Banana fritters

There are several varieties of bananas in Sri Lanka. One of the most common and popular banana are the small ones known as Kathali/ Ambul. This is the variety that is best for the two banana recipes that I will share today.

Kathali bananas

I think almost everyone, around the world, has their own recipe for banana fritters as it is a fruit that is easily made into a delectable dish.

Today’s recipes for banana fritters come from my great-grandmother and mother. While my great-grandmother’s banana fritter recipe is the traditional way that they are made in the north, my mother’s banana fritter recipe has been influenced by our time in Jakarta when we were kids. We were all very fond of ‘pisang goreng’ so my mother’s banana fritters are her version of a mix of the two styles.

(a) Vaalapala Paniyaaram (Banana fritters in my family, four generations ago)

Cooking time: 30 mins

Makes about 25

Banana fritters


  • Ripe bananas – 4
  • All purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
  • Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp (my great-grandmother’s original recipe uses a pinch of baking soda but my mother prefers using baking powder instead of soda)
  • Brown sugar – ½ cup, or less
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying (can be reused)


  1. Mash the bananas.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour with sugar, salt and baking powder.
  3. Add the dry ingredients mix to the mashed bananas slowly to form a thick fruity batter.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan.
  5. Form small balls (or oblong shapes) out of the batter and drop them in batches into the heated oil.
  6. Turn the banana balls so that they are browned on all sides.
  7. Remove from pan and put them on a grease absorbing paper to get rid of excess oil.
  8. Serve hot with tea.

 (b) Fried bananas (my mother’s recipe)

Cooking time: 20 mins

Makes 4

Fried bananas


  • Ripe bananas – 4
  • All purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Chickpeas flour – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract – few drops
  • Yellow food colouring – few drops (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying (can be reused)
  • Melted cooking chocolate or chocolate sauce – 4 tsp
  • Brown sugar, a little to sprinkle


  1. Mix both flours and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add water little by little, making a batter of consistency like that of pancake batter.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and optional food colouring and mix well.
  4. Remove the banana skins and dip the fruits into the batter, coating it well.
  5. Deep fry the bananas coated in the batter one by one. Let them cool on a plate on a grease absorbing paper.
  6. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the fried bananas and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
  7. Serve with tea.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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