Instead of throwing them away, save money and the planet by cooking your banana peels into a curry. Creamy, tasty and vegan, this recipe from Sam Dixon’s Broke Vegan: One Pot is perfect for a low-cost dinner.
The thought of eating banana skins isn’t that appealing, but did you know that softening them in hot water makes them more palatable and easier to digest? Banana skins are full of antioxidants, including carotenoids and polyphenols, which help fight free radicals in the body, assisting in your overall health.
Peanut butter adds protein, which aids in muscle recovery, as well as loads of vital nutrients, like iron, magnesium, vitamin E and selenium. The fatty acids in coconut milk will keep you energised, while curcumin from turmeric helps fight inflammation.
Not only is this dish full of nutrients, but it’s cheap and easy to make, and is cooked in one pot! Just don’t forget to pre-soak your banana peels…
FYI, if banana peels aren’t your thing, there’s an option to use aubergine instead.
4 banana skins
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 curry leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 onions, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2cm (3/4 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Handful of coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved to serve
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon chilli powder
3 heaped tablespoons smooth or crunchy peanut butter
400ml (14 fl oz) can coconut milk
250ml (8 fl oz) water
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon light brown
1. Fill a bowl with warm water, add a pinch of salt and stir to dissolve. Add the banana skins and leave to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 6 hours. Drain the banana skins and cut into thin strips.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan or deep frying pan, add the curry leaves and cumin seeds and fry over a medium heat for about 20 seconds. Then add the onions, garlic, ginger and coriander stalks and cook for about 5–8 minutes until the onions are softened.
3. Add the banana skin slices and cook for another 8 minutes.
4. Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute, then add the peanut butter, breaking up any clumps with the back of the spoon. Pour in the coconut milk, measured water and lime juice, add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring to asimmer, then reduce the heat and cook gently for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
5. Thin with extra water if it becomes too thick. Season with salt to taste.
6. Serve scattered with the coriander leaves.
FOR PEANUT BUTTER AUBERGINE CURRY
Swap the banana peels for 4 aubergines, cut into 4 cm (11/2 inch) chunks. Sprinkle with a little salt and leave for a couple of minutes, then pat dry with kitchen paper. First, heat 4 tablespoons vegetable oil in the pan, add the aubergine in batches and fry for about 6–8 minutes until browned. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and set aside while you cook the sauce base in the pan as above. Once you have added the coconut milk, water, lime juice and sugar, stir in the fried aubergines and continue as above.
Recipe taken from Broke Vegan: One Pot by Sam Dixon (£12.99, Aster), out now.
Image: Charlotte Nott–Macaire
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