Monday, August 18, 2008

Golden Goodness - Banana Dessert

What do you think of the Olympics so far? Isn’t it amazing how the Olympics influence so many lives at home and abroad? Think of how many girls cut their hair like ice skater Dorothy Hamill, and how many kids want to play soccer, or learn to swim, or ride their bikes all because they were influenced by the excitement of the Olympic events. I wonder how many young children this past week have watched the competitions and thought to themselves, “I want to do that. I can do that! When I grow up, I’ll be in the Olympics!” Whether it's about the Olympics or some other interest, I’m big on encouraging little beings to believe in themselves. After all, we’re all witnesses to Olympic history, watching a young man from Maryland who believed in his dream and has won more gold medals than any other Olympian, plus set multiple world records in swimming. What an amazing accomplishment! I’m sure when he returns to the States, he will be given an grand welcome.

Now, if you will, imagine the wonderful welcome for an athlete who not only has won a gold medal, but is the only medalist for his country! How proud and excited he must be, and how proud and excited his countrymen must be for him. As I write this, the country of India can proudly boast claiming the Gold Medal in Men’s Shooting, 10m Air Rifle. This is a significant win for the athlete, Abhinav Bindra, as he is only the third athlete from that country to win an individual medal since India started competing. Over the years, India has won team medals, but only two other athletes have won individually. Congratulations to Abhinav Bindra on pursuing his dream and achieving such a great accomplishment!

In honor of India’s gold medalist, tonight’s culinary salute to the Olympics recognizes the diverse and wonderful cuisine of India. I love Indian food, and am lucky to have several restaurants near me that serve up the most delectable delights. Yummy dishes like chicken tikka masala, lamb vindalo, masoor dal (red lentils), sookhi gobi (spicy cauliflower), and lets not forget soothing mango lassi’s, and those delectible gulab jamuns (cardamom donuts in rose sugar syrup). Before moving west, I’d never had an opportunity to sample these terrific dishes. Now, thanks to cultural diversity, I’m spoiled. Isn't it amazing how all these wonderful dishes unite people in one world. I like it! It’s a goooood thing.

My hubbyman thinks desserts are a good thing. A very, very, gooood thing. Um, I’m not a big dessert eater or maker. I don’t know why exactly. I don’t dislike desserts; I just don’t ever crave them. I’m willing to sign up to cook just about anything for a meal, but I shy away from desserts. Hubbyman, who can never be called shy, however, loves desserts. All desserts. He must never, ever know that Marjie makes brownies every Tuesday. That said, he has been burning the midnight oil lately, so I thought I’d be a sweet wife (get it? dessert -- sweet yeah, I'll stop now) and make a dessert that he’d enjoy, and that my kids would like, including my little gluten-free-er. There is a lovely Indian dessert made with red bananas, cardamom, and brown sugar that fit the bill quite nicely. Even better, it requires cooking on the stove … not baking in the oven. Sign me up!

I’ve seen red bananas at the store forever now, but I had no idea what to do with them. As soon as I saw this recipe, I new I had my chance! Have you ever eaten a red banana? What did you think of it? I liked them. Here's how it went ... Red bananas peel very easily.

The yummy goodness within is similar in texture to a regular banana, just more "fuzzy".

When you slice them, they have kind of a golden striped center. (Hey, just like the gold medals!) They taste great, and were very easy to work with. Here's the recipe:

Red Bananas with Cardamom
aka Golden Goodness

3 small red bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Vanilla ice cream
Chopped pistachios

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add brown sugar, and stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Stir in cardamom and lime juice.

Gently place bananas in the pan. Cover and heat for 3 minutes. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.

Garnish with chopped pistachios. Done. Finito. Complete. Viola! Look at the golden hue!

This recipe is kind of like bananas foster, only there's no alcohol or flambe-ing. The flavors work so well together, although next time I think I'll leave out the lime. The caramel hardens when it hits the cold ice cream. Oooh, the crunchy goodness was amazing. I used my fingers to pick up the big pieces. Shhh. Don't tell the kids!

Do you believe the glorious color of these golden beauties?!! If your computer allows it, go on and click on this photo to enlarge it. We'll wait for you. It'll be worth it. Don't you want to scoop this up? The bananas are not mushy at all! They are just perfect texture wise, and the flavor ... YUM! Plus, like most things posted here, this is gluten free all the way, baby!

I initially saw the recipe for this in a Betty Crocker Cookbook called Indian Home Cooking by Raghavan Iyer. (Hey. I like Betty. I learned many basic cooking skills from her books.) Although I modified it, I’ll still tip my hat to Betty and Raghavan with a thank you for a tasty dessert. After eating their servings, my dessert lovin' kids and dessert crazed hubbyman were scraping the pan with spoons trying to get every last bit of caramel.

Uh oh, is that a spoon? Well, I had to, ya know, sample it. I concede to all dessert lovers everywhere. This was gooood. I think it’s safe to say that this lone, individual dessert claimed a gold medal.

PS: I've been having some glitches with my outgoing email. *sigh* If you've sent me an email msg, please know that I'm trying to respond!


OhioMom said...

