Sweet Banana Dumplings are my favourite nostalgic tea-time treat! Made with mashed bananas and flour batter, these dumplings are deep-fried to golden balls. Irresistibly addictive, these crispy and sweet bites are the perfect way to use up any overripe bananas.
Originally this is my paternal grandmom's speciality that she makes whenever there are ripe bananas. In our home, we call this "nuzhi ittathu" which is malayalam for "pinched and dropped". This is the easiest and quickest snack that does not require any soaking, grinding, rising, etc. All you need to do is mix, scoop, drop, fry and serve with chai!
These banana dumplings can be made with just mashed banana, sugar, flour with some flavour like cardamom. Baking soda is added to make the fried item light and airy. I have added some rice flour, rava, and nigella seeds to make it a yummy snack.
- ripe banana
- sugar or jaggery
- rice flour
- semolina (rava) (optional but recommended)
- cardamom powder
- nigella seeds (optional but recommended)
- baking soda
- flour (maida and/or wheat)
- oil to fry
You start by mashing the banana with sugar or jaggery until the sugar melts. This will create the "liquid" we need for the dry ingredients. Now, add flour only as much as you would need for this liquid. But for the recipe's sake, I have mentioned an approximate quantity.
Whisk or flap with fingers thoroughly until no lumps. The batter should be thick but drops off the spoon as a gloop. So, if it is too thick, then add some more banana and jaggery. If there is too much water added to the batter, the dumplings will be oily.
Once the batter is ready and the oil is hot, use a spoon and rubber spatula to scoop and drop the batter into the hot oil. You may use your hands but I like to keep them mess-free 🙂 Fry on low to medium flame until they start browning. Adjust the flame when the oil gets too hot.
Serve banana dumplings with a hot cuppa chai. This also tastes delicious with Nutella - not a fan but occasionally it satisfies chocolate cravings!
Back home, they just take a little batter in hand and drop a little portion into the hot oil - the reason why it got the name "nulli itathu" but I don't prefer to use my hand so the spoon hack!
- ripe banana: you can use any kind of banana that is ripe or overripe.
- sugar: Traditionally, this recipe is made with jaggery but works well with plain old white sugar too!
- rice flour: I add some rice flour to get a crispy texture but you can skip this or add wheat flour instead.
- cardamom powder: this is the traditional choice, but you can use ground cinnamon or nutmeg for a holiday flavour.
This banana dumpling recipe requires it to be deep fried in hot oil. I used a wide kadai and a slotted spoon to make these fried banana balls.
Banana dumplings are great served immediately but can be stored in room temperature for a day or two. You don't need too reheat to serve again as these taste great even in room temp or chilled.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Sweet Banana Dumplings (fried banana balls)
- 1 ripe banana (large)
- 2 tablespoon jaggery (or sugar)
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 tablespoon fine semolina
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ½ teaspoon nigella seeds optional
- 1 pinch baking soda
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- salt to taste
- Oil to deep fry
- In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan or a deep-fryer, heat frying oil over medium heat. Make sure there is enough oil to submerge the dumplings.Oil to deep fry
- In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas with sugar until watery.1 ripe banana, 2 tablespoon jaggery
- Add all the ingredients except the flour. Mix well and then start adding the flour little by little until you get the desired consistency.1 tablespoon rice flour, 1 tablespoon fine semolina, ½ teaspoon cardamom powder, ½ teaspoon nigella seeds, 1 pinch baking soda, ½ cup all-purpose flour, salt to taste
- Flap the batter with your fingers to break down any flour lumps and mix thoroughly. You should be able to scoop the batter with a spoon and use another spoon or rubber spatula to release it into the oil.
- Once the oil is hot enough, use a spoon to scoop small portions of the batter and carefully drop them into the hot oil. Maintain the flame on low to medium and drop as many as batter balls your pot can hold (avoid overloading as that will bring down the temp of the oil).
- Fry the banana dumplings in batches, ensuring they don't stick together. Fry until they turn golden brown and crispy on all sides.
- Remove the fried dumplings from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Serve the sweet banana dumplings warm and enjoy them as a delightful tea-time treat or a delicious dessert!