Plantain/Banana Chips (Kele Balka)

Banana chips are a very popular snack. We grow many varieties of bananas in our garden. Some of these are consumed ripe and some are mainly used for cooking (also called plantains). As my children liked them, I used to prepare them on large scale and store them in big tin containers. They loved to eat hot chips just out of oil. While my son and husband loved the spicy ones, my daughter liked plain chips.

I usually fried them in coconut oil as we were not diet conscious in those days. Chips fried in coconut oil last for more days. Any types of raw bananas (fully grown only) can be used for this purpose. I normally use a local variety called ‘Anabale’ in Konkani. Another popular variety used is called ‘Nendrabale’.

Raw bananas
Turmeric powder
Red chilly powder/pepper powder (optional)

Put longitudinal cuts on the external surface of bananas with knife and peel off the skin. Apply little oil to palms (to avoid palms becoming sticky and black). Immerse the peeled bananas in water for about thirty minutes. This removes the gum from bananas.
Cut the bananas into thin circular chips and spread them on a cotton cloth and allow them to dry for about thirty minutes.
Mix 1-2 tea spn salt and 1/4 tea spn turmeric powder in 1/4 cup of water and keep it aside.
Heat oil and deep fry the dried banana chips in it. When they are almost done (Take the spoon and mix the chips, if you can hear the sound of chips, then they are almost done) pour 1-2 tea spn salt and turmeric water in it. Take care to avoid splashing of hot oil when you add salt water to the oil. Frying is almost over when the splashing and the sound ceases.
Take off the chips from the oil. You can sprinkle the red chilly powder or pepper powder over the fried chips per your taste.

You can store these chips in a container when they cool. Remember to reduce the amount of salt water for subsequent batches as the oil in the pan absorb some amount of salt.

Note: Instead of adding normal salt, you can also sprinkle some rock salt on top to introduce unique taste.


14 thoughts on “Plantain/Banana Chips (Kele Balka)”

  1. Wow, varadpachi…they look so nice. Extra Virgin coconut oil is the best for heart and health. Nothing can beat the taste of the same in Konkani food. Amma slices the bananas with the help of her 30 year old mandolin directly in oil. I do not know the variety of the banana, but they come from Kerala. The ones grown locally in Mumbai do not give the same taste.

  2. Dear Shilpaji,
    I like these banana spicy chips very much in Kerala in coconut oil with without chilly I ate. Here in Auckland locally they only sweet chips are available. Here raw Banana are slightly smaller than Kerala plenty and cheap available. Will try your spicy banana next times. Photos are really very excellent and many are given, without reading text one can make it nicely. No more video needed next time for this chip.

    Would you publish ‘Potato Wafers’ recipe at your convient time. Here in market with cross lining thick chips and thin wafers chips are both salty selling. I like to know about thin type salty potato-batata wafers.

  3. Hi Shilpa,
    I make these banana chips fairly regularly at home with coconut oil only and with nandrabale only, they turn out great. I use a wooden grating handle kind of a thing which has a blade inbuilt into it, and directly grate the bananas into the hot oil, they get done much much faster than cutting and spreading them on a cloth.

  4. Bhari laayak korn dilla and daakella. Tukka dhanyavaadu ge maayi! Ashi baaki raandap bhi nettari ghaala. Photo sagle bhari chand ailaachi. Shubhoday!

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