OMG why do I now want some golden goodness at 6:08 AM .. really need to stop visiting foodies this early.

Looks decadent!


we love indian food too, but it's a shame we can't go out to an indian restaurant; unheard of in my little town.
as for betty crocker, we also had a NZ 'bible' for new cooks: the edmonds cookbook. it was my first cookbook in new zealand, and i still use it for kiwi dishes, which i dont make very often, but i would still feel lost without it if i didnt own one!
like you with your email account, i'm having glitches with my internet phone line - it's always being disconnected, and i can never finish a comment or post. we are so addicted to blogging, but when you meet great people all over the world with similar interests, you can't help it!
(and of course those bananas look delightful, i almost forgot ot mention!)

Anonymous said...

Yum-yum! Looks very rich & gooey!

Dawn said...

It's only 9:30am here and I am so ready for some of that. This looks sooooooo comforting, so satisfying.

Pam said...

Beautiful. This is my kind of and delicious. I wish I was at your house last night.

Bellini Valli said...

I have never come across a red banana even at Choices where they seem to have everything at least once.I have learned something new today. This dessert is a tribute to all athletes yound and old across the world:D

Cheryl said...

Man oh man that looks good! I have not been into the Olympics this year, not sure why. I just made Tikka Masalla last night!

Marjie said...

I love bananas foster. I love bananas in general. Amazing how heating fruits intensifies their sweetness, isn't it?

Aggie said...

Oh my...I would love some of that now! That looks delicious!!

Deborah said...

I have never even seen a red banana before. But I bet this would be great with regular bananas, too. My mouth is watering!

Bridgett said...

My son has been talking to his sensei about competing in the 2016 olympics in karate. I love it! Watching the olympics has inspired him more and he is only 9. It has been a blast watching all the talented athletes from all over.
Paula, I will gladly drive to your house if you make me one of these!

Pam said...

OMG! This looks amazing! I am always looking for something to do with bananas besides banana bread!

Grace said...

i'm with your hubbyman on this one, and i would be all over that dessert. it could be dripping down my chin, smeared all over my face, and i wouldn't care one bit. that's amazing, paula!

Jeena said...

Yummmmmmm!! Now this is truly an indulgent treat!

Theresa said...

OMG! What a great dessert!

Theresa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
noble pig said...

I love this devilish treat! Wow, I am wanting this!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Red banana's are something new to me too! I'll keep a lookout for them now. I have a big jar of cardamon in my cabinet that I bought for a Daring Baker challenge, I've been wanting to try it with something else. This is perfect and so simple! Thanks Paula, that caramel goodness is calling my name!

Lisa said...

While I'm not a huge banana fan this dessert does sound good! Do the red bananas vary in taste from yellow bananas? Or is the difference mainly in the color?

Paula said...

Hello all you dessert fans!

Ohiomom: Hey, it contains a couple of the daily allowance food groups!

Mediterranean Kiwi: I adore the stories about your little town! And I'm glad I'm not the only one with a 'bible' for new cooks!

Perennial Garden Lover: It had many textures goin' on ... crunchy, gooey, creamy, YUM!

Dawn: It was a very satisfying dessert ... yummny noise worthy!

Pam: It really was a pretty dessert!

Bellini Valli: Just in the past few months, the stores have started carrying all types of banana's. These were my first red ones and they were great!

Cheryl: Oooh, I love Tikka Masala! YUM!

Marjie: I love bananas, too! They are great alone as well as mixed in stuff!

Aggie: It really was quite delicious!

Deborah: I think this would work with a regular, firm banana! Hmmm ... I have some regular ones on the counter right now ....

Bridgett: Good for your boy! That's so great that he's thinking about the 2016 Olympics! Come on over!

Pam: This would go good WITH banana bread!

Grace: You would be amazed at how fast my fam devoured theirs!

Jeena: It was a great dessert and so easy to put together!

Theresa: This dessert will be made in my household again! It was good!

Noble Pig: This was a great family dessert, but would also be great to serve friends, too!

Proud Italian Cook: The cardamom was really very, very good in this! I'll skip the lime next time.

Lisa: The red banana's are not as narrow as a regular banana. The texture is firm, but the taste is of a ripe banana. I liked them!


wow .. thatz a yummy dessert .. even though an Indian, had never had it before, looks yummy

Dee said...

Ooh yum! Although I've never heard of, or seen red bananas before. Live and learn I say :)

I love that you dedicated your recipe to an athlete that many may have overlooked. Good job.

Lisa said...

That is definitely golden goodness!

SteamyKitchen said...

Holy sweet banana!!!

Jan said...

Desist with these banana desserts, you know I cant eat them, me being allergic and all. (sob. sniff)

Mrs. L said...

Congrats to Abhinav Bindra. We are addicted to the Olympics this year and we too, love it when someone from a country with very few medals gets a gold.

Never seen red bananas before. Didn't even know they existed!

Swati said...

The desserts were just awesome.. I loved the pumpkin fritters and the bananas dessert and its so difficult for me to decide which one of them is better..

Jude said...

I think I know what you mean by fuzzy bananas.. Will give it a try if I ever see the red kind

Kevin said...

Now that is a dessert!