Sarkara varatti/ Sarkara uperi/Sweet plantain chips. Plantain chips coated with jaggery and spices. Heat from ground ginger goes well with sweet cardamom and savory cumin.
Sarkara varatti / Sarkara Upperi is one of the must have dishes in any sadya ( feast ) recipe of Kerala. Whether it is marriage, onam or any other functions where food is served on a banana leaf, then this sarkara varatti /sarkara upperi is a really must. I have been trying to perfect this dish for a long time, and after a third attempt failure I almost gave up. However I said I am going to try one more time, and I was able to conquer this recipe. Yes it is 4th time that I will finally succeed.
The first time, everything became so mushy and become blob, second time it doesn’t want to come out of that pan. I think both pan and sarkara varatti made an agreement together. Third time it was okay still plantain needs to fry little more. Finally on 4th time, I was able crack down the recipe. Make sure that plantain chips needs to be extra crispy. It should fry in the oil for about an hour in low flame. Then on the final step add little water to the oil to make it extra crisp. Once it completely cooled, then make jaggery (raw sugar) thick syrup and add sugar, then add spices like cardamom powder, cumin powder and mix well the fried plantain chips, make sure to coat each piece of plantain chips with jaggery. Then finally add ground ginger (chukka) also to make it extra flavor rich.
This is only one dish served throughout the entire Kerala for sadya. Only a few pieces are served on the extreme left tip of banana leaf along with a small banana and pappadam. Success of this recipe is that each and every pieces of plantain chips should coated with jaggery and also comes out as single pieces. I tried the recipe showed by famous chef Pazhayidom Mohanan Namboothiri in a YouTube video. He is really simple guy who makes awesome food. His ratio is for every 1000g/1 kg of chips you need 600g of jaggery.
Whenever my sarakara varatti episode dooms I buy from the store, one thing I don’t like is that it has expiry date of 2016. You will wonder how you can give that much expiry date. Yes most of Indian goodies give ridiculous expiry date. So this time I was in a mood to crack down the recipe. Finally able to do it successfully. So try this, trust me it won’t fail you. Experience is speaking here. For this onam why don’t you serve homemade fresh sarkara varatti. Here comes the recipe.
Sarkara Varatti/ Sarkara Upperi/ Sweet Plantain Chips
- 4 plantains peeled washed and chopped into ½ inch thick pieces
- ¾ cup/134.5 g Jaggery
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoon water +½ teaspoon
- 4 cup canola oil
- First wash and peel the skin of plantains and cut it into half then again cut each pieces into ½ inch pieces, dry them in a baking sheet for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a deep bottom pan, when it reaches 375F reduce the flame and add plantain pieces.
- Fry them in low flame for about 1 hours. At first you will hear very hissing voice then the voice reduces as plantains get fired. Make sure to fry very crisp. When you take one you need to snap it very easily.
- Around 55 minutes add ½ teaspoon of water into the hot oil. When the hissing voice of oil subside take the plantain chips and drain them into the kitchen towel. Continue the process until you finish the entire plantain pieces fried.
- Let cool the plantain chips for about 5 hours or more.
- For every 1000g for fried plantain chips you need 600g jaggery.
- When you are ready to make sarkara varatti, add jaggery and 3 tablespoon of water and heat, when jaggery melted, remove from the fire
- and strain for impurities.
- Bring back the jaggery water to boil again and until it reaches thick syrup (215 to 225F).
- Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and mix well.
- Then add cardamom powder and mix well.
- Then add cumin powder and mix well .
- Add fried plantain chips and coat jaggery mixture very well with each pieces.
- Switch of the flame and then add ground ginger powder and mix well again.
- Finally add two tablespoon of sugar and mix once again, you can see that each pieces comes out separately.
- Enjoy as much you want.
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This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.