A popular street food in Burma, and most likely in other parts of Southeast Asia too, these Banana fritters are incredibly simple to make, and so delicious!
Banana being a tropical fruit, it is not surprising to find that many countries surrounding the Equatorial belt have their own popular banana recipes. In South-India, the banana tree is revered as a sign of prosperity and fortune. The banana tree is one of the very few trees/plants that I know where the entire plant is edible and useful in the kitchen. The trunk, flowers, raw fruit, ripe fruit are all edible. The leaves, are used as make-shift plates that food is served on during special occasions. The leaves are also used for steaming food, where is imparts a nice, earthy fragrance to the food.
I say South-India because that’s where I’m from, but I’m sure the same principle applies. There are several cultures that use plant leaves to wrap food and to cook food in. And not just Asian, this practice is common in African and Caribbean cuisines too!
With the sesame seed and rice flour coating, there is a crunchy nuttiness on the outside, and sweet, sweet juicy banana on the inside that is slightly cooked with the heat, and almost has a molten, steamy quality to it. When it’s still hot from the stove, the crust is crisp, but as it cools down, it gets a nice chewy quality to it, which still works well with the creamy, tangy, sweet interior.
I loved munching on these by themselves (which is how they are sold in the streets of Burma) with a squirt of lemon juice, but I am sure that it would go great with maybe some ice-cream, or smothered in warm chocolate…mmmm!
So simple, ready in like 10 minutes, and incredibly delicious!
This recipe has been gratefully borrowed from Naomi Duguid’s book, Burma – Rivers of Flavour.It’s a wonderful book, not just for recipes but for a deep insight into the life and history of Burma.
Traditionally, these are made with the small tropical bananas (which are like 3″- 4″ in length. But if you are using the regular long, yellow bananas, then cut each in half, then slice them lengthwise to get 4 pieces per banana.
I also substituted the cornstarch with vanilla custard powder. It was an interesting substitute, and worked very well.