Ration Recipe: Beef Curry & Bananas

Beef Curry & Bananas

I am so excited to share this wartime recipe with you. I actually made it back in May in honor of the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. And I can't stop thinking about it. The recipe was so simple and delicious and bizarre. I mean, I didn't even realize curry and bananas was a thing, but apparently it is! Which is super exciting, because if you were following along with my summer of vintage banana recipe obsession a couple years back, then you'll understand!  

Now, you might be thinking - wait. They couldn't get bananas in wartime. Right? Well, the simple answer is that it depended on where you lived! If you lived where bananas grew, then obviously it wasn't a problem. As for everyone else... well, it was going to be a long 4-6 years before they even saw a banana again. I'll be talking more about this topic in my podcast Victory Kitchen for the upcoming Season 2! So stay tuned for that!

This recipe does come from a wartime cookbook Better Meals in Wartime by Lola Wyman, published in 1942. I find it interesting with the scarcity of bananas that she included it, but I'm so glad she did! Because it is amazing. 

Enjoy some behind the scenes of my making the curry:

Another thing I never thought I'd be doing in the pursuit of ration recipe amazingness: dusting bananas with flour. Not super crazy, just a little weird. The recipe didn't say what state of ripeness the bananas should be in, but because of my vintage banana explorations of yore (huzzah!), I figured I'd need the green variety so that they would stand up to frying.

Frying the green bananas worked like a charm! They held their shape and firmness well. Ripe bananas just wouldn't work as well. Plus they'd be all sweet and weird.

The beef curry was very simple to make. I served it all like the recipe suggested - the curry inside a ring of rice surrounded by the bananas. My family was skeptical... And to be honest I don't blame them. haha!

I served it with broiled asparagus (yum!), and it was all so fantastic. My mouth couldn't believe my eyes. Like they had a lively disagreement going on and the taste buds won out. It looks weird, but it's just dang tasty!

You've got to try this for yourself. Go on! Don't be scared! When have I ever steered you wrong with a ration recipe? 😉


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