Food is, for many of us, a significant way of staying connected with our cultural and national roots. It is, in a way, a remedy to the physical distance and the feeling of homesickness that we are sometimes subject to when far from home.
As a Malawian-born British citizen, this sentiment rings true, and I do not feel more connected to the land of my birth than when I cook its cuisine.
“The perfect snack to share with your housemates”
Malawi boasts a wealth of delicious foods, but what I love to cook the most are snacks called Zitumbuwa. Zitumbuwa are the equivalent of banana fritters, and they are very popular in Malawi.
They are a sweet treat, making them perfect for dessert, or just as a snack to have with your tea. Every batch you make will yield about 20 zitumbuwa, so they are the perfect snack to share with your housemates.
3 Very Ripe Bananas
1/2 cup Cornmeal (or plain flour if you do not have this.)
1 teaspoon Sugar
Oil (for frying)
“Best served fresh with a cup of tea”
- Mash the bananas, then add the cornmeal and sugar until you have a pancake-like batter.
- Pour and inch of oil into the pan and put oil on high heat, until a drop of water can sizzle when dropped in pan.
- Scoop the batter into units the size of a plum and flatten it into a 1cm thick circle on the curved surface of a bowl. To make it easier to remove the flattened batter from the side of the bowl, it’s best to have a small bowl of water that you can lightly dip you batter into prior.
- Drop the batter into the pan, and fry the zitumbuwa until golden on all sides
- Place them in a plate lined with tissue or cloth so that it can absorb excess oils from the zitumbuwa.
They are best served fresh with a cup of tea, but if you eat them the next day, a few seconds in the microwave to warm them up is perfect.
I hope you enjoy making this small, flavour-packed Malawian snack!
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