Last Updated on January 12, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Surinamese Bakabana with Peanut Sauce – Sweet Plantain Fritters is a delicious addition to your Super Bowl Menu or any party!
Ramadan started on Friday and will continue until June 24th. There are many rituals that are included during Ramadan. One of the most important is daily fasting sunup to sundown. The fast is broken every day with the Iftar meal and at the end of the month’s fast, a large feast is usually prepared and eaten. There are no particular foods associated with Ramadan as it differs from country to country. Foods associated with Ramadan in Indonesia will be different from the foods in Lebanon or Pakistan.
As I’ve mentioned before, I come from one of the most multi-cultural families on the planet with every race and religion represented. I have Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim cousins. Somehow we are all able to coexist and respect each other’s religious differences. In fact, I think it has enriched my family in that we are able to have intimate knowledge of all the traditions of the world’s major religions, which make us a rather unbiased group of people. I celebrate Rosh Hashanah with one part of my family, Christmas with another and Ramadan with another.
Suriname, where my grandfather, many uncles, aunts and cousins were born is one of the most multi cultural countries with large communities of peoples of African, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian and Arab ancestry. All of these cultures are included within 2 generations of my family.
When your grandfather has 25 children and your great grandfather has 12, marriage across cultures is very common. Instead of cross cultural marriages being the exception, in my family it is the norm. If someone is getting married in my family to someone of the same religion and race, we are actually quite surprised. With that said, I have a branch of Surinamese Indonesian family who are Muslim and one year I was able to celebrate the end of Ramadan with them in the Netherlands, where they now live.
What foods are part of the Surinamese end of Ramadan feast? Here is a list of a few of the foods I enjoyed!
Suriname Ramadan Recipes
- Pindakaas Soep met Kip en Tom Tom (Peanut Butter Soup with Chicken and Green Plantain Balls) – my aunt makes her own peanut butter!
- Bruine Bonen (Red Bean Stew)
- Bami Goreng (Stir Fried Noodles)
- Nasi Goreng (Stir Fried Rice)
- Kip Kecap Manis (Chicken stewed in Kecap Manis – sweet soy sauce)
- Kauseband (Long Beans cooked with dried shrimp and shrimp paste)
- Sopropo (sauteed Bitter Melon aka karela) – the one thing I refused to eat!
- Accras (black eyed pea fritters) with Sambal
- Pom (Chicken & Taro Root Casserole)
- Chicken & Shrimp Satay
- Bojo (Cassava Coconut Cake)
- Dawet (Lemongrass Coconut Milk drink)
Wow, if nothing this has inspired me to present some Suriname cuisine I have yet to make for this site!
Today I am presenting my Bakabana recipe.
Even if you don’t celebrate Ramadan, what would you like to dig into after spending a day fasting? Walking through my neighborhood last night with its large Pakistani/Bangladeshi community, it was so nice to see everybody out and about – kids playing, everybody enjoying their Iftar meal at restaurants open late, people enjoying friendly conversation as they wait for their Papa John’s pizza. Papa John’s does more business during Ramadan than any other time of year. Despite their being a slew of Pakistani restaurants along Coney Island Avenue, the kids are American kids and what do they love – PIZZA – just like any other American kids.
Surinamese Bakabana with Peanut Sauce
Bakabana with Peanut Sauce is very common in Suriname from restaurants to street side vendors. One of my biggest pet peeves, however, is when I see other bloggers/food writers use Thai peanut sauce interchangeably with Indonesian because they have a totally different flavor profile.
Indonesian sauce is spicier and smokier due to the use of Kecap Manis, a molasses like sweet soy sauce which is a uniquely Indonesian ingredient and prevalent in most of Suriname’s Indonesian cuisine. Our satay sauce is not the mild, tan colored sauce the Thai’s use. My family’s satay sauce recipe has a list of about a dozen ingredients including the ever present Kecap Manis for an intense, spicy and smoky sauce with a deep brown color.
While the peanut sauce served with Bakabana is not as complicated as satay, it still must have the ever present Kecap Manis. I made a super simplified version of the peanut sauce as I wasn’t in the mood for chopping, however if you want to add a little lemongrass or ginger, please feel free.
I am partial to Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter whenever I make these recipes, as it doesn’t have added sugars like the other brands.
Other Plantain Recipes
Since most of my regular readers know I have a plantain obsession, don’t forget to check out some of my other plantain recipes:
- Tatale – Ghana Plantain Fritters
- Pazham Nirachathu – Malabar Stuffed Plantains
- Kai Pola (Kerala Plantain Cake)
- Plantain Cacao Upside Down Cake
- Plantain Custard
- Plantain Curry
- Tunisian Za’atar Fried Plantain
- Balekai Podi
- Plantain Spinach Smoothie
- Plantain Peanut Soup
IN THE MAKING
With the sauce that is both sweet and savory at the same time, it’s an awesome snack!
The airy and light texture of the batter is achieved because of the soda water. It’s very important that you do not use regular water.
Surinamese Bakabana with Peanut Sauce – Sweet Plantain Fritters
- Sauce Ingredients:
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon galangal powder
- 1/3 cup Kecap Manis
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Fried shallot garnish
- Bakabana Ingredients:
- 3/4 cup self rising flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup + 3 tablespoons club soda
- 2 ripe plantains skin should be black
- Oil for deep frying
- To make sauce, combine peanut butter, galangal powder, Kecap Manis, lime juice and 2/3 cup water in a saucepan.
- Simmer for 10 minutes until sauce is smooth and thick.
- Meanwhile, let’s make our Bakabana.
- In a bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt. Whisk to remove any lumps.
- Add club soda and mix until you have a thick, smooth batter.
- Peel plantains. Slice once horizontally. Cut each half into 3 slices, so you will have a total of 12 slices.
- Heat enough oil for deep frying in a deep skillet.
- Dip plantain slices one at a time into the batter so that it is evenly coated on all sides.
- Place in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove to a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Garnish peanut sauce with crispy fried shallots.
- Serve Bakabana with peanut sauce.