White plantain curry

Cynthia curry recipe FINAL
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This quick fried plantain curry from Cynthia Shanmugalingam is seasoned with lots of fresh aromatics, like fresh curry leaves, chillies and lemongrass, which helps cut through the richness of the coconut milk and crispy plantain.

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First published in 2023






Start off by shallow frying the plantain. Get ready by setting aside a large baking sheet with a wire rack on top to place the fried slices when they’re done


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, lower in the plantain slices and fry until golden brown, then flip them over and fry on the other side. This should take around 30 seconds on each side. Allow them to dry on the rack so they stay nice and crispy

  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 plantains, ripe, almost completely black plantains, peeled and sliced

To make the curry, fry the onion in the same pan you cooked the plantain using the remaining oil, over a medium-high heat. When it starts to brown, add the garlic, and about 30 seconds later add the curry leaves, chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, salt and the lemongrass. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant, then add the coconut milk, chilli powder and turmeric. Cook over a high heat for 3–5 minutes so that the coconut milk has had time to thicken slightly


To plate up, mix two thirds of the fried plantain into the curry, and dish out the whole curry into a bowl. Finish by arranging the remaining fried plantains on top so they remain crispy

Cynthia Shanmugalingam spent years connecting people with work in food before she embarked on her own culinary career. Today, she brings village Sri Lankan cooking to London at her debut restaurant Rambutan in Borough Market.

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