The Vegetarian

 Banana Curry

-Sri Lanka

This recipe should be made with green (unripe) bananas. However, I have made it with almost fully ripe bananas too... and I love this curry either way! I usually make only small quantities of this recipe so that I can use a 30cm frying pan.

This basic curry is useful for many different types of vegetables. Instead of banana, you can use potato, any type of gourd (e.g. ridged gourd, smooth gourd or bitter gourd), green beans, carrot... you will need to simmer for longer to cook these vegetables, and some times you may need to add some tomato at the end to add some acidity/sourness to the dish. You will notice many variations on this basic "white" curry.

2 bananas
1/2 medium brown onion - sliced
1 clove of garlic - crushed.
1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon of cummin
1 teaspoon of coriander
pinch of turmeric
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1/2 stick of cinnamon - broken into pieces
1 sprig of curry leaves
1/2 a rampe leaf - torn to pieces
pinch of nutmeg
2 fresh green chillies - sliced.
olive oil

Peel the bananas (green bananas can be peeled with a knife and a potato peeler). Slice the bananas in half length-ways and then into 2inch pieces.

In a nonstick frying pan, place a  tablespoons of oil and shallow fry the banana until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the banana and drain on paper towels.

In the same frying pan place the onion, garlic, fenugreek, cummin, coriander, turmeric, curry leaves, rampe and nutmeg. Fry on medium heat until the onions just start to brown.

Add a half cup of water to the pan and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. As the mixture starts to simmer, add the bananas back into the pan. Simmer for a couple of minutes, add the coconut milk and continue to simmer, allowing the gravy to thicken a little.

Add the green chillies. Taste test and add more salt as necessary.

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