Ripe Plantain Sweet Bread

A sweet bread loaf with ripe plantains and warm spices like nigella seeds and cardamom baked with melted ghee make our chai time so special! 
Ripe Plantain Sweet Bread

Even though plantains are a staple for us, my family rarely use raw plantains aka cooking banana or green banana but they are similar to yam in texture when cooked, so essentially a carb source like potatoes. But don't we love all the recipes using ripe plantains that are sweet stuff 😁 Kaai vaatiye, kaipola, unnakaya, pazham pori, and now this sweet bread!

Ever thought about what to make with that overripe plantain or nenthra pazham? I get asked by a lot of ladies - "can you use plantains for banana bread?" or what can I do with overripe plantains? a very valid question as we always have them in our home. Based on my everyday Banana bread recipe, I tried making ripe plantain bread three times and the second attempt was the best so sharing the recipe here finally! What happened the first and last time? I know it is better to know what went wrong so you don't make the same mistakes. The first time I made it while in Yanbu - just replaced the banana in my banana bread recipe but it gave me a dense gummy bread like you see here... (Yes, I hoard all my pics 😛) That is because the ripe plantains are not as smooth as banana, so mashing with a fork is not enough, you tend to have a lumpy dough making it dense bread. I learnt the hard way that it works better if you use a processor or mixie to mash the plantains. 

Ripe Plantain Sweet Bread

The third time went wrong when I tried making the batter with granulated brown sugar and baked it in a cast-iron skillet. The bread came out looking great, but there were undissolved sugar granules in each bite. Yikes! I must have missed whisking the wet ingredients. Also, this version was way too dry! 

Ripe Plantain Sweet Bread

Overripe Plantain Sweet Bread Ingredients 

  • Whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour: We will be using both kinds but feel free to make it all maids!
  • Sugar: white or brown or demerara sugar can be used. If using demerara sugar or granulated brown sugar, ensure that it is dissolved while whisking the wet ingredients. I had a bad bake once with the sugar in it is crystal form all over the baked bread. You don't want that! 
  • Baking powder and baking soda: You need both and no they are not the same thing! 
  • Salt: a little makes the magic
  • Cardamom powder: Goes superbly well with ripe plantains
  • Nigella seeds: my trademark for banana bread
  • Egg: a large will help 
  • Ghee: melted and cooled
  • Ripe plantain: make sure they are really ripe. Yellow skin with black dots doesn't always mean they are ripe. I have been deceived many a time. So it is better it turns more black or not firm to touch to use in this recipe. I also prefer mashing them using a mixie if they don't turn out to be super ripe. 
  • Yoghurt: I tried adding a small amount of yoghurt to retain the moisture as the bread tends to get dry but this is optional. 

How to make the batter for overripe Plantain Banana Bread? 

Sometimes we get duped by the appearance of yellow and black dots - we assume the plantains are ripe but the truth unfolds when we peel them. Now what? it isn't ripe enough! I know that's frustrating! I guess it is due to the fact it is being moved from country to country and all temperature affects its skin. If it is a little riper and sweet to eat, then go ahead and use a processor to mash it. Apart from that, all you need is two bowls, one whisk, and a rubber spatula! 
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients
  3. Add the wet to the dry
  4. Fold gently taking care not to overdo (bits of dry flour is okay)
  5. Pour into a greased loaf and bake
Did you know some call this banana bread with ripe plantains? and ripe plantains are mostly addressed as Kerala banana in the supermarkets here? and not long ago wiki had mentioned that this is not a banana family but now they call this "cooking banana"! whatever the world calls this, I definitely don't want to call it a banana. 

Ripe Plantain Sweet Bread

Ripe Plantain Sweet Bread Recipe 


1 cup = 250ml 

Measured the ingredients by fluff, scoop and sweep method. 

Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour (1/2 cup atta and 1/2 cup maida) 
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds and more to sprinkle on top
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup melted ghee
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup mashed ripe plantain (you may have to use a processor to mash) 
  • 2 tablespoon thick yoghurt, whisked (optional but recommended)


Baking mode details:
  • Place the oven wire rack in the middle (level 3).
  • Preheat the oven to 180°c on top/bottom or 3D hot air mode.
  • Lightly grease one 8x4 inch loaf pan OR two 5x3 inch loaf pans. You may coat with nonstick spray and line the bottom with baking paper.
Prepare the batter:
  1. Add all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine (use a balloon whisk).
  2. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg, then add the mashed ripe plantain and cooled melted ghee. 
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients until well incorporated.
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula.
  5. DO NOT overmix. Fold in the same direction until combined.
Bake the ripe plantain bread:
  1. Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan(s) and smooth the surface, sprinkle some more seeds. 
  2. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.
  3. Cool the loaf pan on a rack for 5 to 8 minutes and run a spatula around to release the bread.
  4. Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Slice and serve with chai or coffee.
  6. Store at room temperature in an airtight box for 2 to 4 days or in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month or until it lasts. 
Ripe Plantain Sweet Bread

I would love to know if you tried this recipe. You may leave a comment below or follow me on Instagram and mention  @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations! Thank you!