Growing up, my mother would make banana fritters (kolar pitha) using any ripe bananas still lingering in our kitchen. I wasn't a big fan of those as they were too doughy and oily for my taste. The other day, I asked my husband if he had grown up with kolar pitha, as well, and to my surprise, he wasn't familiar with that banana treat. I decided to revisit kolar pitha and see what I could do to enjoy them more.
This is my reimagined version of those kolar pitha. I've incorporated notes of cinnamon and nutmeg to the pitha, while sneaking in a subtle leavening agent to help lighten and puff up the fritters, hence these cinnamon banana puffs.
I've made a subsequent round of banana puffs with hints of ground cardamom and rose, and those were lovely, too. Play with the flavors ~ this recipe is forgivingly versatile. Perhaps, next time, I might even add a shot of bourbon.
Pillowy Cinnamon Banana Puffs with Maple Syrup
Adapted from Food52
Makes 6-12 puffs; 30 min cook time
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 large egg
2 tbsp whole milk
⅔ cup (75g) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon, ground
¼ tsp nutmeg, ground
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
vegetable oil, for frying
confectionary sugar, for serving (optional)
maple syrup, for serving (optional)
vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
dark chocolate chips, for serving (optional)
Small cast iron skillet or saucepan
In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, whisk together the banana, egg, and milk. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, and gently stir to combine. It should resemble a thick pancake batter.
Pour the vegetable oil in a small cast iron skillet until it reaches almost 1-inch up the sides. Over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil until it reaches a temperature between 350 °F and 360 °F (180 and 185 °C). Drop a heaping tablespoon of batter into the oil. Fry for about 1-2 minutes per side, until golden on the outside, and cooked through inside. Repeat, frying 2-3 puffs at a time.
Adjust the heat, if necessary, to ensure that the puffs are cooking inside and not darkening too quickly. Place the cooked puffs on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Serve warm.
For a truly decadent experience, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate chips to the warm puffs.
If you try any of my recipes, share on Instagram by using the hashtag #afsanaliza & tagging me at @afsana so I can see your creations!