Fried Plantain with Akamu
BY CHINELO NWAGBO
PLANTAIN is one of the many staple foods eaten with much enjoyment. It can be fried, boil, mashed, baked, pickled or grilled for eating. Frying is one of the simpler ways of eating plantain. Most children and even adults around the world like eating fried plantain because it tastes good.
Fried plantain has carbohydrate, fat as the prominent nutrients. It also contains significant amount of vitamin A, C, B1, B2, E, potassium, calcium, iron, fibre and magnesium.
Fried plantain has some health benefits when taken in moderation and can be harmful to health when taken in excess. Lean and thin people who desperately want to put on weight can benefit from eating fried plantain because of its high fat and carbohydrate content. Also vitamins like vitamin C and B-complex present in plantain help in proper absorption of this carbohydrate, which in return helps to gain weight.
Fried plantain, mostly the unripe type is an excellent food for diabetics because it contains little amount of carbohydrate which is absorbed slowly and does not produce a sharp rise in blood glucose (sugar) level. It is good to take fried plantain in moderation because over-indulgence or eating it in excess can cause so many health problems like indigestion, cardiovascular disease (arteriosclerosis, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia), obesity and some forms of cancer due to its high fat/oil content.
Plantains 4 medium size
Vegetable oil 1/ 2 cup
Salt to taste
Lime wedges optional
Method of preparation
Peel a ripe plantain and slice about ¾ inch thick.
Heat oil in fry pan over medium heat, use no more than one inch of oil.
Fry on both sides until golden brown.
Remove from fry pan to drain on paper towel.
Enjoy the plantain while hot with pap.
Pap, also known as ogi in Yoruba language or akamu in Igbo language respectively is very nutritious and is not difficult to prepare. Akamu is smooth corn starch porridge made from fermented corn paste with a slightly sour taste and is usually eaten as a breakfast meal.
Pap is usually taken with fried plantain or spicy fried bean balls called akara. You can add milk, soybean milk, beverage and granulated or brown sugar to the pap to make it taste great.
Intake of pap provides instant energy. It is high in simple sugars, readily absorbable, high in simple proteins and is rich in vitamins. It is recommended for children and people that are recovering from illness that cannot take solid foods.
Cornstarch pap with egg
Raw egg (optional)
Milk, sugar and preferred beverage (optional)
Method of preparation
Buy freshly made raw akamu or ogi.
Make it into a paste with the cold water.
Put a kettle of water to boil.
Pour really boiling water on the thick akamu paste, stirring all the time until a change in colour is observed and the paste thickens.
Put back in the pot and cook again for about 5 or 6 minutes to make sure that the akamu is thoroughly cooked. This is essential with children’s pap.
Remove from heat, and add a beaten egg to it. This enriches the pap, and is suitable for children. stir. The heat from the pap is enough to cook the egg without further cooking on fire. If required, sweeten with sugar. Those who can afford it may mix their preferred beverage with the akamu, as many children like this.
Source: The Guardian, 16th July 2011.