Onam 2022: Sarkara Varatti Is A Sadya Staple
Image Credit: Sarkara Varatti is a sweet banana crisp | Pexels

One of the most popular and sought-after souvenirs locally, nationally, internationally is Banana Chips. But, as a trivia, have you ever tried the Jaggery-coated and flavoured Banana Chips? If No, then add it to your list. The sweet snack is popularly known as Sarkara Upperi, which is the jaggery-based sweet counterpart. The meal commonly features nendran cubes deep-fried in coconut oil and then cooked with jaggery syrup which is flavoured with spices. It is then combined with roasted rice flour. It is fuzz-free to cook and is easily prepared with just a few ingredients. The delectable and filling dish can also be savoured during fasting.

When there is a good harvest of nendran bananas, a traditional dish called Sarkara Upperi is prepared at home. The not-so-famous relish is also prepared during auspicious festivals like Onam Sadya. These sweetened chips are an appetising and impressive element of the special Onam feast. Maritime, South East Asia is home to the plant that produces this magnificent fruit that is rich in fat, fibre, and potassium. In addition, the inhabitants of the island have learnt to use bananas in a variety of ways, including as a snack.

Sarkara Varatti | Pexels

Here’s the recipe for Sarkara Varatti.

Preparation time: 30 mins 

Cooking time: 40 mins

Servings: 4


  • 8-10 raw bananas
  • 2 cup jaggery (crushed)
  • ½ tbsp dried ginger powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsps roasted rice flour
  • 1 litre oil (preferably, coconut oil)
  • Water, as needed


  • Take some raw bananas. Remove the outer skin of the bananas. Transfer the unskinned bananas in a large vessel filled with cold water.
  • Wash, rinse and clean properly. Drain the water.
  • Make a slit-cut lengthwise and then chop into disc-like slices. Cut the bananas into semi-circles. 
  • Heat enough oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is extremely hot, add the sliced bananas into batches (add a few slices at a time).
  • Drop the first batch in the oil and deep fry the bananas over medium flame. Keep turning and tossing them until well cooked. Keep stirring occasionally.
  • Cook until golden, crunchy and crispy. Drain oil and move the bananas into a separate large tray.
  • Now, pour another batch and repeat the procedure until all the chips are ready. Keep aside.
  • In a separate pan, add rice flour and roast it. Keep stirring continuously. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add water and heat jaggery to form jaggery syrup. Strain to remove impurities and set aside.
  • Transfer the strained syrup in another pan and bring it to a boil. Keep mixing. 
  • Add cumin, cardamom and dried ginger powder. Mix thoroughly.
  • Once the syrup is thick, reduce the heat and add fried banana pieces.
  • At last, sprinkle the roasted rice flour. Mix well with both hands so that chips don’t stick together.

Serve and enjoy immediately. Or cool and store them in an airtight container.