Matoke: Green (raw) bananas which never ripen to yellow, the flesh is mainly carbohydrate, and although when ripe it is sweeter, it can not be eaten uncooked. When cooked the flesh become soft, it is a bit like potato.
Gonja, are sweet cooking bananas, when cooked they do not become soggy and soft like ordinary bananas. When very ripe they are black on the outside. They can be cooked in coconut; nyrial wara gonja, just fried or fried in batter (tumbua)
Ndizi was what we called the ordinary dessert banana
Menvu are small dessert bananas, about half the size of normal bananas, very sweet, these are the bananas I grew up on. They were always there, along with pawpaw (papaya). To get back to the tumbua ndizi - here is how you make them
4 ripe gonja / plantains
1 ½ cups self-raising flour (plain flour with 1 ½ tspn baking powder)
2 tbspn Sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut milk (tinned is fine)
Roughly ground cardamom
Oil for frying
1. Make batter, using flour, cardamom, sugar, milk and coconut milk. Cover, and then leave an hour.
2. The batter should be thick enough to completely coat the banana.
3. If it is too thin, add more flour, if it is too thick add a little milk.
4. Peel the plantain, cut into 3 / 4 pieces, cut each piece into 2/3 horizontal slices.
5. Dip each piece of plantain in batter, making sure they are well-covered, and then fry in hot oil until golden.