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December 28, 2007

Fried Plantains and A Review

While we were in San Francisco last weekend, it was a photo shoot session for Rajesh and a culinary adventure for me . We both did our most favorite things.

We both enjoy each other's hobbies which is great. We went to quite a few restaurants, but we will review those we liked the most. We decided to try a restaurant in Berkeley which serves fine African food, Tropical Paradise Restaurant. After I looked at the menu online, I was drooling just thinking of the fried plantains.

We reached the restaurant on Saturday at around 10:30 pm, there were two other tables occupied by people who spoke the same language as the chef..that said OK, the food must be authentic.

Now while we don't know if the authentic, it definitely was tasty. We loved the service and liked the fact that we could see the kitchen. The only disappointment for me was that they did not have the fried plantains.

We ordered the Chicken Chichinga Dinner and we were in for a treat. "Entrees are served with jollof rice (cooked in a tomato based cassarole with bay leaves, anise & nutmeg), ginger fried plantains ( ripe plantains seasoned with ginger, herbs and spices, deep fried in soy bean oil) with your choice of spinach stew (spinach cooked in a tomato casserole with melon seeds, herbs and mild spices) or Finger licking black-eyed peas cooked in a tomato based casserole with health herbs and mild spices."

Since they were out of fried plantains we were served with both sides, spinach stew and black eyed peas. The stews were for sure cooked for a very long time. The chicken was tender and cooked to perfection. I ordered a tropical non alcoholic drink which had guava juice and the ginger gave it that punch. It was an excellent accompaniment to the food.

There was nice music playing in the background and the chef was dancing to the music as he was grilling our chicken, which was fun to watch :)

This is a must go place for those who like to try different ethnic food.

Service: Excellent

Food: Excellent

Price: For under $15 this was a treat!

Address: Tropical Paradise Restaurant 2021 University Ave Berkeley, CA. 94704

Phone # 510-665-4380

Remember that they are closed Sunday and Monday.

Now comes the fried plantain, since I missed eating them there, I recreated this recipe at home after googling..http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Miscellany/Recipes_from_12913.html

Plantain - 1
Lemon juice - A dash
Salt - a pinch
Fresh Ginger - 2 tbsp (grated)
Chilli Powder - 2 tbsp
Oil for frying

  • Chop the plantain into 1/2 inch rounds.
  • Sprinkle Lemon juice.
  • Rub the ginger, chilli powder and salt over the plantains
  • Heat oil and deep fry the plantains

Try it and let me know what you think. Our verdict was it reminded us of nethram pazham and was nostalagic.

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