Monday, August 17, 2009

Sweet Plantain Fritters

OK, this snack of deep fried batter dipped-plantains may be a no-brainer for many of you out there - it is such a staple in Indian, Caribbean, Far East and South American homes or anywhere else tropical that plantains can be found.
But whilst I was an expert at EATING them, I actually didn't know how to MAKE them until I started trying it out myself. And since everyone and their mother-in-law from the aforementioned countries and continents had their own way of making the requisite batter, I had to play around a bit before I got it just right.
For me.

I remember my mom mixing rice flour into the batter back in the day. I'm not sure why but I'm guessing the rice flour gives the batter an extra thick quality to allow the plantain slices to be coated evenly.
Ahhhh...the gloppy factor.

Similarly, recently when I visited a neighbor, I caught their nanny sprinkling sesame seeds into the mix as well.
Hmmm - never seen that before, but could be the crunchy factor.

And this is why I will land that high paying job as a Food Editor at a posh magazine and be a celebrity judge at the Aspen Food and Wine event - because I use words like gloppy.

So here is my take on plantain fritters and enjoy these juicy sweet fried morsels for your late afternoon snack, right after siesta =)!

In Kerala, India - these fritters are known as "ethakka boli" or "ethakka appam" - What do you call this snack item?

Sweet Plantain Fritters
3 ripe plantains (look for fairly firm plantains, you don't want them too mushy or over-ripe)
1/2 cup All Purpose flour
2 heaped Tbsp rice flour
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar - Optional (I usually omit the sugar if I find the plantains sweet enough)
Water - to form batter (approx 1/2 cup)
Oil for frying

1. Peel plantains and discard skin, slice the flesh in half lengthwise. Then slice each half into quarters.
2.Mix the AP flour, rice flour, sesame seeds and salt in a bowl.
3. Slowly add water to the dry ingredients , mix to dissolve all lumps and add enough water to form a batter with pouring consistency. The batter should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and should not be too runny.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan.
5. When oil is hot, dip plantain slices in the batter, make sure each slice is coated and deep-fry to a light golden color.
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Serve warm.

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