Vazhakkai Varuval | Green Plantain Spicy Stir-fry

Vazhakkai Varuval | Green Plantain Spicy Stir-fry ~ Raw green plantains sliced thin and stir-fried in a spicy marinade


With any varuval dish, the cooking process usually extends well beyond the ‘getting done’ stage. Which is a necessary evil in order to get the crispy, crunchy texture and deepened flavor that is only gotten when you skim real close to ending up with a burnt dish, that is not actually burnt though. Just kidding – it ain’t that complicated! Now, because the ingredients are all cooked and done almost 10-20 minutes before this dish is ready to be served, D gets to taste early – and often. Too often, if you asked me. So I almost never plan on transferring these dishes onto a serving dish, cause its hard to tell how much would remain in the end. Get my drift?

Here’s the recipe for a super simple vegetable side that goes really well with almost anything, and will most certainly assure you company in the kitchen. Oh, yeah!

Vazhakkai Varuval | Green Plantain Spicy Stir-fry

Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Serves: approx. 4


  1. 2 big plantains (raw green bananas), skin peeled and cut into thin round slices
  2. 1.5 tsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
  3. 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
  4. salt to taste
  5. 4-5 tbsp oil
  6. 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  7. 1 tsp broken chana dal
  8. 1 tsp broken urad dal
  9. a few curry leaves
  10. 4-5 pods of garlic, crushed / chopped / minced (see Notes for substitution)
  11. 1 or 2″ ginger, peeled and chopped / grated (see Notes)




  1. Mix together the red chili powder, turmeric and salt with some water to make a thick paste.
  2. Rub paste onto plantain slices, evenly coating most of the pieces in the spice mixture.
  3. Note: If using ground ginger and garlic instead of cut/crushed pieces, add it to the spice paste. If using whole ginger/garlic roughly chopped, then add to oil while tempering with lentils.
  4. Tempering: Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add the mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves and saute until the mustard crackles and the mixture turns golden brown – cook on med heat to avoid burning the lentils.
  5. Add the plantains coated with spice paste and give it a good stir to combine well.
  6. Cook on med-high, with lid on for the first 15 minutes until the plantains are mostly done.
  7. Continue to cook, stirring frequently to prevent burning on the bottom layer, for another 10 minutes or until the vegetable slices are nicely browned and crispy according to preference.


Raw bananas / plantains have some health benefits, but are definitely gas-producing. So do no skip adding the ginger and garlic – it can be chopped/ground or minced, but it has to be there if you want to avoid tummy trouble! Substitute garlic with hing/ asafoetida if desired.

2 Responses to “Vazhakkai Varuval | Green Plantain Spicy Stir-fry”
  1. Nitya says:

    This has becomea favorite in our house! Comes out really nice.,… And is very easy to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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