India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of bananas, a fruit that is loved for its taste, nutrition, and versatility. But how many of us know about the different types of bananas that are grown and eaten in our country? In this article, we will explore some of the most popular banana varieties in India and learn about their unique characteristics and uses.
Robusta: The Common Banana
Robusta bananas are the ones that we are most familiar with. They are large in size and have a bright yellow colour to them. While they are typically produced in South India, particularly Kerala and Tamil Nadu, they can easily be found in other parts of the country as well. These bananas have the perfect sweet flavour and are perfect for adding to desserts and shakes.
Rasthali: The Silk Banana
Also known as silk bananas, this variety of banana is known for its unique texture. The outside colour remains the same, but from the inside, it’s super smooth. This is the reason why it’s commonly referred to as ‘silk banana’, where silk signifies smoothness. Apart from the texture, it also has a distinct aroma that many say is similar to that of vanilla.
Poovan: The Round Banana
Poovan is another variety of banana that is produced in South India. Unlike robusta, these are much smaller in size. They also have a slight round shape instead of being long. Poovan bananas offer a blend of sweet and sour aromas, which makes them a popular choice among people. Enjoy them as is, or add them to your dessert recipes.
Red: The Unique Banana
Red bananas are the most unique type of banana you’ll find in India. As the name suggests, they are red on the outside instead of the typical yellow. But don’t be surprised, as the red colour is just an indicator of their ripeness. They also usually develop several dark patches as they ripen. But don’t go by their appearance, as they have a nice sweet flavour and taste quite good.
Monthan: The Cooking Banana
Monthan bananas are fairly large and have a thick skin that turns yellow when ripe. The flesh of the banana is quite creamy in texture but has a somewhat less sweet taste as compared to other bananas. They are popularly used to make foods such as banana chips, banana bajji, dosa, and so on.
Malbhog: The Assamese Banana
Malbhog bananas hail from the North-Eastern state of India, Assam. They are known for their distinct aroma, creamy flesh, and sweet flavour. They are commonly used as an ingredient in several classic Assamese desserts, such as doi-jolpan and pithas. Additionally, these bananas are also believed to have several health benefits.
Yelakki: The Tiny Banana
Another unique variety of bananas that you must try is yelakki. This banana is known by different names across states. For example, it is known as elaichi banana in Maharashtra and chinia in Bihar. The fact that they are quite tiny in size is what makes them so unique. They taste similar to regular bananas, but only sweeter and more delicious.
Now that you know of these popular banana varieties in India, give them a try and let us know which one is your favourite.