03 Apr Banana Fritters with riceflour and jaggery/ Fried Kol Pitha
While Banana Fritters falls into a common category of fried yummy morsels , yet these fritters have their roots sealed in the traditional culinary roots from Assamese Cuisine.Adapted as a fried version from the earthswhile Steamed Kol Pitha,(Kol=Banana, Pitha=traditioanl assamese hoemmade sweet delight) , these are a combination of familiar flavors, and made across different parts of the country with different names.Uniappam and kayaappam boasts of almost similar ingredients resulting in familiar flavors down south of the country.But for me, these are the fried version of the traditional Kol Pitha ,that signifies the pithas of Assam
Pithas are the quinessential sweet savories from Assamese cuisine relished across the state and amongst the assamese commutity during the Bihu Festival. For the global audience ,pithas are basiclaly sweet rice cakes, fried or steamed and relished as a traditional sweet dessert that syncs with festivals, especilly Bihu. They are mostly made with riceflour as a base, aided by a blend of coconut and sugar or jaggery. Sometimes even black seasme seeds are used that connotes to a Til pitha.Besides the myriad pithas that Assamese cuisine boasts off as their traditional sweets, relished during Bihu , Kol Pitha is an underrated Pitha that is a delicacy in households but not commercially marketed perhaps. Also the tradtional Kol Pitha is a steamded one , encapsulated and wrapped in banana leaves. The batter is wapped in banana leaves and left to steam until done. The waft of the aromatic banana flavor is enchanting , as you take a bite with your morning tea .
What I made is the modern fried version and an easy one as well. The batter remaining the same, largely authentic to the roots of traditional pithas that reeks Assamese cuisines, Jaggery, Pithaguri or riceflour and bananas. Most pithas are made with Riceflour and sugar or jaggery, with additional pairings of sometimes coconut. Also since this doesn’t have sugar, it is sugar free as well.Absolutely delicious, it is rather strange to even fathom that the most simplest technique of cooking and ingredients can create such magic as to tantalise your taste buds These fritters are a perfect example
Here, keeping the ingredients inside traditional boundaries of making a pitha, ripe bananas are added to the batter to give that distinct flavor of bananas. They impart a beautiful banana flavor to the resultant fritters.
These fritters can have a liquidish sticky batter or a solid dough kind of batter that goes into the making of pithas. For a liquid batter you will need to add a little more water while melting the jaggery thus justifying the name ‘fritters’, since they need to dropped in spoomfuls into hot oil and deep fried.
However, pithas are generally shaped and fried, hence they can be shallow fried as well.
I chose to shape them with a slightly hard dough and shallow fried them ,which makes them less oily and makes me guilt free as well
- 2 to 3 overripe Bananas
- 1 teacup Riceflour
- ½ cup to ¾th cup grated jaggery
- ¼th tea cup hot water
- Mash the bananas and keep aside
- Mix the jaggery in little hot water and let it melt
- Take a bowl, add the riceflour, the melted jaggery and the bananas.
- Mix well to form a dough like consistency, but not a thick dough
- If it is slightly slightly sticky, you can add a little more rice flour, enough to form balls out of the mix
- Make round balls out of the daough,flatten them slightly from centre and shape them
- Deep fry or shallow fry in oil until slightly brown on both side.
- Dont make them crisp, and dont overfry, as these are not supposed to be crisp and hard
- They are soft fritters hence you need to fry under low flame and just until slightly brown on both side
Outragiously delicious, these sweet delights have a domineering flavor of the ripe bananas that engulf and overpower the pithas. The flavor apart, bananas also make these fritters moist and soft and the combination of the riceflour and jaggery imaprts an unique rustic flavor that’s perfect to go with a cup of indian masala chai, or just a sweet bite on- the -go perhaps.
So next time you have overripe bananas in your kitchen arsenal, you know how to turn them into awe inspiring yummy morsels that will leave your guests wanting for more.