Recipes

Plantain Kelewele

JJ Johnson

The Henry at Life Hotel and Fieldtrip, NYC

Alexander Smalls

The Cecil and Minton's, NYC

Veronica Chambers

Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day

“Traditionally, this dish is made with sweet plantains that are mixed into a batter, fried, and dusted with powdered sugar. But we do a savory version. An ice cream scoop will help you get that perfect shape: scoop out the mixture and fry it in hot oil.”—James Beard Award nominees JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers

 

Ingredients

  • 5 ripe plantains
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 seeded and minced bird’s-eye chile
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Vegetable oil for frying 
  • Harissa paste for serving

Method

Using a hand mixer or food processor, pulse the raw plantains to a chunky paste.

Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in the rice flour, chile, cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper, making sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and combined.

Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes to meld the flavors.

Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy 8-quart pot over medium-high heat until hot and simmering but not smoking, about 350 degrees F.

Carefully fry heaping tablespoons of the batter in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Cook, turning often, until crispy around the edges and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried plantains to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

To serve: serve warm with harissa paste
 

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Excerpted BETWEEN HARLEM AND HEAVEN: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day by JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers. Copyright © 2018 by JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photographs by Beatriz da Costa.

Yield

Serves 6