Sweet plantain fritters

First and foremost, pazhampori or ethakkappam is a quintessential snack from India, mainly southern part. The name, the aroma, the picture – everything about this is delicious!  Sweet plantain is the star ingredient for this particular snack. Plantain itself is a healthy hint. With less sugar and sodium and rich in vitamin A, potassium and fiber, plantains are incredibly rich food for everyone. Ripe plantains can be eaten raw or sometimes folks would steam cook it, especially for young children.

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It is one of my staple foods since childhood. Still I drool over the sight of these bananas. The sweet aroma – as it blackens – when ripe is irresistible. When you pair it with one hard-boiled egg and a glass of milk makes it a rich and healthy breakfast.

Banana fritters

During my childhood, I used to go to my dad’s work place to eat this delicious snack at a nearby restaurant. Their version of banana fritters were different in taste and size alike. It was so delicious and worth the journey! 

Sweet plantain fritters

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pazhampori or ethakkappam is a quintessential snack from India.

Ingredients

Ingredients

-Ripe plantains – 2, sliced vertically

-Oil for deep frying

For the batter

-All purpose flour – 1 cup

-Sugar – 3tbsp

-Salt to taste

-Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp [optional]

Directions

Mix together all the ingredients for the batter by adding little amount of water at a time. The consistency of the batter should not be too thick or thin. Dip the bananas into the batter,fold them well. Deep fry them in the hot oil until light brown in color. Drain it on the paper towel. Enjoy!

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Perfectly textured simple banana muffins

After browsing at the mall, the whiff of alluring aroma prompts each step to follow the source of it. There we end up at the back of the long line of people waiting to soothe and satisfy their cravings. As we hit the line we’re really hungry than ever. The second turn of waiting for the order being processed… There you lost me, at that point my mind leaves me to wander around to find a perfect seat to sit and indulge.

As I indulge, the inspiration kicks in. First, as always, am thankful for those lovely joints at the mall. Then the encouraging thoughts nudging to make use of those ripe bananas I’ve it in the freezer.

To me, often such a scenario helps to perfect things. These perfectly textured banana muffins are the result of one of such trips. As soon as I got home, I headed to the kitchen to unfold the recipe in mind. Again, this recipe is a must try as well. You just follow the rhythm and add things.

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Ingredients
All purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups
Butter, 1 stick, softened
White sugar, 3/4 cup
Egg, 2
Milk, 2-3 tablespoon
Honey, 1 tablespoon
Vanilla, 1 teaspoon
Baking powder, 1 teaspoon
Salt, 1/4 teaspoon
1 fully ripe banana, mashed

Grease the muffin pan with cooking spray. Or place the cupcake liners in the muffin pan.

Combine the flour, sugar baking powder and salt.

Add egg, butter, milk, vanilla and honey to it. I know it’s sort of carefree method. But it worked for me.

Gently mix everything together. Add mashed banana to it. If you’ve stand mixer, proudly throw it in before even mashing it. It’s fun! Blend everything well.

Fill 3/4th cups full. Bake in 350°oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Banana cranberry loaf

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I started off to bake something lighter for the evening coffee after the Thanksgiving lunch. Then came the idea to jazz it up with some sort of contrast. I had a bag of dried cranberries in the refrigerator and an over ripe banana on the counter. What more, a bowl of butter icing on the other side of the counter begging to be part of my Thanksgiving series of snacks. I didn’t neglect none of their desires, incorporated everything well yet consistently. Mashed banana blended with softened butter, a layer of butter icing in the middle and crowned with delicious dried cranberries on top. Luck would’ve it, the loaf was a perfect match for the occasion. It was a hit and probably would recur more often.

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Ingredients

All purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups

Butter, 1  stick, softened

White sugar, 3/4 cup

Egg, 2

Milk, 2-3 tablespoon

Honey, 1 tablespoon

Vanilla, 1 teaspoon

Baking powder, 1 teaspoon

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

Salt, 1/4 tsp

1/2 cup cranberries to sprinkle on top

Grease the loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mash the banana and add softened butter to it. Blend well.  Add it to the flour mixture. Then add eggs, vanilla and milk to the mixture. Mix well. Gently mix everything together.

