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Panchasara Varatti (Banana Chips Coated with Cardamom Flavoured Sugar Syrup)

Panchasara Varatti (Banana Chips Coated with Cardamom Flavoured Sugar Syrup)

Which food item comes to your mind when you think of Christmas? Is it Fruit Cake and Wine or is it something like Appam & Stew? Ok, tell me.. do you have any crunchy munchy snacks like Diamond Cuts associated with Christmas? Now, this particular snack is something which my Ammachi (maternal grandmother) used to make. Ammachi used to make sharkkara varatti (jaggery coated chips) during Onam time and this chips during Christmas time. I remember eating them out of big aluminium dhabbas (containers) during my childhood. I had it very rarely after my Ammachi passed away.


  • Raw green plantains – 500 gms (2 large)
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ – ½ tsp
  • Sugar – 100 gms
  • Water – 50 ml
  • Cardamom – 4-5
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil – for deep frying


  • Peel the plantains and soak them in water for a min or two. Pat them dry using a clean kitchen towel. Cut them into oval shaped slices. It should be slightly thicker than the normal banana chips (refer the step by step pics). Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and give it a good shake.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan/wok. When oil is really hot,reduce the flame to medium-high and add the sliced plantains.You can add one slice and check whether the oil is hot enough. Make sure you dont overcrowd the pan. You can fry it in 2-3 batches, depending on the size of pan, you are using.
  • Stir in between and make sure the chips aren’t sticking together. Once the chips are ready, it will make a specific sound, when you stir it. After hearing that sound, reduce the flame to medium and cook for a few more mins. This chips should be slightly crispier than the normal banana chips. Remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a tissue paper. Let it cool completely.
  • Check out Annita’s post to see a detailed version of making banana chips (
  • Powder the cardamom along with 1 tsp of sugar in a mixie.
  • Take a wide pan and add sugar and water. When the sugar melts completely and reaches one thread consistency (refer notes for details) remove it from fire. Keep stirring continuously for 2 more mins and add crushed cardamom powder and chips. Keep stirring it, till all the pieces are well coated with the sugar syrup. Make sure the chips aren’t sticking together, separate it using a fork, if it’s sticking together. Spread it out in the pan itself and let it cool. Once it’s cooled completely and the sugar has crystalised, store it in an airtight container. It keeps well for 2-3 weeks.

The qty of sugar mentioned in the recipe, gives a thick sugar coating. If you prefer a thin coating of sugar, adjust the qty of sugar accordingly. To check whether the sugar syrup has reached single thread consistency, drop the syrup in a few drops of water in a bowl. If you are able to roll the syrup into a non sticky ball, then the syrup is ready. Please check out the following link to see the detailed pics: Though I’ve mentioned in the recipe to make sure that the chips dont stick together, it’s ok even if they do.

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