Walk into any West Indian take-out restaurant and order a serving of fried rice, chow mein, cook-up rice, pelau, or spinach rice, and your order will be sure to come with a side of sweet plantains. It was always my favorite part of the meal, and since a side order meant only one or two plantains, I'd try my hardest not to eat all of it at once!
Plantains have such a wonderful taste and it's amazing how the flavors can change dramatically as they get riper. My father made these for us at home as well. Whenever he would prepare dishes such as cook-up rice or chow mein, he'd also fry these up on the side. I'd sprinkle a little cinnamon over them and enjoy them as a dessert. From a quick glance, anyone would correctly assume that plantains, whether green or ripe, are a part of the banana family. The main difference with plantains and bananas is that plantains usually have to be cooked before consumption.
Plantains also grow year-round which makes them easily accessible as well as affordable. There have been many times when I have bought green plantains and never got a chance to cook them, but within a week and half the plantains would turn ripe just by being left out on my counter. You can tell they are ripe by color and texture of the skin. The skin will feel soft and the color will turn yellow and possess large black spots; the darker the spots the riper the plantain is. When that happens, this is how I prepare them. Enjoy!
Sweet Plantains with a Sprinkle of Cinnamon
- Desired amount of ripe plantains
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- Ground cinnamon
- Make a faint slice down the back of the plantain. Peel skin off.
- Cut plantains into one and a half inch slices. Slice on an angle.
- Heat oil on medium-high heat.
- Add plantains and fry until dark brown.
- Remove from oil onto paper towels to drain.
- Immediately sprinkle ground cinnamon and enjoy warm.