Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Allergy Free Banana Ball Fritters

If not for Zeyoudee's allergies and a sister's determination in conducting her own kitchen experiments (despite not having any problems with allergies herself), I might have never learned about the properties of different types of flours, the different function of eggs, and eventually be moved to hatch some recipes of my own in concocting something my little Zeyoudee can eat without breaking into hives and going into a fit of coughing and wheezing, alhamdulillah!

It took me a while to get used to eating baked goods made with rice flour, and getting used to drinking rice milk. Rice flour is particularly grainy and gritty, and the first time I ate pancakes I made using rice flour, I was quite disappointed. Brown rice flour though, makes a huge difference!

I had made this Jemput Jemput with white rice flour first, combined with buckwheat flour. It tasted like...rice flour. It was okay, but I decided to try making it with brown rice flour. And it tasted...better.

The only thing I had to deal with was that it would brown very quickly compared to the Jemput Jemput made with normal flour. And I think this probably has something to do with the color of the buckwheat flour, which is somewhat grayish. It also tends to be crispy on the outside, but very fluffy and soft on the inside.

There I was, evaluating and critiquing my allergy free version of Jemput Jemput Pisang, yet when we handed some to Zeyoodee, he joyfully stuffed them in his mouth, simply happy to have yet another new thing to eat. Crispy, fluffy, I don't think he cared. Alhamdulillah!

And alhamdulillah, we gave him something that had coconut milk (coconut is considered a tree nut) days before, and he didn't have any reactions. So that opened up more possibilities for him, and I was beyond elated. He will be a true Malaysian. That means, I have to learn to make these Malaysian desserts now, after avoiding them for years because I couldn't rely on Malaysian recipes that are usually simply written as recipes, as opposed to western cookbooks that also include the science of chemistry behind baking. Let's just say I'm kind of a geek when it comes to following recipes. I want to know the whys, hows, in addition to the recipes. In fact, I don't like it when a cookbook just has recipes but no explanations.

And thus, the Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum, is one of my favorite and most treasured cookbooks. Recently I also discovered her blog, and I have to say, it's one of my greatest 'stumble upon' on the internet. Ahhh....however, I have moved from the world of baking to the world of baking/cooking allergy free, and my favorite allergy free site now, is Karina's Kitchen. But I still owe my first peek into the world science behind the baking to Rose's Cake Bible, among other cookbooks I have amassed throughout the years.

Zeyoudee's Jemput Jemput Pisang

2 bananas mashed
1/2 c brown rice flour
1/4 c buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut milk/rice milk

1. Combine the above together till they make a thick batter
2. Heat oil for deep frying
3. Drop spoonfuls of the batter one by one
4. Turn over to brown the other side
5. Drain on paper towels

Cook's notes:

  • The brown rice flour has to be refrigerated once opened because it can go rancid pretty quickly.
  • For a truly allergy free version, use gluten free baking powder
  • Since it will brown very quickly, make sure to turn it as soon as it browns
  • Wait until the oil is really hot, otherwise it will stick

I know most people probably have no need for an allergy free version, but in case you know someone who has allergies, especially multiple allergies, this will be one of those rare pearls!

1 comment:

  1. This is just a thought from an inexperience baker, but thinking of the strategy in the Traditional Foods cook book, could you try soaking the rice flour, over night or a few hours in the liquid (which ever you are using), and add the rising agents and other ingredients when you are ready to start frying? Soaking helps soften the grains, even ground. I made some highly unpopular ground rice cereal, saved the left overs, the next day used it for pancakes---it was soo silky and creamy--which I know was weird for pancakes, but it worked--crisp on the outside, smooth on the inside.