Bake in 350°oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Mini Banana Loaves

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Well, that was the snack of the day! These banana loaves are one of my favorites and are frequent in our home. The moment it changes its color from smooth yellow to black, most of the folks think about blending in a smoothie. In my case, I love to bake something in my cute mini loaves pan. So I separate them from the bunch and pop them in the oven to turn them into something yummy and delicious looking mini banana loaves. For a change and out of curiosity I used a pinch of turmeric powder for the slightly yellow texture. Trust me, the normal turmeric aroma disappears as it blends well in the batter and in the end you get a great treat. That’s what I was looking for and I’m glad that it worked well.

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Everyone has their own signature version since it’s one of the ubiquitous and delightful snacks across the world. To me, it’s a perfect fit to glow the weekends… As I said, it was picture perfect and glad that these minis didn’t disappoint me. Oh, it was divinely moist as well. Anyway I’m glad to share these small treats here. What do you think?

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Ingredients
All purpose flour 2 cups
Baking powder ¾ teaspoon
Baking soda ½ teaspoon
Salt ¼ teaspoon
Eggs 2
Butter 1 stick, softened
Sugar ¾ – 1 cup
Honey 2tbsp
Vanilla 1 tbsp
Ripe bananas 2, mashed well

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep it aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs until smooth.

Add to the flour mixture and blend well. Add honey and vanilla.

Add the mashed bananas and gently mix everything together with a wooden spatula.

Transfer them into a lightly greased mini loaves pan.

Bake at 350° oven for about 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Done!

Deep fried rice balls – Kerala’s own unniyappam

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Dark golden brown cute fried cakes are Kerala’s own ubiquitous snacks since ages – sort of a specialty of God’s own land. It’s musical to the ear when you hear Keralites ask for unniyappam and chaaya, a combination every Keralite adores to indulge.

Interestingly these appams are considered to be the favorite of Lord Ganesha, one of the deities of Hindus. Devotees adore Him and worship Him wholeheartedly.

In Hindu religion Lord Ganesha is the Lord of all circumstances and the provider of proper guidance and wisdom that leads to success, joy and good fortune in life. There are many temples in India where Lord Ganesha is the prime deity  where the offerings are laddus and modak. But in Kerala, unniyappams are offered to Him as an act of piety.

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However, given such ubiquity, in Kerala, the shape of ping pong ball shaped appams or unniyappams are still in the main stream. The size and the texture of it are darn appealing to anyone. The whiff of delicious fragrance is not something you forget that easily. And makes it nostalgic to folks like me who spent a copious amount of their childhood in Kerala.

Legend says that the original recipe of unniyappam is still a secret. Although, with the help of just few hints of ingredients – like rice flour, jaggery, coconut, etc.- folks delightfully delivered a close  fit replica of it.

So far I’ve eaten quite a few variation from hard to soft unniyappams. Sometimes the hardness and the rubbery texture feel darn annoying. And the soft versions are irresistible. The alluring texture with caramelized crispy edges on the outside and gently yet evenly risen well cooked unniyappams are such a great treat.

To simplify the hardness of the whole unniyappam saga, adding a hint of wheat flour and adding fresh and mashed banana just before frying would do the ruse. It enhances the texture and the flavor splendidly. Since I didn’t have jaggery with me, I generously used thick molasses. I didn’t see much difference. Rather it tasted better 🙂

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Ingredients

1 ½ cups of rice
¾ cup of wheat flour
1 ½ cups of molasses (or more according to the taste)
1 + 1 banana
¼ cup of grated coconut, gently toasted
½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
½ tsp baking soda

Rinse and soak rice for about three hours.

In a mixer, grind the rice first. Once the rice is sort of smooth as paste, add the rest of the ingredients – wheat flour, molasses and one banana. Grind everything well with very less water. Consistency of the batter should be sort of thicker – yet not very thick. Transfer it in another wide open mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except the banana – toasted coconut, salt and baking soda.

Allow the mixture to rest nicely. It needs time to bring out the real texture and flavor 🙂 That’s around 4-5 hours! The batter would be safe in the refrigerator for about a day.

Well, just before the frying process, mash the banana – the banana which we kept to be used in the end- and mix it in the batter. Mix everything nice and well one more time. Fry it in a pan specially made for unniyappams and enjoy.

Berry tomato smoothie

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This simple blend of luscious smoothie with berries and tomatoes are rich yet refreshing… 

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Ingredients

2 fresh tomatoes

½ portion frozen banana

¼ cup fresh blueberries

¼ cup frozen mixed berries

2 tbsp yogurt

½ cup mango juice

Honey 3 tbsp

Pinch of salt

Few ice cubes

Process all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy, at a consistent speed. Enjoy!