Yes you read that correctly, and I'll say it again... BANANA SKIN CURRY!
I love Pinterest - I pin design inspiration, fashion inspiration, holiday inspiration, upcycling and crafts, but more anything - I love pinning recipes.
I am a big foodie! My family are all excellent cooks, 3 of them have been caterers and I have been inspired by all of them most of my life. When it comes to cooking, I love to experiment and often my "winging it" ends up better than the original, but when I found a recipe for banana skin curry after searching for "zero waste recipes", I was more than a little sceptical! I almost shuddered at the thought, having accidentally bitten into raw banana skin many times and remembered its bitter and waxy coating. I couldn't imagine in what world the recipe could possibly work but my inner chef wanted to give it a go!
Banana skin raw? oh no no no! Banana skin cooked? Oh yes yes yes!
I didn't want to waste ingredients in case it went horribly wrong so made a small batch first to taste before submitting my unsuspecting family to my secret ingredient. I tested the banana skin after around 10 minutes of cooking and I'm not going to lie, I did it with my eyes closed while wincing, I was surprised at how little it tasted of banana but didn't enjoy how rubbery the skin seemed and decided it hadn't been cooked long enough. I tasted again after another 10 minutes and was amazed at the results, once soft the banana skin doesn't resemble anything strong in flavour - if I had to describe it, the texture is similar to a cross between an aubergine and a yam or sweet potato! It's soft but has a little bite, there is absolutely no banana flavour, nor is it sweet in any way, but seems to absorb whatever flavour you put with it... Eureka!
I made the larger batch and fed it to my husband, 5 year old son and 7 year old daughter, I waited... not a peep and lots of "mmmm's", I actually had the giggles that they were eating it without a peep until one of them said, " what are these bits Mummy?" I asked them to guess, no-one did. I finally told them what it was and now it's a weekly request. I adapted a lot from the original recipe and it often ends up different every time, but it remains delicious.
3-5 banana skins, sliced and with woody ends removed
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil (I use the oil from the sun dried tomatoes)
Half butternut squash, chopped into bitesize chunks
Green veg! I used tender stem broccoli, but have used peas, green beans, spinach... whatever's in season
Thumb of ginger (I never remove the skin, just grate it straight in)
Thumb of fresh turmeric grated with skin on (or 1 tsp dried and ground turmeric)
3 cardamom pods
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 fresh chilli if you like it hotter
6 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree or sun dried tomato paste
1 can coconut milk (I use Biona as they use BPA free lining)
1 tsp bouillon or a veggie stock cube
Use 1 tsp of the oil to coat the chunks of butternut squash before adding some salt and pepper and one of the teaspoons of cumin, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes on 200° C (Roasting the veg first creates a deeper flavour intensity). Sauté the onion in a large pan over a low heat with the remaining oil (cooking onion low and slow brings out extra flavour and sweetness). Add the sun dried tomatoes, ginger, turmeric and garlic and stir for a minute or so before adding the dried spices and fresh chilli if using. Add the banana skin and mix everything together before adding the coconut milk. Pop the butternut squash in once cooked and add your greens of choice along with a splosh of water and the veggie stock (only add the water if your coconut milk has thickened) then pop a lid on the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until the green veg is cooked. Give it a stir and if there is still some excess liquid you can crank the heat up to high to thicken it up before serving. If I have some coriander, I will sprinkle some over the top and I usually serve with boiled white basmati rice, homemade chickpea roti and cucumber raita.
Please comment if you make this as I would love to know what others think of the recipe. this recipe turns out differently every time as I tend to adjust it depending on what ingredients and spices I have knocking around, for example, you can swap the coconut milk for chopped tomatoes for a more rogan josh style curry or you could try yoghurt, the sun dried tomatoes are not necessary but add a lovely zing to the flavour and I have done it without the cardamom and turmeric before when I have run out too.