This recipe came to me by way of my Mami (maternal aunt) in Dubai, whose dad is a great cook. It’s a simple fritter recipe, almost too simple, but it will really take your fried food game to the next level. It’s all in the details really. Bananas are dusted with cinnamon, then dipped in a loose batter of all-purpose flour, rice flour and cornflour, which if you ask me is a great combo because cornflour makes the batter light, whereas the rice flour adds a bit of texture. Edible gum, gomme arabic or gond is added to the batter too, which I found very interesting. The crisp, golden fritters, are then laid out, treated to a shower of icing sugar, then set on fire with a few tablespoons of cognac*. Voilà!
Bananas 3, either cut into half lengthwise, or cut into half, then cut lengthwise
Cinnamon powder for dusting
All-purpose flour 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
Rice flour 1/4 cup
Corn flour 3 tbsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Gond a teaspoon, crushed to yield two generous pinches worth of powder
Salt a generous pinch
Red food colour a pinch
Icing sugar to dust
Cognac/ Grand Marnier/Rum/Whiskey 2 tbsp
Vegetable Oil for deep-frying
Dust the banana with some cinnamon and set aside for a few minutes while you whisk together the batter.
Whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, cornflour and baking powder. Add in the salt, crushed Gond, red food colour and whisk again. Add water little by little to bring together the batter. You’re looking for a sticky consistency, like a thin omelette batter. Let this rest on the side for 20-25 minutes.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or kadai. Test the oil by dropping a few drops of the batter. If the batter takes shape and rises to the top quickly with steady bubbles, then the oil is ready.
Dip the cinnamon dusted bananas in the batter carefully, making sure it is evenly coated, shaking off any excess batter and carefully drop it in the oil. Moving quickly, use a slotted spoon to toss the banana in the oil, being careful to let it turn a golden brown, but not let it burn.
Repeat with the rest of the bananas. Lay the beignets on a plate and dust with icing sugar. Take a metal ladle and add the alcohol to it. Set the alcohol on fire and pour it carefully over the bananas. Turn the bananas and let the flame subside. Serve immediately with ice cream.
* The flambéing is optional, and you can serve the fritters by itself if you’re serving kids or don’t want to opt for booze.