Ripe plantains roasted in ghee, covered in eggs with a hint of cardamom and a sprinkle of sweetener is a staple pre-breakfast dish in a Moplah home. 🙂 Yes, you read it right - Pre-breakfast is a thing in our community even now but somewhere post-college I ditched that habit. One of you had asked me what is the one dish I can eat every day of my life - It would be this plantain with eggs - Kaai Vatiyathu or called Kaai vatiye. 😛
Like every other dish, this plantain with eggs also has variations in method and title across Kerala. I don't know why we call it Kaai Vatiyathu which translates to Plantain Roasted when it could have been Nenthrapazham Vatiyathu which is Ripe plantain roasted. But I would like to keep it true to the tradition and call this Kaivattiyathu even though I feel it is misleading. 🙂
Plantains are different from the usual bananas and are referred to as "Cooking Banana". Unlike bananas, plantains are used both in raw and ripe form. The raw or green plantains are used in cooking curries and stir-fries similar to potatoes while the ripe plantains are used in making desserts and sweet breakfasts like today's recipe. The ripe plantains are either steamed or roasted to make them easier to digest but a very ripe plantain can be had without cooking. On the nutrition front, they are a great source of potassium and dietary fibre. Pairing it with egg or ghee makes it a wholesome balanced meal, the best way to start the day.
Just like a banana, they too go from green to yellow to black when most ripe. But these days you find the plantain skin yellow with black spots and yet not fully ripe. I have experienced such cases where the skin is black with yellow spots which are a sign that it is ripe but yet when you peel, you got yourself a not very ripe enough plantain so they are not very sweet either. So these days even if the plantains are black and yellow, I go with the technique of pressing to see if they give in, just like you do for avocados. Lightly press the fruit and see if it is soft and use it accordingly. Store them at room temperature in a basket without any plastic bags to make them last longer.
Ripe Plantains in Malabar Delicacies
We use a lot of ripe plantains as it is in season all through the year and use them for making breakfasts, snacks and desserts.
- Kaai Vaityathu - Ripe plantain pan-roasted in ghee with eggs
- Unnakaya - Ground plantain stuffed with egg and coconut
- Pazham Nirachathu - Ripe plantain stuffed with coconut
- Pazhamporri - Ripe plantain fritters
- Kai Pola - Ripe plantain and egg cake
- Kaai Curry - Ripe plantains pudding in coconut milk with rice dumplings
- I will update as I remember... 😊
Ingredients for Plantain with Eggs
How to prepare plantains for breakfast? You can make pan-roasted ripe plantains in several different ways but the recipe I am sharing today is the simplest version with very few ingredients.
- Ripe plantains - Not too ripe and mushy but little more than just ripe so it is naturally sweet.
- Cardamom powder
You don't need any accompaniment with Kaai Vatiyathu but some days I make it as an open-face sandwich with spreads like peanut butter or biscoff or even cream cheese! With the current eating right and health goals I have ditched the bread and instead stick to this simple version and add more eggs and ghee or even feta or cream cheese if hungry.
How to make Kaai Vatiyathu / Pan Roasted Ripe Plantain with Eggs?
Honestly, the ingredients are the same but the method differs among families mostly in the way the plantains are sliced. I prefer roundels, my mom makes them half-moon, some make them long strips, and some dice the plantains. So it is up to you to decide how you like to see it on your plate. 🙂
Rest is as simple as roasting them with ghee on a pan and adding eggs and flavour of your choice, where cardamom makes the best. You can either scramble up the whole thing or make it like an omelette and serve.
Kaai Vatiyathu | Pan Roasted Ripe Plantains with Eggs Recipe
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 large ripe plantain
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 pinch cardamom powder
- sweetener for taste
- Heat ghee on a flat cast iron pan on low to medium flame.
- Slice the plantains into roundels of little less than ¼ inch thick.
- Let the plantain slices roast for 2 to 3 minutes or until they develop caramelized brown spots. (check by turning one slice)
- Flip the slices to roast the other side. (add more ghee around the pan)
- Add two eggs and spread them across to cover all of the plantain slices.
- Sprinkle salt, cardamom and sugar.
- Cover and cook on low flame until the eggs are cooked.
- Open, fold to one side or tear to pieces and serve warm with tea or coffee. (you may place some feta cheese before closing)
Btw, this blog is 5 years old today! Happy Birthday My Life in Yanbu turned But First Chai 😛