Curried Batter Fried Fish and Bananas Recipe -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly

Ever have a really far fetched ridiculous sounding recipe idea, but you have this really strong hunch that it would not only work well, but also taste terrific? That happened to me the other day. My oven had been broken for some time. I wanted to make some tilapia, but I found most stove top fish recipes ended up tasting pretty bland. My daughters had been on a streak of making fried banana after fried banana, going through multiple bunches of bananas, and fried bananas were on my mind. I had this far out idea that fried bananas would give tilapia a great flavor. But I was unsure. I'd never tasted the combination. 

When I come up with ideas for a recipe and food combination completely on my own (and not inspired by a recipe I'd seen or heard about) I like to Google if a recipe with such a combination exists, and the results I came up with were making a vegan fish alternative using banana flowers. I narrowed the search paramaters and got recipes for fish cooked in banana leaves. Finally, I found a recipe using fish and bananas and curry, which then was my bouncing off point for this recipe. I made it quite differently than them, but the idea of using curry with the combination I had been planning was the spark of inspiration that I needed to transform this idea into the divine tasting dish that I made.

I know this is a really strange sounding idea, weird and kooky, and the pictures don't make it look so amazing either. And that is with my choosing the better photo for the main image for this post. But it tastes terrific, with the spices in the curry giving a good balance to the sweetness in the recipe. The one problem with this recipe is that it tastes so good that it's hard to share it with others, and I may have devoured most of it in one go the first time I made it (smaller batch). 

I have one kid who doesn't eat fish, so I knew he wouldn't touch this recipe, and my most adventerous eater wasn't home both times that I cooked it, but surprisingly my picky eater daughters ate it- one kid enjoyed both the fish and bananas, and the other one enjoyed the bananas (even if she wasn't willing to try the fish- she doesn't like tilapia). And the guest I had over devoured it as well, and loved it so much. I had asked her to have some in part to know if it was a good enough recipe to share here, or if it was just too weird. She said it is definitely a recipe that needs to be shared. So you don't just have to take my word for it.

While this isn't the easiest recipe in the world to make (lots of standing over a frying pan, cooking a little bit at a time), it is pretty frugal (tilapia is one of the cheapest fish to buy), is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and allergy friendly other than the fish. And you can use regular wheat flour if you don't need to make this gluten free.

Curried Fried Fish and Bananas Recipe -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly

3/4 cup rice flour (or wheat flour if you don't need gluten free)
3/4 cup potato, corn, or tapioca starch (or wheat flour if you don't need gluten free)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 slices fish fillets- tilapia, cod, hake, haddock, basically any mildly flavored "white" fish.
5 bananas
Water as needed
Oil as needed

1. Mix all the ingredients other than the fish, bananas, water, and oil. Make sure it is uniform.

2. Cut your bananas either lengthwise or widthwise, basically whatever shape you want, as long as it is approximately the width of half a banana.

3. Dip each if the fillets of fish into the flour mixture so it has a nice coating on both sides. Do the same for the banana slices.

4. Add enough water to the mixture that you get a slight batter, like in the picture below. It would have been better if I used slightly less water than pictured- you want approximately the texture of a pancake batter.

5. Let sit for about 30 minutes, to let the flavors meld.

6. Fry in a pan with at least a thin layer of oil, on a medium heat, in a non stick pan (I use cast iron) so that it is partially deep fried. (You want the oil coming up at least half way up the fillets/slices.) Make sure not to move the pieces at all until they are fully cooked on one side and have a nice crust, and only then flip them over. Use a thin spatula to make sure to get the crust from where it touches the pan, and not leave any of it behind.

7. Cook until the desired doneness. I prefer a darker crust, but if you prefer lighter just make sure that your fish is fully cooked.

8. Remove from the pan and let the oil drip out either in a collander or place on paper towels or napkins to absorb the excess oil.

9. Repeat with the rest until fully finished.

10. Serve hot. I also enjoyed it leftover and cold, but hot is best, and it is crispier if you aren't having it as leftovers.

11. Enjoy!

What is your first reaction to hearing the title of this recipe? Honestly is great, I know it is weird and some people might find the concept gross. Does this sound like a recipe you'd try? Ever have cooked bananas?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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