There are a few banana plants in our backyard and every time we harvest a bunch (every time it is a different variety like gonja, bogoya, matooke and the kind that make juice — thanks to my parents) I learn something new about bananas in general. We had the privilege of harvesting plantain and I was inspired to write a blog post about it. Read the previous post. Then a crazy idea hit. What if we made plantain donuts? The plantain itself is already sweet and thus naturally sweetens the donuts.
In other totally unrelated news, we picked butiko A.K.A termite mushrooms last week. If you are unfamiliar, I wrote about them way back in 2014 here and made a pizza with them. Abundance (and probably a little too much) of rain came with a lot of benefits. The most exciting of them though, for me, was the growth of mushrooms in our front yard. We weren’t even aware until we saw people gathering over. Mothers, grandchildren, aunties, nieces and nephews were all gathered to collect these delicate mushrooms. The whole community knew. I learnt, from floating conversations, that these kind of mushrooms are quite pricey (two spoons for around 5000 shillings!); these mushrooms are medicinal (for what, I am yet to know); and that these mushrooms can actually be eaten raw. I did eventually try then raw and they are surprisingly packed with sharp flavour that is part nutty, mostly earthy and slightly salty. I am dreaming of making a raw butiko salad when they again grace us with their presence which will probably be next year. Nonetheless, it was an exciting experience.
Back to the donuts: These donuts are so easy to put together (I feel like I say this about almost every recipe but that is only because it is true) and create a mildly sweet soft and chewy taste that is plantain flavoured. They are quite a treat. Try them.
What you will need:
5 Ripe plantains
1 C. Flour
½ Tsp. Vanilla
¼ C. Milk
½ Tsp. Allspice
½ Tsp. Baking powder
Mash the bananas. Add milk, vanilla and all spice. Mix well. Mix the baking powder with the flour. Gradually add flour till a firm dough forms. Spread out the dough with your hands till you have an inch of even thickness. Using a cookie cutter or any object that can cut shapes, cut out the dough and using a smaller object (think bottle cover) cut out the donut holes. Fry till golden brown. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. For the syrup, add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a clean pan. Put on fire and let it boil. Remove from fire and let the syrup cool. Dip the donuts in the syrup and sprinkle with desiccated coconut.
Next time you have more than enough plantain, try these donuts and let me know how they turn out.