The Big Fat Banana is Plantain!

It’s funny how people give name to different fruit. 

In Indonesia, we call the big fat banana “pisang tanduk” literally it means “horn banana” – perhaps because it looks like Rhino horn :-).

I just learned recently that “pisang tanduk”  is called plantain and plantain is not the same with banana. 

Banana is the type that does not require cooking while plantain should be cooked first by boiling or frying before eating, and can be consumed either when ripe or unripened.

Plantains may look like bananas and smell like bananas, but as anyone who has ever tried eating one raw can tell you, they certainly don’t taste like bananas.

When it is medium-ripe, plantain skin is yellow with a few black dots. This is when it is perfect to be steamed or boiled and served as a side dish to replace rice or potatoes.

When the skin has turned black, plantains develop a wonderfully sweet taste and fragrance. That’s when it can be used to make desserts.

Here is my quick easy to prepare fried caramelized plantains sundae recipe for dessert


  • 1 big ripe but still firm plantain
  • 50 gram unsalted butter
  • 50 gram brown sugar or shaved palm sugar
  • vanilla and chocolate ice cream


  • Cut off the top and bottom of plantain, then peel the skin back.
  • Cut the peeled plantain in half lengthwise and cut each pieces in half crosswise.
  • Brush each pieces with butter.
  • Preheat  the pan.
  • Put the butter on the pan until melted
  • Fry the plantains in butter until both sides are golden brown.

  • Just before removing the plantains from the heat, sprinkle them  with brown sugar to caramelize.
  • Remove from heat, put the plantains on a plate.

Serve the caramelized plantains by adding chocolate and vanilla ice cream to cheer your day up.


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