a week. That’s the longest duration the chips has lasted at our place, it might last a few days longer too I suppose.

Mix turmeric and salt to water and set aside.

Plantain info: Plantains can stain skin and clothes. During peeling, plantains ooze a sticky white liquid that turns into a brown stain on clothing and hands. The best way to avoid getting plantain stains when you are cooking is to lightly apply oil to your hands, slicer and knife before peeling, slicing and cutting plantains. Without applying oil, after washing your hands a few times, the stain is gone but leaves a permanent mark that can wreak havoc on clothing.

Chop both ends and using a peeler remove the skin.

The plantain tends to oxidize quickly, Immerse the plantain in a large bowl of water as soon as you peel.

Using a slicer, slice the plantain into thin discs. Use a Mandolin slicer or any normal slicer for slicing the Plantain instead of cutting with knife, they do a great job for super-thin and extraordinarily even slicing. The blades can be adjusted to cut thicker and thinner slices, adjust as per your preference.

Professionals and in restaurants, the plantain is directly sliced into oil. But it is safer to slice them into the large bowl of water in which other plantains are immersed.

Add the sliced plantain, after shaking off excess water, to the hot oil. Fry several slices of plantain at a time but make sure not to over load as it will bring down the temperature of oil, resulting in under cooked chips that will go stale at the earliest. They will sizzle (be careful!) and begin to fry. Drizzle a spoonful of salt-turmeric water. As the sizzling subsides and chips look firmer, fry till the edge are slightly brown(2-3 mins). Remove from oil, shake off excess oil and place in a plate with paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Fry the rest and let it cool in one layer for 8-10 minutes. This is time in between cooling and storing when chips will be extensively eaten, beware!

Store in air tight container.

Happy cooking.

7 Responses to Plantain | Nendrankai Chips

  1. Good recipe Sneha…Very tempting want to have some:)

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December 2017
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