Baka bana is Surinamese for baked (fried) bananas (plantains) and much easier to remember than the Javanese name Pisang Goreng.
Pisang = banana, and Goreng = cooked or fried.
We call plantains bananas, which is a bit confusing in English as the banana is the type that does not require cooking. Plantains should be cooked first by boiling or frying before eating, and can be consumed either when ripe or unripened.
Baka bana is a very popular snack in Suriname and Holland and can be found in any warung (Javanese cafe) or street vendor selling Indonesian food.
The plantains have to be really ripe to enjoy this snack. Ripe plantains feel soft but firm when squeezed and may show black spots on the peel. The more black spots and softer, the riper and sweeter the plantain will be.
2 very ripe plantains
100 grams flour
2 tsp sugar
2 dl water
(cinnamon) sugar for sprinkling
Peel the plantains and cut ½ cm (less than 1/4 inch) diagonal slices of about 3 inches in length.
Mix the flour with sugar and salt, add the egg and water, mix well into a smooth but thick batter. Batter should not be runny and when turning a slice of plantain over, the batter should stick to the plantain. Heat the oil. Turn each plantain slice over in the batter and scoop out to fry in the hot oil. Turn the heat down a little if the batter browns too quickly. The plantain should cook inside the batter until it’s done, for about 5-7 minutes, turning over a few times for even browning and to avoid burning.
Drain the baka bana on papertowels and sprinkle sugar while still hot.
Serve your baka bana plain or with spicy peanut sauce. Be forewarned that you will not stop snacking! However, be carefull because baka banas retain the heat for a while. No point in doing all this work and not being able to enjoy it!