Thursday, 19 January 2012




          Rain and wind often break banana plants long before the fruit is fully mature. These young fruits are too tender to ripen or to be used for curries, chips or podis. Such fruits need not be wasted but can be used to prepare a delicious side dish. The Konkani people call it kèlya sukkdi. Tender bananas past pencil thickness can be used for this dish. In this case, I have used finger thick Robusta bananas. Do cook and enjoy.


     1)    Tender Robusta banana – 1 kg.

     2)    Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
     3)    Coconut oil or any other cooking oil – 2 tablespoons
     4)    Black pepper powder – ¾ teaspoon
     5)    Powdered salt – 1 heaped teaspoon

To Cook:

          Cut off the tips of the bananas. Use the potato peeler to gently remove a thin outer skin of the banana, leaving most of the thicker peel on the banana itself. Cut into long thick pieces. If the bananas are very tender and of pencil thickness, you need not cut them at all. In this dish, I have cut the finger thick bananas across in half and then divided each piece twice lengthwise into four quarters.

          Set a thick cast iron wok on high heat. Pour in the oil and throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish popping, tip in the chopped banana pieces. Sprinkle the salt and the pepper powder. Stir nicely with a lightweight ladle till the banana pieces get heated up. Now lower the heat to minimum and cover with a lid.

          Every few minutes, open the lid and stir to keep the sukkdi from burning at the base. Cover again and repeat till the bananas are cooked (if the bananas are cooked, the ladle will easily cut through the pieces). Taste and add more salt or pepper powder if required.

          Continue with the process of roasting the banana pieces with the lid covering those most of the time. Stir occasionally till the bananas are roasted to your entire satisfaction (medium or well done).


     1)    Persons who do not wish to use much oil for medical reasons can cook this dish with less oil, salt and pepper in a nonstick wok. Of course, the taste will be compromised a bit.

     2)    Those who do not like pepper powder can use chili powder in its place.

     3)    Keeping the lid covering the sukkdi while roasting helps to cook the bananas in their own juice and makes them softer and tastier.

     4)    Other varieties of banana such a curry banana (Mondan or Tezhutani) and also the smaller plantains such as Mysore Poovan/Palayankodan, Rastali/Rasabalé/Rasakadali/Poovan, hill banana, Adukkan/Yelakkibalé/Kadali, red banana/Chenkadali, Mannan, Karpuravalli, Amritapani, etc., in their tender stages can be used to make kèlya sukkdi.

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