Mawz Ma Lahm: Bananas with Meat

I have been on a kick to find banana recipes, not only for my edification but to show that bananas are indeed a very period dish for those who still believe that the tasty wonderful banana is a new world only item.  It’s not.  Really.

Mawz Ma Lahm: Bananas with Meat

chicken with toppings on a plate

Translation:

Peel green bananas.  Slice lengthwise like colcosia.  Fry them in a lot of sesame oil until the bananas have browned but remain like colcosia.  Then, cut the meat and boil it.  Fry it in the same way as colcosia {along with} fresh coriander, pounded garlic, and onion.  When the meat is brown and cooked through, put the fried bananas on it and a little broth and finely toasted shelled hazelnuts.  Let it dry until the broth has evaporated.  Then, serv….(Ibn al-Adim, Kitab al-Wuslah ila al-Habib fi Wasf al-Tayyibat wa at-Tib (Salloum, pp. 63)

Ingredients:

4 Chicken thighs (or 1lb cubed lamb or beef stew meat)

1 onion

5 cloves garlic

1 tsp ground cilantro (you can use a handful of fresh)

4 green bananas

¼ C toasted peeled hazelnuts

1 tsp salt

Redaction.

I had to use only mostly green bananas.

Bananas

The really green ones weren’t in for once at the store.  I sliced them in half (for better fitting into the pan when frying).

sliced bananas

Then fried them in sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil).

frying bananas

They came out a in pieces.

fried bananas

The greener the bananas the firmer the flesh, so really ripe bananas are just not going to work.

For the meat I used chicken thighs.  If you want to use a whole chicken, slice it down the breast bone and so that the entire chicken can be laid flat.  The meat is placed in water to boil for 10-15 minutes then removed and drained.  The next step is to fry the meat in sesame oil till cooked through.

chicken in oilOnce the chicken is in the oil bath add the onion, garlic and cilantro.

chicken frying with onion stuff

Any meat for the recipe i.e. chicken, lamb or beef needs to be boiled then fried.

While the meat was finishing cooking I toasted hazelnuts and peeled the paper skins off by rubbing by hand.  This is not hard…just time consuming and a bit frustrating as some of the skins refuse to come off no matter how much you try.

roasted peeled hazelnuts

Once the meat has cooked through, I added the bananas and hazelnuts.  In this recipe, I originally used 1 cup of hazelnuts.  The dish was waaay nuttier then it should have been.  I also think the bananas should have been slightly sugared for a better taste.  Other wise the bananas sort add a sesame lightly banana flavored wet bread type texture and flavor.

finished dish

This is why I suggest fewer hazelnuts.  Other wise the dish seems to be buried in small roasted hazelnuts and the other flavors are some what buried or you end up wasting the hazelnuts as you try to get more then just hazelnuts with a little chicken on your plate.

 

chicken with toppings on a plateThe dish is tasty, but I’d have done a few different tweaks.  Plated this dish looks awesome.  Flavor wise, I would definitely add  sugar to the frying bananas for a salty sweet meaty dish.

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