Maruya: Banana Fritters
Bananas –specifically “cooking bananas” (think plantains or cardaba bananas) are a popular ingredient in many street foods and snacks in the Philippines. It is quite common to encounter rolling carts or makeshift sidewalk stalls where vendors sell banana cue (whole fried bananas dipped in brown sugar and sold in bamboo skewers), or turon (fried banana egg rolls). Then there is the Maruya, or banana fritters, which is also commonly served as dessert fare in many restaurants, and is often paired with local ice cream. The amount of white sugar that is sprinkled over the fritters depends on how sweet the ripe bananas are. If desired, you can substitute the sugar with honey. You might also choose to be more fancy with a sprinkle of grated coconut.
2 ripe saba (cardaba) bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise (3 slices per banana)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
Salt to taste
1 cup olive oil for frying
1/3 to 1/2 cup white sugar (depending on how sweet the ripe bananas are)
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg and add the flour, baking power, milk and salt. Whisk until the batter is free of lumps. Dip the banana slices, making sure they are evenly coated with the batter. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add in 3 slices of the bananas, forming a “fan.” Brown fritter on either side. Remove from heat and set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining bananas. Transfer the fritters onto a serving plate (if desired, lined with a banana leaf). Sprinkle sugar over the fritters and serve warm.