Pazham pori or ethakka appam is an extremely popular street food in Kerala. It is a very easy snack made using the nendran banana which is easily available there. In fact, you can find a lot of recipes in Kerala using this banana.
Most Keralites have a strong emotion attached to pazham pori. So much so that there was a huge outcry when this dish was removed from the Indian railway (IRCTC) snack menu. That they had to restore it.
It is one of my all-time favorites. A journey by train in Kerala is incomplete without having this. Forget it’s made of maida and deep-fried with whatever oil. You just can’t ignore it.
Even today, train journeys are reminiscent of our childhood days when we used to eagerly await the vendor at every major station, yearning for pazham pori.
The recipe is universal. Slice the banana into thin pieces, dip it in a batter made of plain flour, and deep fry. As simple as that.
The oil used in Kerala is generally coconut oil. So if you want the exact replica of the ones you get there you need to use coconut oil, though any oil will work fine.
The banana should be ripe but firm, else it will not hold the shape. A bit of rice flour is added to give crispness to the exterior.
Some people add a bit of baking soda too, but I was okay without it 🙂 . The addition of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the banana.
Also, some people make it with wheat flour or rice flour. I have not tried that, but you can if you want to.
This is different from the vazhaikai bajji which we make using raw bananas that are dipped in a batter of chickpea flour or besan. It is savory and not sweet
Do give this a try. You can get nendran bananas from all shops dealing with Indian products in Qatar.
Over to the recipe…
- 2 nos nendran bananas
- ½ cup plain flour/maida
- 1 tbsp rice flour
- 1-3 tsps sugar (or as needed)
- a pinch of cumin powder
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- salt as needed
- water as needed for the batter
- oil for deep frying
- Wash and peel the banana. Cut them in to half and then vertically into 3 pieces.
- Make a batter with ingredients from plain flour to water. The batter should be of yogurt consistency.
- Heat up the required oil in a pan. Dip the banana pieces in the batter and deep fry them.
- Drain on to a paper towel and serve with tea or as a snack
- The batter should be moderately thick. If it is thin it will not coat the banana.
- Start by adding 1 tsp of sugar and add as per need. You may need more or less depending on the sweetness of the bananas
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