These fried plantains, or ndizi kaanga, are an easy Tanzanian side dish that brightens any plate.
Do I need to smash the plantains before cooking?
No, you don’t. Not for this recipe. That’s traditional for tostones, a Caribbean preparation in which the plantains are sliced, then smashed to an even thinness prior to being fried. But this tradition is just as lovely in a different way.
Fried Plantains ~Ndizi Kaanga
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 10 M
- Serves 2 to 4
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the plantain pieces in a single layer and cook until dark brown on the undersides, 2 to 5 minutes.
Carefully turn each plantain and cook just until the other side of each is lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Transfer the plantains to a platter and drizzle with the lemon juice and sprinkle with the salt and nutmeg.
Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to a few days and warmed in a skillet before serving.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This was my first experience with plantains and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of these. I found I liked them best when they were fried crispy and sprinkled with a little bit of brown sugar while frying. The flavor combination of sweet brown sugar mixed and the tang of the lemon juice was enough to satisfy my urge to snack.
I ate these just as they were, cooked in butter with brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg. They would be good topped with whipped cream.
It had been a while since I had tasted plantain and I had forgotten how filling this fruit/vegetable could be. This recipe works. It’s fast, it’s tasty, it’s nutritious. The plantain is an acquired not-so-much taste but texture. It’s unexpectedly dense and very filling.
Nutritiously, this fruit/vegetable is higher in potassium and magnesium than bananas. It is also high in fiber and has anti-inflammatory properties. The nutmeg and lemon juice brighten up the flavor. I used flaked salt, as this is my favorite finishing salt, and it delivered. The flavor and texture worked well in my sweet application paired with fresh blueberries and blueberry jam on a Dutch baby pancake. The plantain slices were thick in this application but would have worked well thinly sliced.
The plantain also warmed up well 2 days later to be served as a side to butter chicken and other veggies. I would enjoy this plantain recipe again but as a side vegetable to truly take advantage of the density and texture with a background savory sweet flavor profile.