In Britain, we throw away 1.4m bananas every day – and that’s not to mention the unfathomable numbers that get wasted in supermarkets and on farms: all destroyed for being too wonky, too straight or for minor imperfections and brown spots. If we could acquire a taste for brown bananas, things would be different. They are sweet, tasty and energy-rich, so next time buy a blemished bunch: you’ll likely be saving them from being wasted, and may even get a discount, if you ask nicely.
If you can’t quite bring yourself to eat a squishy fruit raw, it still makes a great ingredient. Bake a banana bread, use as a binder instead of eggs in cakes and muffins, boil up into a Jamaican jam, or go to town and turn them into a katsu curry.
Brown banana katsu curry with breaded cauliflower steaks
Brown bananas bring a sweetness to the katsu sauce, making it all the more comforting and delicious. I’ve chosen breaded cauliflower, but the sauce goes well with any breaded seasonal vegetable, tofu or meat. Experiment with what you have available – this is a really fun curry to make yourself.
Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Oil, for frying
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 green apple, diced
1 brown banana, skin on, finely sliced or mushed
1 small cauliflower
1 egg, beaten
1 spring onion, sliced
To make the curry sauce, fry the onion and garlic in oil for three minutes, add the turmeric and curry powder, then fry for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, ketchup, soy sauce, apple and banana. Simmer for 15 minutes, then blend and season to taste.
To make the breaded cauliflower, remove the leaves and cut slabs from the centre of the cauliflower to make two, 2cm-thick “steaks”. Choose a few small leaves and return the rest, including the remaining cauliflower, to the fridge for a future meal.
Lay out three wide bowls. Put the flour in one, the beaten egg in the second and breadcrumbs in the third. Dust each cauliflower steak first with flour, then with egg, and finally with the breadcrumbs.
Heat a saucepan or wok with a good glug of oil and, when hot, fry the breaded cauliflower on each side until golden brown.
Meanwhile, steam or boil the cauliflower leaves for four minutes, until tender. Serve the breaded cauliflower on rice, topped with the brown banana katsu curry sauce, scatter with sliced spring onions and sesame seeds, and serve the steamed leaves on the side.
Note: If you have any leftover egg, flour and breadcrumbs, mix them together and make an omelette to serve alongside the curry.