Pulivaaral-Flavored Banana Fritters simply means mashed up flavored banana with flour and deep fried. A simple easy to make dish, this is found commonly due to the availability of the banana 365 days a year in my home state. Every household will be having few banana plants in their house. There will be always stock of bananas and over ripe bananas. Some clever lady who did not like to throw away the over ripe bananas should have been the person behind this recipe. 🙂
This dish is mostly found in the Malabar region of South Indian state of Kerala. Malabar is famous for its cuisines especially snacks. The variety of snacks found here cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Fried, steamed, baked, stuffed, pan fried you cannot think of the immense variations which are made with each food item. Weddings, occasions, feasts are the times when you see all these things together on a table. Basically we are from Malabar region which is why I authoritatively describe about these things. I have written an article in this regard which you can refer in my website.
Today’s hero is Banana. Banana is one of the main cultivation of our state. Different varieties of it are found here namely paalaym thoodan, poovan pazham, njali poovan et al. These are all small type of bananas which have different nutritional values and are very tasty. When in raw condition, these are used as veggies for making different curries and stir fries. Paalaym thodan is used for making pulivaaral. I replaced it with Chiquita banana which tastes so yummy and changed the dish all together. The distinct flavor and smell of the banana gave an uplift to the whole concept of pulivaaral.
In the original recipe this is made with rice flour, jaggery or molasses and eggs. The quantity of flour used is always greater than the banana which I did not appreciate much. I knew something was wrong somewhere. Each time I had this snack, some how I felt there was some element missing. It is then that I decided to take matter into my hands. I started experimenting with different variations. Finally I hit the note and this recipe was born.
I go for over ripe bananas in this recipe. Always the quantity of bananas should be more. Instead of sticking with the rice flour I opted for all purpose flour. I preferred a loose batter rather than the thick batter used in the original recipe. The only difference it made was the shape and method of making it. This made it easier to make the desired shape of tamarind with hand. In due course of time I found out the solution for this also. I use the long salad dressing bottles which is available in all super markets for this purpose and the result was great, You should get a bottle where the opening is a bit wide and has zigzag shape.
Other ingredient I added was the coconut milk which is not there in the original recipe. So you can make the basic batter with banana, eggs, flour, coconut milk and sugar. I would like to add a small funny tip to this recipe. My second son just loves Cerelac. So you can find it in my pantry at any time. One day while I was preparing this dish and the batter became a bit runny. I did not want to add flour as it will dominate the flavor . So I was searching for something which did not over power the taste of bananas and my eyes fell on the cerelac tin. It instantly hit me that this would be give a whole new twist to the pulivaaral. Also, if rested for sometime, Cerelac has the tendency to get thicker and firmer and I just went with my instincts.
So get going and choose either the traditional way or go with my modern version. I’m sure about one thing, either way you will enjoy this snack with a cup of black tea.
P.S.: The quantity I mentioned here was just peanuts as far as we are concerned. 🙂
In a mixing bowl mash up the bananas retaining bits and pieces.
Add the egg. Whisk until well combined.
Add the sugar, salt and vanilla and combine.
Now add the thick coconut milk and whisk again.
Finally add the flour and incorporate well checking the texture.
Rest for 15 mts.
Deep fry in oil until brown in color.
Enjoy with a cup of black tea.