Plantain and sweet potato cake

This is a kind of rösti, which I came up with to accompany some jerked chicken. Plantains are great: they are a cousin of the banana, and look like a giant, green, yellow or creamy version of the things you eat for pudding. Unlike a banana, a plantain is usually served cooked, either when under-ripe, when they are wonderfully starchy, or overripe, when they become sweet.

You can treat an under-ripe (green) plantain much as you would a potato. I’ve teamed my plantains up with a sweet potato here for some colour and extra sweetness. The allspice here is typically Jamaican, and goes really well with the jerked chicken you’ll find on this site.

To serve 3-4 as a side dish, you’ll need:

2 large green plantains
1 large sweet potato
1 medium onion
1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
Butter and oil to fry
Salt and pepper

Peel the plantains by chopping them in half widthways (not lengthways, as you would a banana) and easing the tough skin off. Grate the creamy flesh of the fruit. Peel and grate the sweet potato and the onion. Mix the grated sweet potato, plantain, the onion and allspice and some salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl, and melt a generous amount of oil and butter together in a large, non-stick frying pan until the butter starts to bubble.

Add the plantain and sweet potato mixture to the pan and pack it down so you have a thick pancake. Fry over a medium heat for ten minutes, then put a large plate over the pan and turn the whole arrangement upside-down, so the pancake ends up crispy side up on the plate. Return the pan to the heat, add more oil and butter and slide the pancake in, uncooked side downwards, and fry for another ten minutes. Serve piping hot.

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