Recipe courtesy of Hawa Hassan

Ma Baomaka's Mofo Akondro (Banana Fritters)

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Almost like banana tempura, these fritters are made of ripe bananas dipped into a yeasted batter made with cassava flour that’s light and crisp. If you can’t find cassava flour, feel free to use all-purpose flour, although that would no longer make these fritters gluten-and grain-free. Serve these as Ma Baomaka does, with hot coffee. In fact, she says you must serve coffee to guests and that it would be wrong to have people come into your home and not serve them freshly roasted and brewed coffee. She makes her coffee just like Ma Gehennet makes hers, by roasting green coffee beans in a dry pot and then grinding them and brewing them with hot water. The only difference is that Ma Baomaka builds her own fire to roast the beans and has a granddaughter grind them in a wooden mortar that’s the size of a cinder block using a pestle that’s taller than she is. (Ma Gehennet, who lives just outside New York City, uses an electric stove and an electric coffee grinder.)
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place the water and yeast in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit until the yeast has dissolved and the mixture is cloudy when you stir it, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and the flour to form a thick, smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow the batter to sit until it has thickened and smells yeasty, about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, line a plate with paper towels and set aside. Heat about 1 to 2 inches of oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot set over medium-high heat until it reaches 365 to 375 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer or until a pinch of batter sizzles on contact. Carefully dip the banana slices in the batter, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, and place the fritters into the hot oil, working in batches as necessary, depending on the size of your pot (don’t crowd the pot). Fry, turning the fritters with a slotted spoon as they cook, until they float and become golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. Carefully transfer the fritters to the prepared plate to drain. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if you like, and serve immediately while hot. Pair the fritters with a platter of fresh mango and papaya with lime wedges if desired.

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