Kelyache Umber is a traditional Konkan / Goan recipe that is offered as naivedyam in Shravan as well as during poojas. This is a very quick and easy recipe wherein in the addition of over ripe bananas gives an awesome flavour to the fritters. This recipe is versatile wherein some people use whole wheat flour while some use rice flour. I personally love it with the addition of rice flour. Traditionally semolina / rawa is not added to the basic recipe, however I do add a bit of fine/chiroti rawa to enhance the texture of these sweet fritters.
- 1 large over ripe banana approximately 1/2 cup mashed banana
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 3 1/2 tbsp crushed jaggery
- 1/8 cup + 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp fine semolina/ chiroti rawa
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- A pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)
- A pinch of salt
- Oil to deep fry
- Mash the bananas to a not so smooth consistency. The texture of banana should be felt by hand. The bananas have to be over ripe to get the perfect flavour. In a separate pan add 1/8 cup + 1 tbsp water and 3 1/2 tbsp crushed jaggery. Let the jaggery dissolve completely in water. If the jaggery is not dissolved completely, then while frying the jaggery will melt and the outer cover will turn brown faster and burn and the inner filling won’t get cooked properly.
- Then add the mashed banana and mix well. Add chiroti rawa and then add rice flour as much as it fits into the mix and mix well. The batter should be of dropping consistency, neither thick nor runny. Add salt, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, mix well and set aside for 10 minutes so that the semolina soaks into the mix.
- Heat oil in a kadai, once hot reduce the flame to medium and drop small lumps say about 1/2 tbsp of the batter in hot oil. Deep fry a few at a time on medium flame till golden brown on all sides taking care not to burn it. Transfer to a holed colander that is kept on an absorbent paper so that the excess oil drains on it as the fritters may stick to the absorbant paper if placed directly on it. Umber taste best when served hot. This proportion gives approximately 20 small fritters .
- Using an over ripe banana is a must for this recipe. The skin of the banana should have black spots and should NOT be yellow. Only then will you get the flavour of banana in the fritters.
- The size of the umber should be smaller than a lemon so that it gets cooked properly in and out.
- The addition of nutmeg powder is optional. In konkan usually when jaggery is used nutmeg powder is added and when sugar is used cardamom powder is added.That’s by individual preference. I personally love both.
- The colour of the umber will vary depending on the colour of jaggery used.
- The proportions mentioned are what I exactly needed. They may vary a bit here and there depending on the texture of the banana as well as the moisture released by the dissolved jaggery. DO NOT try to make it too sweet as jaggery darkens faster and the fritters may not get cooked inside and may get burnt from the outside.