Pazham Pori (Banana Fritters), also known as ethakka appam, is a traditional teatime snack from Kerala.
A trip to Kerala is never complete without exploring some of the fantastic street food that’s on offer. From deep-fried raw banana fritters (kaya bhajis) to fried chicken, from steaming dosas to pickled fruits (yes!! you have to try them), and from porottas to fizzy mocktails, the options are endless!!
If you grew up in the South Indian state of Kerala during the 80s and 90s, there is a variety of traditional snacks you came across, at home, in your travels, and across the scarcely found roadside eateries of those days. Neyyappam (rice flour fritters fried in ghee), unniyappam (jaggery, banana, coconut, and rice flour), sukhiyan (green gram, coconut, and jaggery), and pazham pori (Banana Fritters) were the popular sweet snacks while parippu vada (lentil fritters), bhajis, and bonda (batter-fried potato masala) catered to the savoury needs!
During the years that followed, markets opened up, and we slowly proceeded from eating at home to dining out and ordering in. A lot of new food joints, of all sizes, popped up across the country. From roadside vendors to street food hawkers, from five-star hotels to small bakeries, suddenly there was a lot of food on offer! Many of these all-day bites in the roadside eateries and bakeries slowly gave way to a new generation of snacks like puffs, cutlets, porotta, and pastries. And in the recent years, they “evolved” further to burgers and pizzas. However most of the traditional snacks have stood the test of time, and you can still enjoy them at your favourite eateries.
Even now, pazham pori (banana fritters), along with parippu vada (lentil fritters) can stake claim to being Kerala’s favourite teatime snack. When you are in Kerala, pazham pori and a steaming glass (not cup) of tea is the ideal combo for great conversations and catching up with friends!
Check out this recipe and enjoy some delicious pazham pori as next evening snack. Use bananas that have ripen well. I have made the batter with all-purpose flour and rice flour. You could replace all-purpose flour with wheat flour for a healthier version. Turmeric powder is purely for cosmetic purposes! They add a nice golden colour. Coconut oil is used in traditional preparations, but you could use any vegetable oil of your choice. I have used sunflower oil in this recipe.
Pazham Pori (Banana Fritter)
- 2 bananas ripe plantain
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour maida
- 2 tablespoon rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt just enough
- sugar optional
- gingelly oil
- Let's start by choosing the banana. Not all varieties of bananas can be used for making pazham pori (banana fritters). You should use only ripe plantains.
- Peel them and cut in halves vertically. I usually slice halves into three flat pieces. It entirely depends on the size of the plantains and the thickness you want for your fritters.
- Add the all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, and a pinch of turmeric powder to a bowl.
- Mix well and make a batter by adding water a little at a time. The batter should be thick enough to stick to the banana while frying. If it gets too watery add more flour to balance the thickness.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Drop a little batter into the pan to test if the oil is hot enough. If it sizzles and rises to the top it indicates that the batter is ready.
- Dip the banana pieces in the batter to get a good coating and place them slowly to the pan. Fry till the coating turns to a golden brown colour.
- Turn them over and fry the other side as well.
- Use a slotted spoon to take the fried banana fritters out from the pan. Place on some kitchen towels to soak up any extra oil. Serve hot with a steaming cup of tea.
- I have made the batter with all-purpose flour and rice flour
- You could replace all-purpose flour with wheat flour for a healthier version
- Turmeric powder is purely for cosmetic purposes! They add a nice golden colour
- Coconut oil is used in traditional preparations, but you could use any vegetable oil of your choice. I have used sunflower oil in this recipe