FOOD EXPEDITIONS: Changalikodan bananas make delicious Keralan snacks.

Losing weight means eating healthy and doing regular exercise. However, the key to success is eating raw bananas or banana leaves.

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world and they have been cultivated for thousands of years. The fruit has many health benefits, including aiding digestion.

Many cultures around the world use banana leaves as bandages and clean wounds. According to one study, “Banana leaves: an alternative wound dressing material?“, conducted by researchers at the University Hospital of Zurich,

“Banana leaf dressings are usually prepared by cutting out the midrib of the leaf. These leaves are then pre-treated differently before applied on the patient’s wounds. In some reports, banana leaves are first coated with a paste made of cooking fine flour. These dressings are then dried for 24 h and sterilized before use. Others directly apply banana leaves on patient’s wounds without any pre-treatment [4]. As a natural product, banana leaves must be sterilized before use to remove the pathogenic flora. Untreated leaves are heavily contaminated with 7000 to 5 × 105 colony-forming units (CFU), mainly consisting of aerobic spore-forming bacilli (Bacillus spp.), Gram-positive cluster-forming cocci (mainly Micrococcus spp.) and molds [5]. Of importance, contaminants likely include potentially pathogenic organisms, such as anaerobic spore-forming bacilli (e.g., Clostridium spp.).”

During ancient times, smallpox patients in India lay down on mats of banana leaves because they cooled the skin and did not stick to open wounds.

Bananas are also a valuable fruit for the body because of the many nutrients that they contain. They are rich in potassium, an electrolyte that helps control blood pressure and heart activity. They also have vitamin B6 and manganese, both of which contribute to growth and development.

Raw bananas have a high amount of fiber, which is important for digestion and weight loss. The fiber in raw bananas helps to maintain a healthy digestive system. Bananas are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Because they are high in fiber, bananas can help to control blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller for a longer time. 100 grams of raw banana provides 89 calories, 23 grams carbohydrate, 0.36-gram protein, and 0.94-gram dietary fiber.

Nendran Banana syndicates to Various Snack

Changalikodan Nendran Banana, or famously known as Changalikodan, is the variety that people in India usually consume because of its taste and flavor. It can be eaten raw or cooked with other dishes as well.

Kerala banana is mostly grown in the district of North Kerala, which has a perfect climate for growing this fruit. In fact, it’s called “God’s own country” because these plantations are present throughout the state and also in other districts like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

It is interesting to note that historical records show that bananas were cultivated around two thousand years ago during the time when Buddhism flourished in India. We know from history that Banaras (Varanasi) was an important place where traders used to sell a variety of fruits.

North Kerala.
Tamil Nadu. (CREDIT: Ranjith Kumar Inbasekaran)

When eating raw nendran banana there are various ways you can do so whether with plain salt, chilly powder, or masala. It can also be added as an ingredient in various dishes like Idli, Dosa, Upma, Pongal, etc. Besides that, it can also be made into juice or milkshake form.

Here are a few snacks derived from the Changalikodan.

Pazham Pori

Pazham Pori is a snack made from banana and rice flour. It can be eaten as it is or with chutney. There are even special varieties of Pazham pori that include peanuts, cashews, etc. within the batter. The batter consists of steamed mashed bananas mixed in water and ground to a paste along with rice flour, salt, ghee (clarified butter), sugar, cardamom powder, nuts & raisins if desired. This mixture is then deep-fried until golden brown on low heat for around 20 minutes after which time they’re ready to eat.

CREDIT: Lakshmiaju.

Banana chips

Banana chips are a popular snack in India. They are made from sliced bananas that are then deep-fried in oil and seasoned with salt. Sometimes sugar and spices are also added to the mix. The result is a crispy, tasty treat that’s perfect for munching on while watching TV or reading a book!

In fact, this is one of the favorites for the people in south India. A portion of snack food is available in every grocery store and supermarket. They are made by drying sliced bananas and then frying them. They have been popular for a long time, but some people do not like their taste or shape.

CREDIT: Kiranrad

Banana Bhajji

Banana Bhajji is another popular and delicious Indian snack. It consists of slices of banana which are dipped in a batter made out of flour, salt and water then deep-fried until golden brown. The result tastes awesome with green chutney and red chili powder (optional). I love to eat them fresh right after frying as they taste like heaven! Banana bhajis can be eaten any time such as breakfast or snacks but most people make this for religious occasions.

There are a lot of ways to eat a banana, and it can be hard to know what will work best for you. This article just provides a few deliverables from the banana’s modest culture in South India.

Additionally, this can also be one of the best reasons to visit Kerala because you can eat a wide range of different fruits. Banana and pineapple are two very common flavors, but there’s also jackfruit and sapota (custard apple).


WORDS: Sharath Prasad.

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