Roasted bananas with mustard seeds

Another odd one, but it suits my lack of a sweet tooth, and despite your misgivings it will be delicious

Sri Lanka again. I had this on a 7 day trip on a rice boat. The cook managed three meals a day, plus snacks, for a crew of four and four passengers, using only a Belling hard hob cooker with two rings, and no oven. That includes for making chapattis, and this delicious way with bananas.

I don’t like sweet things much, hence the paucity of recipes on the blog. But I do like fruit, these were sublime.

Here’s what you need

One big banana per person. It’s best if they’re a bit brown and speckly, but not everyone likes the slight discolouration of the flesh. If they’re still a bit green, increase the cooking time for a couple of minutes

Mustard seeds

Coconut milk (optional)

Honey, maybe. Ideally you need coconut sap, but you’ll find that hart to find in a supermarket

A really really sharp knife with a really really sharp point. A Stanley or craft knife is good if you’ve only got cheapo knives in your knife block in the kitchen

Here’s what you do

The bananas will be curved, so bear that in mind and listen carefully

Hold a banana with the concave side up. Carefully slip the point of the knife into the inside curve at the stalk, and slit the skin to within ½ “ of the nobbly bit at the end. Try not to cut the flesh too deeply.

Carefully loosen the peel from the flesh as much as you can

Sprinkle a teaspoon of mustard seeds into the resulting parcel. Add some coconut milk if you want. Maybe some honey if you’ve a sweet tooth

Wrap the bananas in foil, and scrunch the foil up so the bananas will stand in a roasting tin or baking tray without falling over

Stick in a slow oven, about 150 C, for about 15 minutes. If you’re brave you can cook them in a flat skillet over a really low heat, but you need diffuse heat, so it’s tricky on a gas hob.

Take the bananas and leave them to rest. They go lovely and gooey, and cool down. This is important since cooked banana is second only to melted cheese in its napalm-like qualities.


A variant

Add some poppy seeds as well, but not instead of the mustard seeds

Maybe some ground star anise, or half a cinnamon stick per nana

You can cook plantain like this too, but you’ll need to be a grownup and adjust the cooking time

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