Aratikaya Vepudu or the crisp raw banana fry from Andhra Pradesh is just my absolute favourite way of cooking raw banana. Pair this crispy, crunchy dish—called Vazhakkai Varuval in Tamil and Vazhakkai Mezhukkupuratti in Malayalam—with Sambar Rice or Curd Rice, and you have just the perfect meal.
The perfect Aratikaya Vepudu is crisp and beautifully browned on the outside and just a touch soft on the inside.
I enjoy this delicious Andhra Raw Banana stir-fry with Sambar Rice (Kadamba Sadam), Pappu Pulusu Annam (Andhra Style Dal with Tamarind and rice) or Perugu Annam (Curd Rice) and it is just the comfort meal I need as a pick-me-up. In Andhra Pradesh, we eat this dish with hot steamed rice topped with sesame oil. If you are like me or my brother, you may even eat this stir-fry as a snack. 😀
Tips to Make The Perfect, Crisp Aratikaya Vepudu
- Patience. They key to getting the perfectly crisp banana fry is loads of patience. You really need stir-fry the banana pieces on a low to medium flame till they are crisp and a beautiful reddish brown on the outside and that takes time (about 30 minutes).
- Do not cover the stir-fry even after it is done. If you are cooking it in advance, you can cover it after it has completely cooled to room temperature.
- Use a large kadhai or wok, such that all banana pieces for a maximum of 2 layers. If you use a small kadhai, the pieces will not fry well.
- Use absolutely raw bananas of the type shown in the picture below. The cross-section of these bananas is essentially triangular.
- Use green, firm raw bananas. The skin should be a vibrant green and not have traces of yellow, which indicates that the banana has started to ripen.
- We make Vazhakkai Varuval just before we sit down for a meal so that we can enjoy it straight off the kadhai. If you keep it for long, it tends to soften. While it still tastes good, it loses the crispness that makes it so desirable.
I had first posted this recipe in 2013, and then I updated it in 2014. I am once again updating it, after oh-so-many-years! 🙂
How to Make Aratikaya Vepudu: The Crisp and Spicy Raw Banana Stir-Fry from Andhra
- In a broad-based kadai or large wok, over medium flame, heat 3 tbsp oil.
- Use a few drops of oil and grease your palms well. This prevents the sap from the banana skin from sticking to your palms. Please do grease your palms, else the sticky residue is hard to get off and blackens your palms.
- Peel one raw banana at a time and cut it into 1/2″ cubes.
- Immediately, add the chopped raw banana pieces to the wok and mix well.
- Repeat the process with each of the 4 bananas.
- Over low to medium heat, constantly stir-fry till the bananas pieces turn golden brown.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add 1 tsp chilli powder and salt to taste.
- Mix well.
- Serve immediately with Sambar Rice, Curd Rice, or Dal Chawal.
Recipe for Aratikaya Vepudu | Vazhakkai Varuval | Vazhakkai Mezhukkupuratti
Aratikaya Vepudu | Crisp and Spicy Raw Banana Fry | Vazhakkai Varuval | Vazhakkai Mezhukkupuratti
- 1 Large Wok
- 1 Chopping Board
- 1 Peeler
- 1 Knife
- 4 Raw Banana (Aratikaya, Vazhakkai)
- 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 3 tbsp Oil
- Salt to Taste
- In a heavy-bottomed kadai/wok, over medium flame, heat 3 tbsp of oil.
- Grease your palms with a few drops of oil.Note: This ensures that the sap from the banana peel does not stick to your hands. Please do not skip this step, as the sap is hard to get off and blackens your hands.
- Peel and cut 4 raw bananas into 1/2″ cubes.
- Add the chopped raw banana pieces to the wok and mix well.Note: I add the banana pieces as soon as I chop them to the wok and mix well. This prevents them from turning black.
- Over medium heat, stir-fry the bananas pieces till they turn crisp and are a beautiful reddish brown.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add 1 tsp chilli powder and salt to taste, and mix well.
- Serve the crisp and spicy Aratikaya Vepudu immediately with Sambar Rice or Dal Chawal.