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Plantain Gravy (Kele Ambat)

We have a big garden in front of our home, where we have grown different types of banana plants, coconut trees etc. We have both types of banana plants – one that can be eaten after ripening and the other type which is used in cooking. The second variety is called AnbaLi keLi (Not very sure if this is also called plantain). I make chips, phodis and this ambat, papads etc with these.

This ambat is prepared very frequently at home. It is very easy to make and very less time consuming. My husband and Shilpa loves this. Here we made this with plantains.

1 cup plantain(anbaLi keLi) pieces
1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1 tea spn coriander seeds
5-6 red chillies + 1 red chilli
1 tea spn mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract (or 2 pieces tamarind) or 2 pieces kokum
A pinch asafoetida

Peel the plantains and put them in water. Cut into bite sized pieces and cook in enough water.
Heat a little oil and add coriander seeds. Grind with coconut, red chillies and tamarind(if using).
Add the ground paste to cooked plantains. Add salt, add the kokum at this stage if using and let it boil for few minutes. Take off the heat.
Heat little oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves, asafoetida, 1 red chilli cut into pieces. Pour this seasoning over the gravy.
Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 20mins


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{ 24 comments… add one }

  • Poornima Prabhu June 15, 2010, 10:59 pm

    Thank you maayi for the recipe :) . We prepare this at home and at times we add dried shrimps and onion to the same preparation. It gives a different taste.

  • deepa June 16, 2010, 2:48 am

    hi shilpa…
    we make a similar ambat with radishes and also cabbage.
    though we use onions for the seasoning
    will try it with plantains next time..
    thnx for the recipe:)

  • deepa June 16, 2010, 2:50 am

    oops ..sorry !
    i was referring to varada pacchi!

  • Manju Rajender June 16, 2010, 4:29 am

    The presentation looks lovely. I love the smell of raw plantain and I am sure I will love this…we make a tamarind based gravy with raw plantain.

  • Kavitha June 16, 2010, 7:52 am

    Hi Mayi,

    I am new to your website but started using your receipes..this one is a must try for me now.:)

  • Lakshmi June 16, 2010, 8:12 am

    I love cooking with plantains..but dont know much recipes with this. This ambat looks lovely..bookmarked.

  • Shoba June 16, 2010, 11:28 am


    Such a simple & awesome receipe, Thanks for sharing. I was looking for one with Plantain & here is this.
    BTW Is fresh coconut can be given to moms after delivery, if not how many months we can’t, Could you please let me know


    • Shilpa June 16, 2010, 11:49 am

      Never heard about any restriction on fresh coconut. Both aayi and I had it from second day itslef.

  • kavita June 17, 2010, 2:10 am

    Hello aunty,
    My daughter loves plaintain fry, never heard of this recipe. Looks very tempting, going to try it soon.
    Appreciate for posting yummy recipies inspite of having a tight schedule at home.
    Thank you.

  • Sanjeeta kk June 17, 2010, 3:39 am

    Raw banana with tamarind extract! Must try it.

  • Apu June 17, 2010, 10:11 am

    Delicious looking curry!! This is too yummy!!

  • DD June 17, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    Do you use standard cup measurements ? The plantain in the picture above looks more than a cup (std one).

    • Shilpa June 17, 2010, 6:39 pm

      Yes, we use standard cup measurements. The ingredients in these recipes is approx only. You can increase or decrease the amount.

  • RV June 18, 2010, 9:52 am

    Amma makes a similar Ambhat. I love plantain especially in this curry.

  • Syema June 19, 2010, 11:53 pm

    Is there a substitute for coconut? Thanks.

    • Shilpa June 20, 2010, 10:34 am

      I don’t think so. Coconut is the main ingredient here

  • Chetna June 21, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Hi Varada Pacchi

    We make this recipe too – my mom calls it Kelya Ghasshi !!! and I love any dish made with raw plantains. Have not had this dish for a very long time as hubby does not like plantains much.

    Which red chillies did you use ? Bedgi? Bcos the colour is so gorgeous!! When I add the tamarind, the colour chnages to brown and I hate it.

    Thanks for posting this recipe

    • Shilpa June 21, 2010, 7:59 pm

      Chetna, aayi brought byadagi chillies from India.

  • S Mudbidri July 1, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Chetna, generally, Ambat would have toor dal isnt it. Is this sukke?

  • Amrapali July 8, 2010, 5:55 am

    thank you, for this recipe. Is it possible to add oninons or instead of seasoning of mustard seeds can we use sliced onions?

    • Shilpa July 8, 2010, 10:30 am

      We normally don’t use onions. You can give it a try.

  • Supriya October 28, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Amazing curry.Just add little tamarind(1/2tsp) else the color wont be the same. Also one can add onions whilst making the paste.Before frying the corriander seeds,you could use half an onion sliced and sautee it. Then grind it along with the paste of corriander seeds etc. Thank you Varada!

  • Victoria February 24, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Alot of your recipes involve frozen or fresh coconut. The problem I’m finding is the texture of this – it is always like eating bits and I don’t have the patience to sit there for half an hour trying to grind it to a paste. Can we use coconut milk as a substitute as then the sauce is nice and smooth.

    • Shilpa February 24, 2011, 6:56 pm

      Victoria, These are all traditional recipes which are always made by grinding coconut. You can try with coconut milk, taste will be considerably different

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