How to Cook Green Bananas (with Scallions)
Green bananas contribute to a big part of East African cuisine. In Kenya, Uganda, and some other East African countries, you will find a wide variety of green bananas.
These are not varieties that feature a deep green color in their growth and maturity stages only to turn yellow when they ripen. Neither are they the kind of bananas that ripen while their peels are still green.
They are bananas that are specifically meant for cooking. Do not confuse them with plantains. The latter is also for cooking, but green bananas are smaller in size and come into two major groups. The first category is best when mashed. The other is great for recipes that require just the opposite.
Bananas commonly used for mashed recipes have a firm texture. The varieties used in stews are sort of waxy or floury.
Green cooking bananas can also ripen. But they taste less sugary. The texture also differs from that of bananas meant for ripening.
If you do not know much about bananas, be careful when buying green bananas for cooking. If by any chance you are sold a variety that is meant for ripening, the meal you prepare with them will leave a lot to be desired.
How to Cook Green Bananas
Different communities around the world inspire many ways to cook green bananas. My inspiration for this recipe is rooted in my love for spices, and the desire to try something different with the green bananas always available for most of the year on my granny’s farm.
The recipe brings together an array of flavorful spices, to spruce up the bland or slightly bitter flavor of green bananas. Cumin and black pepper combine to add warmth and a sweet aroma to the meal. Paprika adds smokiness and color to the bananas.
Plenty of scallions carry the day with a sharp bitter-sweet taste and blend with the rest of the ingredients to create something yummy.
These green bananas are great to eat on their own, especially as gluten-free breakfast or dessert. You can also pair them with meat and greens for dinner or lunch.
Green Bananas Recipe
- 1 Cooking pan with lid
- 1 Cooking stick
- 1 Folk
- 10 green bananas
- 1 cup or more scallions
- ⅓ cup cooking oil (olive or sunflower oil)
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1½ tsp paprika
- A pinch chili pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup water
- Use a sharp knife to peel the bananas. Place each peeled banana in a bowl of water to prevent it from turning brownish.
- Peel the scallions, wash them, and cut them into thin slices including the green leaves.
- Transfer oil and scallions into a cooking pan and cook on medium heat.
- Allow the green onions to cook for about 3 minutes whilestirring regularly.
- Add cumin, black pepper, and chili pepper, and continue stirring.
- Allow the onions and spices to cook for about 3 minutes while stirring continuously.
- Add salt and stir for a few seconds.
- Add bananas and sprinkle them with paprika. Stir with a cooking stick to combine everything.
- Allow the bananas to cook for 5 minutes while stirring as needed.
- Add water, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the meal to cook on low heat.
- Uncover the lid after 5 minutes and turn the bananas so that they can cook evenly. Add more water if needed, then cover again.
- Uncover, and use a folk to check if the bananas are soft and cooked.
- Let simmer until the liquid dries up then remove from heat.
- Serve hot.