Banana Chips: The Origin Story Of Kerala's Favourite Snack
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Banana Chips

The opulence of salty snacks aka Namkeen in India is mindboggling. Starting from the north of India we have Aloo Bhujia, Khata Meetha Namkeen, Peanut Masala, Masala Samosa, Namakpare, and whatnot. Coming to the southern side of India, the horizon broadens even more with the abundance of raw bananas in the region. Thanks to the cultivation of bananas we get to binge on the most delicious and famous salty snack of Banana Chips. And Kerala is one of the many Southern states that are famous not only for the plantation of bananas but for being a genius and giving the raw bananas a new life as chips. Over time, a pack of banana chips has become a favoured snack that is loved by people of all age groups.

A Humble Fruit That Turned Into An All-Time Favourite Snack

Thanks to the culinary geniuses of Kerala that the world now has at its disposal Banana Chips. But this sweet savoury Indian snack is an important part of the traditional Kerala vegetarian meal Sadhya. Such is the value of Banana Chips that it is made on the festival of Onam to commemorate the festive celebrations.

The coastal land of Kerala is home to a variety of bananas and raw banana is one of the most commonly used in food preparation. But the best invention among the culinary spread from Kerala is the banana chips called Pachkkaya Varuthathu and Kaya Upperi.

Source: Shutterstock

This snack may find its origin in comparison to Chifles plantain chips that are an invention of the Segundo and Margaret Argudo from Tampa some 23 years ago. Chifle is made from a firmer yet starchier fruit of Musa, commonly called the cooking bananas. As for the frying technique of Banana, it has its first mention in a Roman cookbook called Apicius, of frying food in Olive oil.

But the credit to creating for mastering the perfect banana chips goes to the metrical of the families in Kerala who dedicated time to perfecting the technique.


    7-8 Raw Bananas

    1ltr Cooking Oil



1.    Carefully peel the outer skin of bananas without cutting into the fruit inside.

2.    Using a slicer or knife slice the bananas into thin wafer circles or elongated pieces.

3.    Over high flame place a pan and add oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add the banana slices.

4.    Let the chips be on high flame for 5 minutes and then lower the flame. Keep frying them until they change colour to golden yellow and are crisp. Remember to keep stirring occasionally.

5.    Once done, remove from oil. Sprinkle some salt and give it a quick toss.

Well, the quick fix to satiating the banana chips craving is to pick the packet straight up from the supermarket stand. In fact, in Mumbai people sell freshly fried banana chips on the streets. But of course, making them at home right out of the pan, hot banana chips make the evening time tea snack even more delicious.