Crispy Plantain Wafers
SADA KACHA KELA BHAJI

-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
           
                   In south India these are as popular as potato chips are in America. It is a national snack pastime, and in much of the south, is almost always fried in coconut oil. This tasty oil is also pastime, and in much of the south, is almost fried in coconut oil. This tasty oil is also highly saturated, and should be avoided if you are on a cholesterol reduced diet; try sunflower, safflower or soybean oil instead. South Indians, from roadside cooks to housewives, swear by a special frying treatment for the wafers. Since it involves sprinkling water in hot oil, it breaks all safety rules. To avoid splattering, use a spray bottle set on the finest mist. It will cause the oil to foam, but splatter no more than when adding potato straws for frying.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 10 minutes
Soaking time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 or 5 as a nibbler

2 large unripe plantains, each 9-12 inches (23-30 cm) long
table spoon (7 ml) turmeric
2 table spoons (30 ml) hot water
Melted coconut or vegetable oil for frying

1.    Cut away the hard skins from the plantains with a paring knife and slice cross-wise, slightly on the diagonal, as thinly as possible. Soak the plantain in ice water for at least hour, then drain and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
2.    Dissolve the salt and turmeric in the hot water and place it in a spray bottle. Pour 2 inches (5 cm) of oil into a deep-frying vessel. Place the pan over moderate heat and slowly heat to 370 F (190 C) on a deep-frying thermometer. When it is hot, drop in enough plantain slices to float to a layer on top of the oil. The oil will froth and foam. Fry for about 2 minutes. Holding the spray bottle well above the pan, spray a fine mist into the pan. The oil will froth, but not splatter. (Experts feel this is the means to the crispiest wafers). Fry, turning to cook on both sides, until they are very crisp, still yellow-colored, for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Fry the remaining wafers in the same way. Serve hot or let cool and store in airtight containers. These wafers stay crisp indefinitely but are considered stale after a week or two.