So about a week ago I had an incredible hankering for some good old fashioned Chips and Salsa. It was bad. I put off the craving for a few days only to realize it wasn’t going away. I had to do something about this insanity. So I resolved to make the best of it and attempt some more “Fijified” food options. This culinary adventure is one I HIGHLY recommend to EVERYBODY. I satisfied my craving with Fried Plantains and Tomato Chutney.
What, What? What on earth are those things? Well my friends here you go, prepare to have your taste buds rattled by this amazing concoction!
This will probably be the most difficult part of this culinary adventure for you folks. I don’t know how frequently you run into plantains at your average grocery store, so keep an eye out for this awesome product!
You will want to get about 3 UNRIPE plantains, here we call them vudi (vun-di) and they are most commonly boiled in their unripe stage as a starch to eat with your meal. They are green and very dense. Since they are unripe the peels won’t come off, so you are going to have to chop off each end and then use your knife to cut away the peel, leaving as much of that awesome plantain goodness inside.
Now you have a naked vudi. Chop that baby up into about 1/3-1/2″ thick rounds. Place them in a bowl.
Now fill a pan/pot with enough oil to fry the slices in. In my pot I could fit about 10-12 rounds in at a time in a single layer. Heat up the oil and drop those suckers in (carefully I might add, we are dealing with hot oil here)! Now, I can’t really tell you how long to fry them for… because I really wasn’t timing it. But it seems to take a while. You are going to want to flip the rounds during the process as well. They won’t really change color all that much, and you don’t want them to turn brown. So try to use those as your guidelines for the frying process.
One they are fried, place them on a cutting board and carefully take a rolling pin, flat tin can top, or something of the sort and gently mush them a bit. You just want to flatten the fried pieces, not mush them to bits.
Place these flattened fried vudi rounds back into the oil and fry, flipping once, for a few minutes. Be careful at this stage not to burn them! If they do change color, they do so very quickly so keep an eye on them.
Take them out of the oil and place on a piece of cardboard or newspaper to drain of excess oil and sprinkle with a touch of salt.
And PRESTO! You have vudi chips!
Now, why stop there? Whats a chip, without its dip? Well my friends here is the answer to your questions…
Now you are probably sitting there thinking to yourself, “Do I like chutney?”, “What is chutney?” and while I don’t actually have a definition for chutney, I think if you try this simple recipe, you will REALLY enjoy it! If not, feel free to use your standard salsa or guacamole for these vudi chips!
1 can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small minced onion
1-2 minced chili’s- depending on your spice preference
1 Tbsp oil.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stirring occasionally.
Once they “pop”, add the onion and stir for about 1-2 minutes until translucent
Add the garlic and chilies and cook for another few minutes to soften them and get all those flavors mixed together.
Add the drained and crushed tomatoes and the sugar and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
That’s it! You can eat it hot or cold, use it as a topper for your chips, salads, as a sandwich spread, to spice up an otherwise dull dish…. Its versatile and delicious and I promise you won’t be disappointed!
So friends, there you go. My “Fijified” solution to a chips and salsa craving. Now if I could only watch football games here…