I feel like plantain – Dodo, to Nigerians – needs no introduction. It’s sweet and delicious, simple, fry it and serve it…
In fact when my mother saw me standing at my kitchen counter, slicing plantain and peering at my cooking book, she seemed incredulous – ‘why do you need a cookbook for dodo?’. Indeed, why would I need it? I’ve been frying plantain since I was safely able to go near a gas flame and hot oil – it’s a really easy process. However I came across this incarnation, had the ingredients (except for fresh parsley) and though – why not?
3 ripe yellow plantains
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp sea salt
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Top and tail the plantains, then score the skin down the length of each, trying not to cut through the flesh. Repeat down the opposite length and remove the skin. Slice the plantain flesh diagonally to create oval slices. Get a plate lined with kitchen paper ready.
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. (Some people like to deepen the flavour of the coconut oil by frying a sliced onion in it before cooking the plantain. Remove the onion before the plantain goes in.)
When the oil’s hot, spoon in small batches of the plantain and cook for 5 minutes on each side, until golden. Don’t crowd the frying pan. Transfer cooked batches to the kitchen paper and repeat, adding a little more oil to the pan if needed.
Once all the plantain is cooked, put it in a large bowl along with the raw, sliced red onion, crushed chilli, sea salt and the chopped parsley, then gently toss together for serving. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for some extra heat or squeeze of lime for tang, if you like.
REFERENCE: Afro Vegan – Family friendly recipes from a British-Nigerian kitchen, Zoe Alakija, page 99