The morning has an air of excitement because we would have been struggling with the heat and parched landscape of Andhra Pradesh the previous day and now, the sight of abundant tress and rivulets revitalizes the spirit; not to miss the never ending sight of Bharatapuzha running parallel to the train endlessly. After one had soaked in the sights and smells like a hungry bear, because we would travel to Kerala only once in two or three years, the next best thing we would wait for, with aching eyes and tongue, is Pazham Pori. The sight of vendors carrying three pieces of them in a thin cellophane cover on the railway stations would make us go weak in the knees. So from very early in the day one would start cajoling the parents to buy us a pack or two and only after having consumed a handful that we feel that the vacations have truly started.
Even today this humble snack brings back the same age old memory every time and makes the tongue tickle with excitement. I have not come across a single malu, age no bar, whose eyes will not twinkle at the mention of Pazham Pori. The wider world has started to experiment with the taste of Banana Fritters and has started going gaga for it but for a malu, like me, it’s like manna from God’s own country.
For those out there who wants to experiment this recipe at home –
Nenthrapazham/ Ethakka/ - a bunch ( these are the same bananas used for making banana chips and sharkara varatti) For non mallus , there are different varieties of bananas but we make pazham poris using ethakkas alone. I don’t know if any other banana can substitute this.
Food colour- yellow or turmeric powder if you like the fritters deep yellow.
Slit the bananas into halves or quarters. Prepare a batter with maida and water with medium consistency. Add a pinch of salt and sugar to this batter. Add colour as per preference. Heat oil in a pan. Fry the bananas dipped in batter till they turn golden brown. Pazham poris are tea time snacks so goes well with tea or coffee.
Note: The more ripe the bananas are more oil they absorb so for health conscious people out there, always choose medium ripe bananas.