In Jamaica we eat lots of green foods such as plantains, bananas, June plums and even green mangoes. Green June plums & mangoes can be peeled, sliced thinly and eaten with a little salt. Delicious! Green plantains & bananas can be crushed and fried, or grated and cooked.
In Japan, the Japanese do not eat green plantains or bananas. Here, green bananas are used in a ritual to honor the ancestors. In this ritual the green fruit is used to make little horses that are supposed to carry the ancestors back to the spirit world after they ‘visit’ during the traditional obon festival. Many Japanese people are surprised when we Jamaicans tell them we eat green bananas.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that we use green plantains and bananas to make this porridge. Other Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and Hispaniola and Cuba also use these green fruits in a variety of ways.
Here is my recipe for Jamaican Plantain Porridge (without my secret ingredient of course). This can be eaten for breakfast with fresh fruits or had as a lunch dessert. Enjoy! ٩(^ᴗ^)و
3 green Plantains
¼ cup Whole Milk
½ cup Condensed Milk
4 Tbsp Brown Sugar
5 cups Water (purified)
¼ tsp Nutmeg (grated)
¼ tsp Cinnamon (grated)
3 drops Vanilla essence
A Pinch of Salt
Wash the green plantains to remove any dirt etc. Some people use a little cooking oil on their hands when they peel green bananas. I’ve not had to do this with plantains because they’re not as stainy but you can if you so desire.
Cut the tips off each plantain and make an incision along the length of each one with the tip of the knife. Slide your thumb into the incision and remove the skin. Many people like to use a blender to puree the plantains but I prefer the old fashioned way. I use a grater to grate them but you can slice them up and put them in a blender with 1 cup of water. Some people add a little flour to thicken the mixture more but I dislike flour in porridge. Blend until it’s smooth.
Boil 5 cups of water in a pot then add the mixture slowly. Whip it gently with a fork to prevent lumping as you put it into the boiling water. Let this cook for 15 to 20 minutes on a medium flame and watch out for bubbles. A burn from this will leave a blister.
Afterwards, add the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and condensed milk. Stir well and add milk while stirring. Add the pinch of salt last and mix well. Serve warm so as not to burn your tongue.
P.S. You can also use green bananas for this recipe. You’ll need 5-7 green bananas though since they are much smaller than plantains.
JAMAICAN PLANTAIN PORRIDGE