On hurried nights, she would sometimes put it together using either plantains or potatoes, capitalizing on the natural, starchy deliciousness of these vegetables to make a perfectly sumptuous side-dish in very little time.
Kelyache Kaap are not too unlike that delicious Mexican dish, fried plantains, except that we add some typically Indian spices to our version: turmeric and red chilli powder. But the basic ingredients and technique are the same: plantains fried to deep, delicious, golden goodness on a skillet with a little bit of oil.
When I shop for vegetables I tend to get excited and buy more than I can possibly cook in the short term, which means I leave them sitting around until I can find the time to get to them. So for me one of the best things about this dish is that I can make it with a plantain at almost any stage of ripeness, except, of course, when it is over-ripe. This time the plantains were just beginning to turn yellow and when I tasted a piece as I chopped it up, it was just mildly sweet and still very starchy. Perfect.
2 medium plantains (you can use green or moderately ripe plantains, but be sure they are still quite firm). Cut each plantain in half, then make a lengthwise cut along one side just through the skin. Peel off the skin. Cut the plantain lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/3 cup rava (cream of wheat, sooji, farina)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
In a cast-iron or non-stick skillet, heat the oil.
Meanwhile, toss the plantain slices with the turmeric and chilli powders and salt.
Place the rava in a plate and dredge each plantain slice in the rave, making sure both sides are well-coated.
Place in the hot oil, making sure you do not overcrowd the pan.
Fry each side until golden, about 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat.