Kaumudi Marathé is a journalist and chef from Maharashtra, India.  She founded Un-Curry, a cooking school and catering company in Southern California in 2007 to shatter the myth that all Indian food is curry.  Her California Indian style of cooking blends local, seasonal, fresh, organic ingredients with spices and techniques from her homeland.

Kelyacha Shira (Cardamom-Scented Bananas)

In Maharashtra, where I come from, this is a popular and nutritious snack for people who are fasting.  It is simple and quick! You can make it with different kinds of ripe, firm bananas or with sweet potatoes, which work great for Thanksgiving dinner.

With bananas, this tastes like an Indian Bananas Foster.  With sweet potatoes it is a great alternative to candied yams or marshmallow topped sweet potato mash! And it makes a deliciously indulgent dessert served with cardamom whipped cream.

Serves 4
Time: 15 minutes


6-8 medium-ripe bananas (or 3-4 sweet potatoes, peeled)
4 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
1-2 cloves (optional)

up to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2-3 cardamoms, powdered
pinch of salt

1.  Slice bananas into 1-inch thick rounds.  (Or grate sweet potato with the large holes of a box grater.  Or slice it thinly.)

2.  Heat ghee in a skillet.  Add cloves and stir briefly.

3.  Add the bananas gently to avoid mashing them.  Cook covered, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  If using sweet potato, sauté it 2-3 minutes, then cook covered (5-7 minutes), stirring occasionally.

4.  After 1 minute for bananas (5-6 minutes for sweet potato), stir in the sugar, a little at a time.  Taste the dessert before adding in all the sugar. 

5.  Stir and continue cooking, 1-4 minutes more, till the sugar bubbles and slightly caramelizes.  The banana / sweet potato should be tender.

6.  Stir in cardamom.  Serve hot as a snack or for breakfast.  Serve cool for dessert.

© The Essential Marathi Cookbook
by Kaumudi Marathé, Penguin India, 2009
Un-Curry on Facebook



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