Elaichi Bananas: This Tiny Fruit Comes With Many Health Benefits
Image Credit: Elaichi Bananas

While the fruit basket of India is filled with different seasonal fruits, there are some lesser-known varieties that are only found in a certain region of the country. Head to Mumbai, Bengaluru, or Hajipur in Bihar and you’d be amazed to find stacks of small bananas being sold on the streets. An uncommon sight in most of the other cities of the country, these bite-sized fruits are intrinsic to these areas.  

Often referred to as elaichi bananas, the term is used to indicate the small size of the fruit rather than its taste, which is nowhere close to cardamom aka elaichi. While this name is stuck to the tiny fruit in Mumbai, Biharis refer to it as Chiniya Kela. In Bengaluru, you’ll find people selling something called Yelakki, which is a variant of the same small banana.  

What Makes These Tiny Bananas Special?  

While these bananas are known for their miniature size, they are also sweeter in taste than the regular ones. Just the size of your palm, these tiny bites hold so much natural sugar in them that they are more expensive than the bigger varieties.  

The sweet taste will definitely make you go bananas as will the price of these dwarf-sized fruits. A desi variety found in certain parts of India, these bananas are known to hold plenty of health benefits too. For instance, they are rich in potassium and Vitamin C, and are a good source of carbs, protein, and calcium too. In fact, they are also good for those trying to lose weight, as they contain fewer calories, compared with the regular bananas.  

This low-calorie and high-fibre fruit is often used for making sweets as well as savouries. While breads and puddings are commonly flavoured with these bananas, even desserts like Banana Kheer and Banana Pua, a Bihari deep-fried dish, contain these sweet bananas. Not only do they work as great natural sweeteners, their consumption also provides one with a boost of energy, along with keeping a check on the blood pressure levels.  

The locally produced elaichi bananas are known to be perfect for desserts when they are ripe, and good for savoury dishes in the raw form. This miniature fruit can also be treated as a great post-workout snack to replenish all the lost energy without counting calories.