I like to use raw bananas for veggie preparations, especially in dried form. This Green Unclean Plantain Fries is one of them. Also known as Vajakkai Varuval or Vajakkai Fry (Tamil) in South Indian cuisine, this is a spicy and slightly crispy raw plantain roast recipe that is a great accompaniment to a meal paired with rasam or sambar and rice or some dal and raita. This delicious recipe is really easy and healthy, being vegetarian as well as gluten-free.
About the Vajakkai Fries
Simply put, the Tamil word ‘vajakkai’ in English means raw banana or plantain and ‘varuval’ means ‘fried’ which can be deep fried, shallow fried or even fried.
South Indian cuisine has many simple recipes made with a variety of vegetables that not only taste great but are also nutritious.
They serve as great side dishes to make regular meals healthier. One such preparation is Vajakkai Fry, regionally known as Vajakkai Bharuval.
Why this recipe is more simple is because apart from raw ripe bananas, the other ingredients that go into making it are also very basic and available in most Indian home kitchens throughout the year.
Also, since every ingredient is plant-based, the recipe is also vegetarian-friendly. It’s also a delicious gluten-free treat.
Apart from preparing raw banana, another ingredient in this varuval recipe is a coarse powder made of cumin and black pepper.
Along with this, other ingredients used in this recipe are mustard seeds, pearl onions, green chillies, curry leaves and spices like turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder.
I would recommend cooking vazzakkai fries in coconut oil for authentic taste and mouth feel. I often make plantain stir fries in a variety of ways – with minimal spices or to a spicy version with some fresh coconut. This particular recipe is one of my favorites.
This recipe does not take much time to make. Banana cubes are added raw and then slowly fried over low heat, stirring frequently. As a result, the plantains become slightly crispy with the spices coating well and finally a delicious creation.
In my weekly grocery, raw bananas are a must and every week I make a dish or two with them. Apart from these Vazakkai Fries, some other favorite raw plantain dishes that I make at home are this delicious and simple Raw Plantain Fries and a Tamil style Vazakkai Poriyal.
I’ve added pearl onions (small sambar onions or small shallots) to this Tamil style vajakkai fry recipe. You can replace it with regular red onion. Onion can be omitted if desired.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the best way to enjoy the taste of this raw banana roast is to eat it with any South Indian dish.
Step by step guide
How to make Vajakkai Bharuval
1. Take half a teaspoon of cumin seeds and half a teaspoon of black pepper. Coarsely grind it and keep it aside.
2. Peel 4 to 5 pearl onions into thick slices, wash. Cut 2 medium bananas into small cubes just before you start cooking.
If you cut them before, then they darken. So, you need to soak them in water to avoid darkening.
Fry the vazakkai
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Instead of coconut oil, you can also use peanut oil or sunflower oil.
4. Turn heat to low or medium-low, and add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
5. Let them splutter.
6. Then, add ¼ cup finely chopped pearl onions (shallots or small onions), 1 chopped or sliced green chilli and 6 to 7 curry leaves.
You can add ¼ cup chopped onions instead of pearl onions.
7. Fry for about 2 minutes on low flame.
8. Then, add chopped raw banana cubes.
9. Mix well.
10. On low flame, start frying the raw plantains (vajakkai).
11. Keep check and stir every 2 to 3 minutes.
12. Boil the bananas until they are half cooked or half cooked.
13. Then, add the prepared spice powder mixture.
14. Next, add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ¼ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, ¼ tsp garam masala powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp fennel powder and salt to taste.
15. Mix the masala powder very well.
16. On low flame, continue to fry the raw plantains (vajakkai) until cooked.
17. Stir at regular intervals so that the raw bananas are cooked evenly or the bottom layer gets too brown. Not until the raw plantains (vajakkai) are slightly crisp and well cooked.
18. Serve Vajakkai Vaja hot or hot as a side dish with any South Indian dish. If you want you can garnish the vazhakkai varuval with some chopped coriander leaves.
- Make sure to cut the banana just before you start cooking. If you cut and store them earlier, they will darken. Then, you need to soak them too to avoid darkening.
- For best results, cook the dish in coconut oil. If not, you can use peanut oil or sunflower oil.
- In place of pearl onions or shallots, you can also use ¼ cup chopped red onion. You can skip using onion.
- To make this banana roast spicier, you can even increase the amount of green chili and/or red chili powder and garam masala powder.
More similar recipes to try!
Capsicum fries Roast South Indian bell peppers
Kovakkai Fries Deep fried
South Indian food
Potato Roast Recipe
Fried in bendka
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Fried fried Vajakkai Bharuval
Vazakkai Bharuval or Vazakkai Fry is a spicy and slightly crispy fried dish made with raw green skinned bananas. A side dish with rasam, sambar and dal alongside this South Indian plantain preparation.
Q. Time 5 minutes
cooking time 20 minutes
total time 25 minutes
Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe
Grind cumin and black pepper in a mortar. Coarsely grind it and keep it aside.
Peel, wash and coarsely chop the pearl onions.
Peel the bananas and cut them into small cubes just before you start cooking. If you cut them earlier, they darken. So they should be soaked in water to avoid darkening.
Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. You can also use peanut oil or sunflower oil instead of coconut oil.
Keep the heat low or medium low and add the mustard. Let them splutter.
Then add thickly sliced pearl onions, chopped or sliced green chillies and curry leaves.
Fry for about 2 minutes on low flame. Then add chopped plantain cubes and mix well.
Start frying the bananas on low heat.
Keep checking and stirring every 2 to 3 minutes.
Boil the banana on low heat until half cooked or half cooked.
Then add crushed cumin seeds and black pepper.
Then add turmeric powder, kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and fennel powder. Also add salt as per taste.
Mix the masala powder very well with the banana.
Continue frying until the bananas are cooked and tender.
Stir at regular intervals so that the bananas do not cook evenly or the bottom layer gets too brown. So frequent stirrings are required.
Not until the bananas are slightly crisp and cooked.
Serve hot or garam vajakkai fries as a side dish with any South Indian dish. If you want you can garnish the vazhakkai varuval with some chopped coriander leaves.
- Instead of coconut oil, use sunflower or peanut oil or your favorite oil.
- Choose bananas that are not half-ripe.
- Peel the bananas first and then chop them just before you start making the recipe. Otherwise you have to soak them in water so that they don’t fade.
- This is a spicy vajakkai fry. But you can adjust the spices and seasonings according to your taste.
Fried fried Vajakkai Bharuval
No. per job
calories 266 Calories from fat 90
% Daily Value*
thick 10 grams15%
8 grams of saturated fat50%
Sodium 836 mg36%
potassium 697 mg20%
carbohydrates 46 grams15%
4g of fiber17%
21 grams of sugar23%
protein 2 grams4%
Vitamin A 1470 IU29%
Vitamin C 69 mg84%
calcium 32 mg3%
iron 1.2 mg7%
* Percent Daily Value is based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Vazhakkai Fry Recipe from the blog archives was first published in February 2018 and republished in February 2023.