Vazhakkai chips is a quintessential food item that is a must in any social luncheons especially in Tamilnadu. Having a good mandolin will enable you to get thin slices of the plantain which in turn will turn out crispier when fried. I had searched and searched for a good mandolin that will give me thin slices but it is my friend in the end who got me the one which worked perfectly for me. Even the costlier ones I owned already could not hold a candle to this cheap Chinese make. Hmmm... seems Though making this might seem so easy getting it perfect every time comes with more practice.
Homemade Vazhakkai Chips
Vazhakkai / Plantain – 1
Oil – to deep fry
For the spice mixture:
Red chili powder – ½ tsp
Chaat masala powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Salt – to taste
Wash the vazhakkai well. Trim the ends and peel the skin. Keep it immersed in water to prevent discoloring. With the help of a mandolin hold the plantain vertically and make thin slices. Spread the slices on a clean cloth or plastic sheet.
Heat a deep vessel with oil. In a small container place the spice mixture ingredients. Close with a lid and shake well and keep it aside.
When the oil is sufficiently hot sprinkle the sliced plantain evenly over the oil till the vessel can hold. Let it cook for a min or so. Then with the help of a spatula turn the chips over by giving it a stir. Let the sizzling sound of the oil stop. By this time the chips would have become golden brown in color. Drain on an absorbent paper.
Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the fried chips while it is still hot. Close the vessel with a plate and shake well for the spices to coat the chips evenly. Let it cool completely. Store in an air tight container and enjoy with lunch or as a snack.
Grease your hands with sesame oil to prevent from darkening or the stickiness while handling plantain.
Do not put a spatula immediately after you place the sliced plantain in the oil. They will stick to the spatula.
Let the chips cook in the oil for a minute or more first. This will prevent them from sticking to each other.
Mixing the spices first and sprinkling them over the chips while they are still hot will help them to coat well and will prevent from sinking to the bottom.