Soft and slightly chewy Banana Puff Puff or banana fritter made with only 7 simple ingredients. These addictive deep-fried African doughnuts are a delicious variant of the famous beignet. Sprinkle them with powdered sugar, dip them in jam or chocolate sauce, or eat them as it is. No matter how you serve it, you’ll be popping one after the other!
Have you just ever wondered why deep-fried snacks are the best? They will always keep you wanting for more.
This popular African snack Puff Puff is no exception.
Made with pantry staple ingredients, this African version of beignets or fritters will remind you of your childhood days when afternoon snack time is something you’d always look forward to.
WHAT IS A PUFF PUFF?
For West Africans, puff puff is a household name. It’s a quick and easy fried snack recipe usually sold in street-side shops. It’s basically made with flour, yeast, sugar, water, salt, and oil for deep-frying.
Although Cameroonians and Nigerians call this puff puff, this is also popularly known as bofrot or togbei, kala or mikate, and mandazi for South Africans.
IS PUFF PUFF HEALTHY?
If you like donuts, then you’d surely love this bite-sized goodness here. And nope, even if we added mashed bananas into the mix I wouldn’t consider these fritters as healthy snacks at all. But these sure hit all the right spots!
INGREDIENTS FOR BANANA PUFF PUFF
This recipe for puff puff is on the next level. The addition of mashed bananas into the dough brings a lovely fruity sweetness and moisture that makes it even more enticing.
Here’s what you’ll be needing to make this African version of beignets or fritters.
- Flour – a pantry staple not just for baking. Here I use plain flour or all-purpose flour.
- Sugar – adds sweetness and life into our dough.
- Yeast – gives that light and airy texture. I used instant dry yeast for this puff puff recipe which I add straight away with other dry ingredients – flour, and salt – before adding a lukewarm water.
- Nutmeg – ground nutmeg adds a touch of warm nutty flavor that makes these easy banana puff puff more comforting.
- Bananas – the star of the show which incorporates natural sweetness into the mix and helps our dough moist.
- Salt – balances the sweetness from the sugar and bananas.
- Warm water – to activate our yeast and make our dough rise.
- Oil – for deep-frying. I suggest using neutral-flavored with high-smoking point like canola or vegetable oil.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA FRITTER OR PUFF PUFF?
I’ve always considered making puff puffs as an art. Shaping the dough into balls and dropping it into the oil using your bare hands is immensely soul-satisfying.
So if you’re up for it, here’s how to make banana puff puff…
There are so easy to make In a small bowl, add the yeast, sugar, and warm water and let it sit for about 7 minutes until foamy.
Then, you need to mix the dry ingredients: flour, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl, mash the bananas using a potato masher or a fork and mix them with sugar.
Add the dry ingredients into the mashed bananas slowly and mix them well until combined. Slowly pour in the yeast mixture while you’re still mixing everything together. The dough should be smooth lump-free.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
After an hour, heat the oil in a deep pot over medium heat until it reaches 340°F / 170°C. You can either use a candy thermometer to check the temperature or drop a small piece of batter into the oil. If it sinks and stays at the bottom, it means the oil isn’t hot enough yet. If it starts bubbling right away and floats to the top, it means the oil is too hot.
Once the oil is hot enough, use your hands or two spoons to shape the dough into small balls and drop them into the oil. Fry them for a few minutes on each side until they become golden brown in color.
Take them out of the oil and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Voila! Easy snacks that also double up as a side dish.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY IS MY PUFF PUFF HARD?
This is most probably that your banana puff puff dough is too thick. Try adding a little bit of water, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, to thin out the mixture.
Another reason why it comes out hard is the oil might be too hot. Make sure you check the oil temperature – around 170 C.
CAN I LEAVE MY PUFF PUFF TO RISE OVERNIGHT?
You can leave your easy puff puff dough overnight in the fridge. Placing it in the fridge will make it rise slowly, but unlike regular dough, this dough is best used within 12 hours.
Leaving it longer than that will have the yeast ferment too long resulting in a bitter taste.
Note: Make sure to let your dough come to room temperature before frying it.
CAN YOU REHEAT THEM?
Yes, you can, although I’d say that nothing beats freshly made banana puff puffs. To reheat, just microwave them for about 15-20 seconds. Or warm them up in a heated frying pan with oil until heated through.
MORE AFRICAN RECIPES THAT YOU’LL LOVE
- Potato Masher: You can use fork or better yet this potato masher here for better coverage when mashing bananas.
- Kitchen Thermometer: Having a spot on oil temperature is a big factor when making these African puff puffs.
- Pyrex Frying Pan: A non-stick frying pan that ensures evenly distributed heat for that perfect golden brown banana fritters.
- Strainer Skimmer Circular: Use this skimmer to properly drain off excess oil when taking them out of the pan.
Banana fritters are a delicious and easy snack to make. All you need is some ripe bananas, flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, oil for frying, and warm water to activate the yeast. If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my other easy recipes.
BANANA PUFF PUFF (BEIGNETS)
- 2 Large bananas or 8 baby bananas
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 3 cups Flour
- 2 tablespoons Yeast
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 ¼ cup Water warm
- Start by adding in a small bowl the warm water,1 tbs sugar,the yeast. Set aside for 7 minutes.
- Then, in a large bowl add the bananas and the sugar and mash it with a potato masher or a fork.
- Mix together flour, nutmeg, and salt.
- Take the mashed bananas and sugar mixture and add 1 cup at the time of the dry ingredients mix and mix it well together adding also slowly the yeast mixture. Continue mixing it until you have a smooth lump-free dough.
- Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and leave it aside for about 90 to 120 minutes. Check if the dough has risen sufficiently (you should see tiny air bubbles). It should be at least two times the size it was before.
- Heat the oil, and make sure to use a deep pan. The oil must be hot but not too hot, around 340°F / 170°C. Test if the oil is hot enough by putting a drop of batter into the oil. If it is not hot enough, the batter will sink and stay at the bottom of the pot rather than rising to the top. Or use a thermometer to have the exact temperature.
- Use your hands to start shaping the balls. Grab a little bit of mixture at a time and drop it into the oil. You can also use two spoons. Let them fry for a few minutes on both sides until the color becomes golden brown.
- Take them out of the oil and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or some dipping sauce of your choice. Enjoy!
- If the batter is too watery because of the bananas, then add a little bit more flour to it.
- If it’s too thick, then try adding a little bit of water, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, to thin out the mixture.
- Don’t leave your puff puff batter longer than 12 hours in the fridge coz the yeast will ferment too long resulting in a bitter taste.
- If you decide to store the batter in the fridge, make sure to let it come to room temperature before frying it.