Baked Chocolate Banana Fritters (Gulgula)

(When it comes to baking, the sky's the limit!)

“Pancakes or cookies
What do you see?
Take your pick
And that’s what they’ll be.
Good for breakfast
Or that picnic for two,
Take them for a ride
Just a book & you.
Ready in minutes
With effort close to none,
Even the photographs
Are bites of fun.
Bananas & chocolate
A combination for keeps,
You don’t have to crawl the web
To learn how to make these.
Addictive, I confess
I’ll try not to eat more,
And save some for the hubby
But then…he’d never know!”
It was a beautiful day today. As I walked home after my morning latte (I buy those. Some things are better left to the experts!) all I could think of was cooking something that will look beautiful in that light. Yes, my mind works in strange ways. I wasn't feeling overly creative, so all I could come up was this - also limited by the ingredients I had at home & the time I wanted to spend indoors. But they turned out so well, not to mention brilliantly simple & easy, that I decided to post the recipe. I know I know. If you add chocolate to anything it becomes tasty. But since there is no law against that, I will take my chances.

Now a little inspiration history before we get to the recipe. Gulgulas or fried banana fritters are a breakfast dessert made around the festival of Holi. What's a breakfast dessert - well a sweet dish that's eaten first thing in the morning! True story. I am not sure whether it's the banana that makes people justify that these deserve a spot on the morning table, or it was someone's attempt at an indian banana muffin - albeit a successful one since you can't go wrong with frying! Either way, they're simple and palatable - and honestly that's all I care about. Just like the other Holi sweetmeat, Gujia, versions of the banana fritters are eaten all over India, and I thought 29. may as well have a stab at it. I added chocolate & fennel to the mix, and baked them as mini cookies. (If you have never tried the combination of banana and fennel, then you're missing out!). So even though they looked like cookies, they tasted slightly like pancakes (not rocket science since both use pretty similar ingredients). But I love when the mind plays games on the taste buds, so I'll be bringing these out for breakfast when someone visits me next.

Enough said, read on!

Ingredients (makes around 22 small fritters)
1 overripe banana
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons brown sugar (or to taste)
3 teaspoons whole milk
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
A pinch of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients and keep aside.
Mash the banana with a fork till it becomes soft and pasty,. Mix it with the dry ingredients and work into a thick batter by slowly adding milk. Use a teaspoon and line little dollops of this mixture on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes – till they rise a little and just become firm on the outside. Make sure not to over bake as we want them to remain soft & gooey on the inside. Serve fresh with maple syrup, chocolate sauce or honey.

So easy right!?