You can get into any small tea shop in Kerala and ask for this snack, and you'll definitely have it. Of course you need ask for it as Pazhampori and not Banana Fritters 🙂 else you might only get few frowns. In Malayalam pazham means Banana and pori means fry, thus the name Pazhampori. This however is generally not prepared using the regular banana variety that we see in the market. The plantain species of banana is used for making this delicious sweet snack. Pazhampori or Banana Fritters is generally had in the evening with a hot cup of tea.
Ingredients (makes 9 fritters)
- Plantain - 3 (medium size and ripe)
- Maida (Plain flour) - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Semolina - 2 tbsp
- Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
- Salt - 1 pinch
- Egg - 1 (optional)
- Oil - for deep frying
Take maida, semolina, cardamom powder, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl and mix well. Add an beaten egg to this mixture. Adding egg is not a mandatory requirement and can be skipped in case your prefer to do so. Egg is added to make the batter soft and the fritters fluffy, and also the egg makes it tastier.
So if you have skipped adding the egg, you can add a pinch of baking soda. Semolina is added to give the fritters its crispiness. Gradually add half a cup of water to the mixture to get a batter of thick and stiffing consistency. Leave the batter in room temperature for a minimum of 2 hours.
The plantain selected should neither be too ripe nor too raw, it should be just enough ripe. If the plantain is too ripe, it's skin would have turned black in most of the places and the inside would have become very slimy. Chop off the two edges of the plantain and peel out the skin.
Cut the plantain length-wise into 3 slices in case of a medium sized plantain. If it's a bigger sized one, you can slice it according to the size of the plantain so as to get slices of around 3/4 cm width.
Heat about 2 inch / 5 cm of oil for deep frying in a small kadai (pan) over medium heat. To tell if the oil is ready for cooking, drop a pinch of batter into the oil. It should begin to sizzle and float right away. Dip the plantain slice into the batter and make an even coating around it. Gently slide the plantain slice into the oil. Repeat with more slices until you have a small batch frying, taking care not to crowd the kadai. For a medium sized kadai, we can generally accommodate around 2 long slices. If your kadai does not allow for frying long slices, you can cut them into equal halves. Deep fry the plantain, turning them over a few times with a slotted spoon until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil with slotted spoon and drain on a kitchen napkin. Repeat the process for all the cut plantain slices. Serve the hot crispy and sweet pazhampori with a hot cup of tea ! 🙂