Christmas food gifts-plantain chips, cashews & dried cranberries in coconut, chilli and cinnamon

13 Nov



Christmas food gifts-plantain chips, cashews & dried cranberries in coconut, chilli and cinnamon

Christmas food gifts-plantain chips, cashews & dried cranberries in coconut, chilli and cinnamon

My lovely neighbour gave me a bag full of plantain today; fresh and green. I racked my brain for ways to use it. I thought of the spiced plantain mash I had at ‘mama’s roadside kitchen’ in st.Lucia or the indian curry my mum would make when we were kids, using her experience of living in Uganda as a child. I asked my friends on twitter and they suggested cake. I didn’t fancy any of these lovely recipes today, for some reason.

In the morning, by boy and I went shopping for women’s undergarments. My normally chatty and excitable child completely freaked out and sobbed loudly in the fitting cubicle and insisted, ‘put a jumper and jacket on mumma, put the clothes on mumma’. He’s not yet two but here we go. So I took him for a walk and stopped at the dried fruits and nuts section which looked festive but blue. Why blue? Anyway, that’s when it struck me.

But I did have a brief period of confusion; which is a more festive nut…the cashew or almond? Cashews are more expensive. Does that make it more special? I do recall my mum sending food parcels of special stuff for my grandmother in India when friends or relatives visited. Mum sent cashews, always. She also sent saffron and chocolate. Now I think back, it’s such a lovely thing to do.

But then, almonds are pretty special also. When we were in st.Lucia we stayed between the majestic pitons, hidden away. We were staying at a resort where the beach sat in a calm little cove and one of the paths along the beach was layer in almond shells. I loves cracking them open to find smooth almonds. It’s lovely that nature can create such a perfect little nut.

I’m actually rather excited about this simple yet addictive recipe. It’s really good. This tropical looking mix is crunchy, sweet, aromatic and there’s a lovely hint of chilli right at the end. It’s delightful. I’ve used agave nectar to sweeten the mix so, healthier than loads of sugar. You have to try it.

Ingredients for two gift containers

One large green plantain
4 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3-4 tbsp desiccated coconut
A generous handful of dried cranberries
200g cashew nuts
Oil for frying plantain chips

1 . Heat the oil in a deep pan and in the meantime, take the green skin off the plantain and cut the plantain into 1 cm thick circles with a knife of mandolin.
2. Fry the chips until they are crisp and deepened in colour. You will feel that they are tougher and crisp when you move them with a slotted spoon.
3. Remove the chips onto a kitchen paper and leave them to cool.
4. In a non stick pan, toast the cashew nuts until they are lightly golden before adding the cinnamon and the plantain chips. Mix well.
5. Stir in the chilli flakes, mix again. Then add the agave nectar and the desiccated coconut. Thoroughly mix it all together to make sure the spices and coconut are evenly distributed.
6. Toss in the dried cranberries and mix again.

Allow the mixture to cool completely before packaging it.

This has also been entered into Feel Good Food Challenge hosted by Jibberjabberuk and Victoria at A Kick At The Pantry Door


This week I would like to link this to Mark of Javelin Warrior’s Cookin’ W/ Luv Made With Love Mondays,

36 Responses to “Christmas food gifts-plantain chips, cashews & dried cranberries in coconut, chilli and cinnamon”

  1. laura_howtocook November 13, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    How delicious Deena, I could welcome receiving a gift like this myself!

    • Deena Kakaya November 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

      Thank you Laura, we can’t put the down in our house! I’m so pleased with this recipe…I hope you’ll try it x

  2. Vanesther November 13, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    Add me to your Christmas list! I’d love to receive a gift like this!

    • Deena Kakaya November 13, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Vanesther that is so kind, thank you! If I make another batch I’d love to send you some xx

  3. foodbod November 14, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    That looks amazing, I’ve never used or eaten plantain but this might be the recipe for me to try it!

    • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      Hi food bod! I’m so glad you stopped by. I don’t eat a lot of plantain but I’m so excited about this recipe, it’s lots of fun to eat! X

      • foodbod November 14, 2013 at 8:09 am #

        What does plantain taste like?? Is it anything like banana??

        • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 8:14 am #

          Hi again, I think it has a mild flavour of banana but it’s also a bit like cassava. It’s mellow,nuttier and not very sweet. I guess it depends on how it is cooked.

          My grew up in Uganda and made an Indian plantain curry when we were kids and it was a bit sweet like banana but textured like cassava. X

          • foodbod November 14, 2013 at 8:16 am #

            Okay, thank you

          • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 8:21 am #

            You are welcome, do let me know if you try it x

          • foodbod November 14, 2013 at 8:22 am #


  4. Selma's Table November 14, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Great idea for edible Christmas gifting – exotic, spicy, nutty…mmmm…

    • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      Hi Selma! I’m so glad that you like it! I’m so pleased with this one! Xx

  5. djmrakiey November 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Your food offerings look scrumptious 🙂 thanks for stopping by

    • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      Hi, thanks for your lovely comment, I’m so glad that you like them 🙂

      • djmrakiey November 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

        I do … I might try some of your recipes 🙂

        • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

          Please do! Send me a pic, I will share it in the Facebook group. If you are coming to the BBC good food show on Saturday, please do say hi! I’m on the Tesco stage at 3.30pm x

  6. eastofedencook November 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    What a fab holiday gift idea! A new twist with plantain, yet traditional with cranberries! This sweet treat would be delightful in a fancy glass jar and velvet ribbon!

    • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Lovely Deb, thanks so much for stopping by. I have to say, I’m rather tickled about having created this dish, I love it!

      Funnily enough, that’s exactly how I packaged it but my husband ate it all. Xx

  7. chefmatsui November 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    What a fab idea! Deena would you consider adding a fluffy monster chef like me to your Christmas list? I’d totally love to receive a gift like this one. Would eat it all in 10 minutes though. 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya November 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      Hello! Thanks so much for the lovely words. Guess what? I made two jars yesterday and it’s finished already! Must make more.,.have to say, I’m so impressed with this one x

  8. Javelin Warrior November 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I have never had plantain chips before but this sounds very tasty with the cashews (one of my favorite nuts) and cranberries. This would make a wonderful stocking-stuffing snack for Christmas!

    • Deena Kakaya November 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

      Hi Mark, thanks for your message. The plantain chips are gorgeously crisp and dense. The whole crunchy mix is sweet, fragrant and spiced. Scrummy! I hope you’ll try it x

  9. lizzygoodthings November 17, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    I don’t think I’ve tasted plantain, Deena. Great recipe! xo

    • Deena Kakaya November 17, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      Hello liZzy, oh it’s dense and crunchy when fried. Works so well in this recipe thanks for stoping by xx

  10. Meenu November 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    I simply love this dish. So simple yet rich in flavor. I will definately try this recipe.

    • Deena Kakaya November 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Thanks so much Meenu, I shared this one with the audience at my interview at the BBC good food show, it went down very well! I hope you enjoy it x

  11. EA-The Spicy RD November 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Such a creative recipe and I love the story about your son in the dressing room 🙂 Love these nuts, and although I think all nuts are pretty perfect, and there is a right one for every recipe, growing up, we always had See’s Candy mixed nuts at Christmas time, and the cashews were always picked out first by my mom {my daughter does the same thing now!}, so for, me, I will alwasy associate them with being the fancier nuts 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya November 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Hello my lovely foodie friend!

      Ha ha, I know boys are protective of their mum but come on! A mum needs a bra too!

      I’m really pleased with this recipe, no sugar! Cashews do have a special touch eh…love them though xxx

  12. Ness December 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    What a lovely gift idea and so different! Thanks for linking it up to this month’s Feel Good Food challenge.

    • Deena Kakaya December 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Thank you Ness, glad you like the recipe. It’s a great challenge x

  13. janet @ the taste space December 11, 2013 at 4:52 am #

    I am all over plantain chips at the moment and these look great! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya December 11, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      Hi Janet, thanks for stopping by! I saw that you’ve been using plantain too 🙂 I hope you’ll try this one out, I am making another batch as a snack for christmas x


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