Banana fritters

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

It is dusk at the night market and people are gathering to eat and relax. The air hums with chatter and the whirr of generators. Stalls are piled with shocking-pink dragon fruit and salak in their snakeskin casings. Sticky rice is unwrapped from palm leaf parcels. A man deftly folds an oversized pancake as it sizzles in hot oil, cooking as street theatre. One thing you don’t want to miss are the fried bananas in their crisp batter jackets. Eat hot from the pan, as you would in the market.


  • 100 g ( cup) plain flour
  • 50 g ( cup) rice flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 220 ml (scant 1 cup) ice-cold water
  • 4-6 pisang raja bananas (see note)
  • oil, for shallow frying
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, to serve


Sift the flours into a large bowl with the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the water and mix well to get out all the lumps. You should have a thick, smooth batter that generously coats the back of a spoon.

Cut each banana lengthways into slices about 1 cm (½ inch) thick.

Pour oil to the depth of 4 cm (½ inches) into a wok or deep-sided frying pan. Set over a medium-high heat until hot but not smoking - add a drop of batter, which should sink then rise immediately if the oil is ready.

Fry the bananas in small batches. Dip each piece into the batter, turning to get a good even coating, then carefully lower into the oil. Fry, turning them two or three times, until uniformly golden and crisp. Keep the heat high so they don’t get soggy, but if they are scorching then turn it down. Drain off excess oil on paper towels.

Serve immediately with a good dusting of icing sugar. Some ice cream alongside is always a winner as hot and crisp meets the cool smoothness.