Kelewele- Spicy Plantain Chips

It’d be a fair statement to say that plantains and I got off on the wrong foot.  More specifically, I spent almost $10 for four plantains at Whole Foods and used half of them to make plantain chips that were so bad that they would have gone straight to the compost bin if I were less of a cheapskate.

The recipe in question marinated plantain slices in a spice paste prior to frying them.  Sounded OK but the spice mixture slid off the chip, resulted in a  bland plantain chip as well as a pot full of very spicy, messy, and ruined oil.

I decided to give another try, this time saving the spices for a dry dusting after frying.  The result?  Soooo much better. Bring out your mandoline or vegetable peeler for this one- you want the slices to be as thin as possible to get them crispy.  Slice them too thick and you’ll get a doughier texture.  Still good, but not quite what we’re going for here.

The chips get a nice dusting of a salty-sweet spice mixture to finish them off.


Kelewele- Spicy Plantain Chips

Yield: 4 snack-sized servings


* 2 medium-ripe plantains, sliced as thinly as possible on a diagonal
* oil for shallow frying
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar


Heat about an inch oil in a large, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches approximately 350 degrees. In batches, fry the plantains until browned, turn over and brown other side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat until all the plantains have been fried.

Combine the salt, ginger, cayenne and sugar in a small bowl or bag. Sprinkle some of the seasoning over the chips and serve.

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3 Responses to “Kelewele- Spicy Plantain Chips”

  1. #
    Katie — March 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I've had plantain chips that were waaay too thick, and you're right, they're definitely “doughy.” I'd love to try some thin ones!


  2. #
    ellabella — March 23, 2011 at 4:56 am

    yum! Another variation on kelewele is to cube the plantain. This is one of the most popular 'bar foods' at least in the area I lived in. Served up with some fried peanuts wrapped in newspaper.

    We don't eat fried food much anymore, but when we want a snack, we just eat a giant plate of kelewele. When I cube them, I find I have to fry them far far longer than I think I should. They become dark, crispy and chewy. I'm drooling just thinking about it!


  3. #
    Kyan — December 13, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I like my Kelewele using super ripe black plantains, and fresh ginger, fresh ground onion, and pepper. At least, that’s how my Ghanaian inlaws taught me to make it. :-)


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