11 November, 2011

Balekai-Batate Palya | Plantain & Potato Stir Fry Recipe

Balekai-Batate Palya
What do you do when you are in no mood to follow a recipe (which happens most of the time) and bored of eating something you have already tried? Of course you wear a cap of recipe developer or recipe creator! Or dining out or ordering a takeaway is another option.

But with a Lil Dumpling it is not easy to just lock the door and dine out at our favourite restaurant. And regular readers already know my take on takeaway foods! So I was left with a choice of cooking something new, using the ingredients which I would never have imagined to put together! A quick peek into my pantry I came back with few potatoes and the plantains which I picked from Saturday farmer’s market from Caribbean stall. I put them on a kitchen counter and gave them a long stare! They started back at me… The click ticked and we were still rooted on a same spot! I don’t know what went in their mind but mine was buzzing with few ideas, starting from complicated spicy curry to simple roast! In the end I decided to stir fry them, in a single recipe.

Sweet, sour and spicy: Balekai-Batate Palya

Balekai-Batate Palya
Call it a madness of buzzing brain cells or result of idle mind; I have this delicious Baleka-Batate Palya recipe for you today! Balekayi or Balekai in Kannada means Plantains and Batate means Potatoes. Palya is a recipe preparation which is usually a dry curry by stir frying the seasonal vegetable with just a few herbs and spices. This simple stir fry of plantains and potatoes with tamarind and jaggery is a marriage made in heaven! The roasted onion lends a sweet note and the garlic gives it an aromatic twist! You can help but fall in love with this unique side dish of Balekai-Batate Palya as it sure to win your heart with sweet, sour and spicy taste.

Plantain for Balekai-Batate Palya

Balekai-Batate Palya (Simply stir fry of raw banana/plantain and potato with tamarind and jaggery)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-5 people
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Recipe Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Shelf Life: Tastes best when served fresh but can be stored for up to 5 days in refrigerator and 2 weeks in the freezer
Serving Suggestion: With Ganji (Rosematta rice porridge) and pickle or as a side dish with rice or chapatti

3 medium Raw Cooking Bananas/Plantains, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large Potato, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 large Onion, finely chopped
3-4 large cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 Green Chillies, slit (Adjust acc to taste)
1 large marble sized Tamarind Pulp (soaked in ¼ cup warm water and juice extracted)
¾ tbsp Jaggery/Cane Sugar (Adjust acc to taste)
Salt to taste

Spices Used:
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder (Optional)

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
½ tbsp Urad Dal
½ tbsp Channa Dal
2 dried Red Chillies, broken
Few Curry Leaves
A big pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
2 tbsp Oil

Balekai-Batate Palya

Delicious Balekai-Batate Palya
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add all the tadka/tempering ingredients one by one. When mustard seeds start to pop and splutter and the lentils turn golden brown, add chopped garlic and fry for half a minute.
  2. Mix in finely chopped onions and slit green chillies and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till onions start to brown.
  3. Add cubed potatoes and stir fry for 4-5 minutes till they start to brown on the sides.
  4. Mix in cubed plantains along with tamarind extract, jaggery, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt to taste and give it a good stir.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium heat by stirring the vegetables in between so that they don’t stick to the pan. If needed sprinkle little water in between for the vegetables to cook thoroughly. Switch off the flame once the vegetables are cooked. Make sure that you don’t over cook the vegetables as they should retain their shape and shouldn’t turn mushy.
  6. Serve this delicious sweet and sour Balekai-Batate Palya with Ganji (Rosematta rice porridge), ghee and pickle or simply serve it as a side dish with rice/chapatti and dal.

Sweet, sour & spicy too: Balekai-Batate Palya

Sia’s Notes:
  • Place the potatoes and plantains in separate bowls filled with cold water as they discolour very quickly once chopped and exposed to air.
  • If needed, you can also add ½ tsp of Garam Masala for different flavour.
  • To extract the tamarind juice, place the tamarind pulp in a bowl containing about ¼ cup of hot water. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Extract the juice from tamarind pulp as much as possible and discard the pulp. Alternatively you can use the tamarind paste you get in any Indian grocery stores. Since the tamarind paste is concentrated, 1 tsp should be more than enough for this recipe.


  1. Woww... very delicious and tempting combination.. simply inviting.. Thumba chennagide :)
    Indian Cuisine

  2. Balekai and Batate is a really interesting combo! Will try it for sure :)
    Hubby is not a great fan of Balekai but with potatoes in it he might just like it ;)

  3. Flavors I love! That dish looks marvelous.



  4. This looks delicious. love the combination of aloo and plantain - obvious, yet something i haven't tried yet :)

  5. You are a queen of veggies..Sia! How wonderfully you transform these simple veggies into such delightful dishes. Love the Title of the dish, though a bit difficult to read quickly :)
    Lite Bite

  6. looks delicious..we fry both the veggies and make a curry out of it.

  7. wow delicious and tempting recipe...beautiful clicks...

  8. Lovely recipe and equally lovely shots. I liked the shot of the peeled raw banana :)

  9. Sia I just picked up 2 balekai and was wondering what to make out of them. I have made curry, chips, paratha now what? Now you know what!!lol

    I am hosting the veggie of the month Raw Banana. You could link this with my event. I will be honoured.
    Hosting an event which I am calling Back to our Roots Also hosting for Nov’11 Veggie Food for the Month_Raw Banana. Please do send me your entries.

  10. Simple, delicious, homestyle palya :) Reminds me of my grandma`s cooking... Btw i have msgd u my mob no. on FB...
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  11. Lovely curry, very interesting combo , thanks for sharing a new addition for my everyday cooking

  12. Those raw banana with potato fry looks so tasty and would be great when paired with my al time fav curd rice:0

  13. Wow, iam drooling. awesome clicks :)


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