Kaya Appam - Banana Fritters
Deep frying - however intimidating it may be, always results in instant gratification. I've never met a soul who didn't like french fries, spring rolls or heck..even fried zucchini blossoms. There has to be some math somewhere that says that frying food adds calories exponentially in a manner that is directly proportional to taste, with some exceptions to the rule of course! Anybody, who has ever had a hot doughnut melt in their mouth knows exactly what I am talking about.
Banana Fritters - Kaya Appam as they are known in the state of Kerala, India are delicious, sweet fritters that are crisp to bite into and tender inside, bursting with the flavour of Bananas and Cardamom and sweetened with Jaggery. The closest comparison I can make of the crunchy outside is to Hushpuppies, but the similarity stops there.
Jaggery is a version of sugar that is relatively unprocessed, and doesn't contain the chemicals used in processing cane juice to sugar, it is an ingredient in a majority of Keralite (from the state of Kerala, India) Desserts. Jaggery or Gur as it is also known, ranges in color from pale to deep brown, has a crumbly texture and is usually sold in blocks weighing a pound or so.
Kaya Appam is my entry to Food Parade on Independence Day.
Banana Fritters taste best after they've had some time to sit, usually a day or two later - ie., if you're lucky, usually doesn't last that long !
Melt coarsely chopped Jaggery (3/4 lb.) in a saucepan with 2-3 tsp. of water to a smooth consistency. On sufficiently cooling add melted Jaggery to the mashed bananas (3), add 1 tsp. Cardamom powder and 1 tsp. Baking Powder and mix well.
Add flour(3/4 cup), I used wheat flour, all-purpose flour will work too, till the mixture reached a medium consistency - a little thicker than the consistency of pancake batter. If the consistency is too thin add some more flour or if it is too thick dilute with water and add jaggery accordingly. Drop spoonfulls of this batter into the hot oil and turn occassionally to get a even brown color throughout.