These rustic, deep-fried fritters made with whole-wheat flour, jaggery and banana are a popular snack from Kerala. Undan pori is best enjoyed with a hot cup of chai!
Undan pori which translates to ‘fried dough balls’ are a charming, rustic teatime snack from Kerala. They are a staple at road-side chaya kada or small eateries serving tea and snacks.
They are also called sweet bonda or gundu (an ode to its cute round shape). Improperly made undan pori can be a literal pain in your teeth but if made properly, they are simply irresistible – crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and fragrant with banana and cardamom.
You just need a handful of pantry staples – atta or wholewheat flour, jaggery syrup, super ripe bananas and a pinch of cardamom are made into a sticky dough. Small dough balls are then deep-fried till nicely browned. The only important thing you need to take care is to fry them on medium heat. If fried in oil that is too hot, the outsides will burn quickly and the insides will be doughy. If heat is too low, the outsides will harden up too much.
These banana fritters are not exactly healthy because they are deep-fried, but they are a lovely indulgence on a cold, rainy evening. Back in Kerala, undan pori is like the poor man’s energy food. They barely cost anything to make, and a couple of these fritters along with a cup of tea will keep you going for a long time.
Here’s how you can make Undan Pori or Whole-Wheat Banana Fritters.
- Whole-wheat flour - 1½ cups
- Rice flour - 2 tbsp
- Cardamom powder - ½ tsp
- Salt - ¼ tsp
- Baking soda - a big pinch
- Banana - 1 large, very ripe
- Jaggery - ½ cup, grated or crushed
- Oil - for deep-frying, preferably coconut oil
- Coconut pieces (thenga kothu) - ¼ cup
- Ghee - 1 tbsp
- Melt jaggery with ½ cup of water in a small saucepan. Strain to remove impurities and set side.
- Mash banana in a bowl. Add cooled jaggery syrup to it and mix well.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flours, cardamom powder, salt and baking soda. Tip in the jaggery-banana mixture and mix to form a soft, sticky dough. (If you have coconut pieces, fry them in ghee and add them along with the banana-jaggery mixture).
- Keep the soft dough covered with a clean kitchen towel for ½ - 1 hour.
- When ready to fry, grease your palms with oil or ghee, pinch lemon-sized pieces of dough and roll them into smooth balls.
- Heat oil in a deep saucepan. (The dough balls must be fully submerged, so you must use a liberal quantity of oil).
- When the oil is hot (a small piece of dough put in hot oil will rise up immediately), carefully drop in shaped dough balls and fry them on medium heat. The balls will rise to the top as they cook, flip them once to brown them evenly on all sides.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels. Serve immediately with hot tea or coffee.
- Once cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days.
Enjoy warm undan pori with coffee or tea for a delicious evening snack.
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Do try this undan pori or sweet bonda recipe and let me know how you like it.
Here are more Indian snack recipes for you to try.
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I am sharing this over at Fiesta Friday.