Yummy! See how fried bananas are transformed into banana chips at a farm in Thailand.
Banana chips are deep-fried and/or dried slices of bananas (fruits of herbaceous plants of the genus Musa of the soft, sweet “dessert banana” variety). They can be covered with sugar or honey and have a sweet taste, or they can be fried in oil and spices and have a salty and/or spicy taste. Variants of banana chips may be covered with chocolate instead. Banana chips are not to be confused with chifle, made from firmer, starchier fruit varieties of the genus Musa commercially called plantains or “cooking bananas.”
Usually, the chips are produced from underripe bananas, of which slices are deep-fried in sunflower oil or coconut oil, which are then dried, and to which preservatives are added. These varieties of chips can be very oily, due to the deep-frying process.
Another form of fried banana chips, usually made in Kerala (India) and known locally as ‘upperi’, is fried in coconut oil. Both ripe and unripe bananas are used for this variant. Sometimes they are coated with masala or jaggery to form both spicy and sweet variants. It is an integral part of the traditional Kerala meal called sadya served during weddings and traditional festivals such as Onam.
Some healthier varieties of banana chips can be produced using only food dehydration. Banana slices that are only dehydrated are not light brown and leathery, but rather are dark yellow and crunchy. They are very sweet and have an intense banana flavor. These are ideally made from bananas that are fully ripe.
Another kind is made by baking in an oven, although this process may not result in the same intense banana flavor.