Imagine islands between the sky and the water… An azure sky, sometimes emerald waters sometimes turquoise, the green of a luxuriant nature… Let’s dream in Seychelles with banana flambé fritters.
The 115 islands of Seychelles, some of the most beautiful granite and coral islands in the world, are located in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Some of the islands are right under the Equator, others close to Madagascar.
There, you can bathe in the most beautiful beaches and the most beautiful deserted coves in the world and walk in coconut forests and, in this idyllic corner of the world, people savor Creole gastronomy!
Creole cuisine is based on a unique combination of culinary delights that reflect the great diversity of ethnic groups that make up the population of Seychelles.
The essential elements of Creole dishes are of course fish, rice, seafood, vegetables, all of them served with aromatic herbs and exotic spices.
Among the national dishes, as on the island of Reunion and Mauritius, you will find rougail, this typical dish that includes sausage, boucané (smoked pork), or fish cooked in a sauce with tomatoes, onions, ginger and bird peppers. There is also ladob, stewed fish with plantain, cassava and breadfruit.
Curries, fragrant soups, grilled or steamed fish served with a thousand sauces, freshwater prawns, crab, all kinds of seafood, fried bananas with coconut milk, sweet potato pie with vanilla sauce, caramelized bananas, pumpkin fritters with vanilla syrup, coconut biscuits.
And … And … One of the most common and delicious dishes if you believe Seychellois, but perhaps only for the bravest, the stew of … bats! Yes, a stew of bat meat, whose taste is, it seems, similar to beef. The meat is stewed with vegetables and peppers. What a treat!
The two most common drinks in Seychelles are the Seybrew, the famous local beer, and rum. Comes in handy, as today, we are flambéing our banana fritters with rum!
And on the fruit side? Coconut, mango, papaya, guava, avocado, passion fruit, melon, jackfruit, ambarella, jamalac, bull’s heart, carom, soursop, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, banana … The Seychelles are a tropical paradise where fruits abound throughout the year. Banana alone has about twenty varieties.
Banana is our fruit of the day! Delicious banana fritters flavored with vanilla, nutmeg and lemon, and flambéed with rum.
Like me, you are probably used to buying this most consumed and most popular fruit in the world at the grocery store, but have you ever wondered where the banana came from?
The word “banana” comes from Portuguese, which itself is derived from Arabic (banan) and means “finger”. In the West Indies, banana is actually called “fig”, as we discussed in our green fig and saltfish recipe from Saint Lucia.
Banana is a very old fruit. Its geographical origin has been identified in Southeast Asia, in the jungles of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, where it is still possible to find many wild varieties.
But the very first bananas were found in Papua New Guinea around 5000 BC. However, the first written record dates from 600 BC in Buddhist texts. It is thought that the introduction of banana to the western world took place following the expeditions of Alexander the Great who also mentioned it in his writings in 327 BC.
Indeed, the popularity of banana started about 2500 years ago when he began to travel to India where he first tasted a banana in 327 BC. From India, banana slowly began its conquest of the rest of the world. It arrived in Africa thanks to the Arabs and finally to the New World where it seems to have been brought around 1516 by a Spanish priest.
Every year, an average of 80 million tons of bananas are produced around the world and there are about 1000 varieties of bananas!
The benefits of bananas are widely recognized. The riper it is, the higher the benefits. Regular consumption (1 to 2 bananas per day) can is effective to fight against depression, anemia (as it is rich in iron), high blood pressure (as it is high in potassium and low in salt). Banana helps increase concentration and digestion (as it is rich in fiber).
A recent Japanese study has shown that the consumption of ripe bananas, black or largely spotted, can fight against carcinogenic cells.
Another important factor is that banana contributes to the production of serotonin, known as the “happiness” hormone. Serotonin, a substance that provides well-being and pleasure! Well, speaking of pleasure… Note also that, obviously, the phallic shape of bananas makes it the most suggestive food in the world. This is what made it popular as an aphrodisiac. In India, as it is the favorite fruit of the sages, its aphrodisiac nature was recognized very early. Hindus regarded bananas as a sign of fertility and offered them to the gods of fertility as gifts. They still do it to this day.
The aphrodisiac and sexual reputation of bananas extends into many other cultures. Known as the elixir of love in Central America, women have been drinking red banana sap, which is sweeter and softer than yellow banana.
Alright, let’s set those bananas on fire!
- 8 bananas
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 eggs , beaten
- 1 egg white
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 cup rum
Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons of warm water, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
In the bowl of a food processor or in a large salad bowl, mix the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Pour the diluted yeast, vegetable oil, whole eggs, nutmeg and vanilla in the center. Mix well and gradually add ½ cup of water while continuing to mix until obtaining a homogeneous paste. Add a little water if necessary. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour at room temperature, away from drafts.
Cut the bananas in half lengthwise, then each half in 2 or 3 equally sized segments, depending on the size of the banana. Sprinkle them with lemon juice to flavor them so that they do not darken.
Beat the egg white until firm and gently incorporate to the batter.
Dip each piece of banana in the batter and fry in a large bath of hot oil until golden brown. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
Arrange the fritters in a container that can withstand fire, for example a metal or earthenware plate.
Heat the rum in a small saucepan or in the microwave, then pour over the banana fritters and set it on fire immediately.
Serve as soon as the flames are extinguished.