This is a traditional West African snack that can also be served as a vegetable. The idea of frying plantains has crossed the Atlantic and the practice can be found in virtually all parts of the Caribbean. Methods differ slightly. In Spanish-speaking islands the plantains are sometimes flattened and fried and called tostones, while in Haiti they are known as banana pes and usually accompany griots de porc. They are sprinkled with sugar and served as dessert in Guadeloupe and are the traditional accompaniment to Cuba’s picadillo. In still other islands they are fried crisp and eaten as snacks or hors d’oeuvres. This is a basic recipe that individual cooks can adapt to their own methods.


3 large ripe plantains*

oil for frying


* Plantains have black skins when ripe.


Peel and slice the plantains. Depending on the desired result, the plantains can be sliced into thin rounds, cut into coarse dice, or cut lengthwise in strips. While the plantains are being cut up, heat the oil to 350 - 375F in a heavy skillet. When the oil is hot, add the plantain pieces a few at a time. Cook until the edges are brown and crispy. Turn and cook on the other side. Remove and drain on absorbent paper. Cook the remainder of the plantains in the same manner. Serve warm. Depending on whether you wish your plantains to be  snack, an accompaniment to vegetables, or a dessert, you may sprinkle them with salt, chile powder, or powdered sugar.


Serves 6.


country : Benin

course : vegetable dish


source : Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons : Africa’s Gifts to New World Cooking / Jessica B. Harris